THE
TEAM

 REACT DC began as a motivated group of professional military spouses and veterans with backgrounds in law, intelligence operations, military service, education, and non-profit work. With a strong desire to assist in the Afghan refugee crises, and using our collective knowledge and specialized skills, REACT DC was founded in September 2021. 

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Board of Directors

AMY MARDEN

Founder | CEO | Board of Directors

Amy has dedicated thirteen years to giving voice and agency to at-risk and transitional populations. She served six years as resource and referral liaison for the U.S. Navy domestically and in Japan, where she worked with military families facing reintegration hardships after multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at sea. On the heels of the Afghanistan evacuations, Amy founded REACT DC to assist Afghan allies with their resettlement. She is currently the CEO and Chairman of the Board of that organization, which serves over 800 Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers per month. Amy is a practicing attorney and former federal law clerk for the Northern District of Florida, where she assessed the validity of prisoners’ last right appeals. She is also the author of The Parts We Lost, which she published on the eve of the last evacuation flight out of HKIA.

JOSH BURGESS

Founding Member Board of Directors

Josh is a social entrepreneur passionate about creating regenerative solutions to the Earth's most pressing challenges. He previously served 25 years in the United States Air Force as a special operations advisor, pilot, and international affairs expert. Through his deployment experiences in Afghanistan, Josh is deeply immersed in Afghan culture and committed to empowering our Afghan allies to build successful futures in America.

MEGAN HINKLE

Board of Directors

Meg is an account manager responsible for overseeing EAB partner relationships with colleges and universities. She came to EAB after nearly a decade in higher ed fundraising, most recently at Georgetown University specializing in principal donor engagement. At Georgetown, Meg supported the fundraising campaign to sponsor students and scholars evacuating from Afghanistan in 2021. Her
transition to EAB was driven in part by her commitment to building out access to higher education for underserved students, refugees, and other students in crisis. Meg holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Government with a Religion minor from the College of William & Mary. She resides in Richmond, VA.

LISA MADDOX

Board of Directors

Lisa served 15 years as an intelligence officer for the Federal Government. Her work included war zone assignments, one of which took her to Afghanistan. An expert in Middle East and South Asia security issues, Lisa developed a dedication to issues in Afghanistan and stepped up during the August 2021 fall of Kabul to support fleeing families. Lisa’s expertise and insights can be found in recent New York Times articles and a Showtime documentary entitled, “The Longest War.” Now a small business owner working in the field of family history and genealogy, Lisa continues to support newly arrived Afghan allies, helping them adjust and thrive. 

KELLY ROSE

Founding Member Board of Directors

After working nearly a decade with the Department of Defense, including six overseas tours, Kelly transitioned to the fight against human trafficking five years ago. She currently consults for an international NGO working to eradicate modern slavery. Kelly's passion to assist at risk populations combined with her personal connection with Afghanistan drives her dedicated work to resettle Afghan refugees.

SUNIL VARGHESE

Board of Directors

Sunil is the Policy Director, supervising IRAP’s policy team and facilitating the advancement of IRAP’s systemic advocacy positions to ensure and improve pathways to safety, with dignity and due process, for refugees and highly vulnerable individuals.

He previously served as Counsel to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein where he focused on immigration matters for the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also spent over seven years in various management, training, policy, and adjudication positions with the Refugee, Asylum and International Operations Directorate of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including as the Deputy Director of the Newark Asylum Office.  He was the Asylum Program Attorney at the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas and an Associate at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

Sunil received his J.D. and Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University and is a member of the New York Bar.

PAUL KIEKHAEFER

Board of Directors

Paul is a community builder who is passionate about helping drive action at the intersection of the public, private, and social sectors. He works as a Delivery Leader for Delivery Associates, where he helps governments and social impact organizations deliver improved outcomes. He previously worked in management consulting at Alvarez and Marsal, where he helped state governments manage operational crises and tackle financial problems. Paul believes it is the duty of those with much to help those with less, particularly providing welcome to refugees. Paul brings direct experience as a member of a SponsorCircle that helped settle an Afghan couple in the Northern Virginia area in 2022 with REACT DC as the fiscal sponsor. 

Directors

MOLLY SEPULVADO

Chief Operations Officer

Molly is a military spouse, mom, and social worker. She has spent the last 7 years working in various social work roles including child welfare advocacy, benefits assistance, community well-being support, refugee and asylum seeker support, and family services. She earned a Master of Social Work from Arizona State University in December 2021. Molly's understanding, experience, and sheer tenacity coalesce into an unmatched commitment to support refugee resettlement.

