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Advisory Council

World Relief Western Washington's Advisory Council is not a governing body. They volunteer their time, professional expertise, and lived experience to advance our vision to see every immigrant welcomed by community, rooted in community, and empowered for community.

Elizabeth Phan

Elizabeth has been involved with World Relief Western Washington since its very early years when she herself arrived as a refugee from Vietnam in 1979. Her family was one of the first families that WRS ever supported, and so supporting WRS is something of a family tradition. Elizabeth is part of the Good Neighbor Team at Alderwood Community Church, where she helped resettle two families and she joined the Advisory Council in 2020. She has spent over 18 years in software consulting and is currently the Regional Vice President at Larson & Tourbo