ABDUL SAMI AHMADI

REACTsurge Programs Director

 

Sami is a development practitioner with over 16 years of project management experience. His skills include supervising and managing staff, project implementation, advocacy and lobbying, developing strategic and management goals and work plans, and grants oversight. He previously held positions under USAID and USAID funded programs, including Provincial Implementation Manager, Project Manager, Provincial Coordinator, Activity Development Office and Operation Manager, where he implemented programs focused on child protection, reintegration and demobilization, women in the peace process, women’s political participation, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence, education, and good governance. Sami holds a B.A. from Takhar University, Afghanistan, faculty of agronomy – Department of Agriculture.

FARIHA DAUD

Employment Director

Fariha is a graduate of George Mason University. For over a decade, she managed the administrative affairs at Northern Virginia Community College. Fariha is fluent in Farsi, Dari, Uzbek, Turkmen and she is also proficient in Russian, Turkish. She has put her language skills to use in her past roles as an interpreter and case manager. As a mentor to young refugees, Fariha leverages her past experiences to guide refugees and help them with navigating the American education system, both K-12 and college. Fariha enjoys taking drives to new places, watching movies and most importantly spending quality time with her family. Helping others and making her community a better place are two things that drive her. 

ALLY BROWN

REACTcore Program Director

Ally is a military spouse, family advocate, and substitute teacher in Arlington, Virginia. During her many years of activism, Ally shaped and developed policy for the Virginia Department of Education as part of the Military Child Education Coalition and was selected for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine's Military Family Roundtable, which informed the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on various issues affecting military families. Ally previously spent 11 years as a software engineer in the telecommunications industry. As a mother of three--including two children with special needs--and a survivor of 14 military moves, Ally more than knows how to be resilient, resourceful, and ready. She is a passionate advocate for both refugee and military families and has experience engaging public officials and senior organizational leaders, especially on issues related to families with special needs. 

ERIN HOWE

REACTsponsors Program Director

Erin has lived and worked in every corner of the continental US, Hawaii, and abroad. Her professional record includes time working to employ at risk populations by matching employer needs with eligible candidates seeking reentry into the workplace, a testament to her belief in the power of opportunity.  As a military spouse, she has volunteered to serve in multiple family support organizations in leadership roles, providing vital insight and help for people far from home.  In addition to her role at REACT DC, she currently serves as Patrol Squadron Four’s Command Ombudsman, providing support to active duty families in such ways as accessing resources and disseminating important information.  A staunch advocate of direct, effective communication, Erin is a bastion of honest feedback at a critical connection point between volunteers and evacuees.  

DEVON McCUAN

Communications Director

Devon is a former Army Signal Officer and current Army wife, Navy daughter, Air Force sister and mom to three wonderful sons. She has lived on three continents and all four corners of the Continental United States and believes strongly in Mark Twain's quote that "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." Since leaving active duty in 2010, she's continued to serve the military and wider community, volunteering for multiple army units, mothering groups, and spouses clubs throughout the US and Europe. She greatly values community and adventure, loves running and reading, and brings her glass half full enthusiasm to our team. She can be found on the sidelines most weekends cheering on her soccer and rugby loving sons and enjoys planning family reunions and friendcations with her loved ones that are scattered across the globe. Devon has a B.A. in Government and International Politics from George Mason University.

ALLISON AGOGLIA

REACTwomen Program Director

Allison lived the life of a military brat and grew-up all over the US and abroad. That sense of never staying in one spot for too long,  learning about different cultures, and being able to explore new places through travel sparked her desire to work overseas and with diverse populations. She has worked with several NGOs around the world to provide assistance to women and children, access to education, and lessons on women’s health. She’s previously worked in a refugee resettlement office and assisted with their women’s and cultural orientation programs. Allison believes in the boots on the ground approach— interacting with the families directly, building relationships, learning people’s stories, and making those personal connections drive her to keep going. She approaches situations with empathy and compassion, a willingness to listen, and grit so that she can support and empower those she works with. Allison attended James Madison University and studied International Affairs with a Concentration in Africa along with a minor in French.

Staff

Career Pathways Program Manager | Chief Translator

Azim Warsaji

Hameed Parwana

Case Aide

Meaghan Heredia

REACTsponsors Program Coordinator

Hasib Dellawar

Case Aide

Zia Ul Islam Shiwa

Case Aide | Training Specialist

Sayed Sameh

Case Aide

Key Volunteers

Caroline Bello

Employment Assistance

Kim Mestre

Workflow Specialist

Tomoko Kawasumi

Inventory Manager

Betsy Keenan

Community Engagement

Kelly Smith

Public Relations Manager

Brigitte Hines

Employment Assistance

Connor Hoehn

Information Technology Manager

Kat Peterson

REACTworks Program Coordinator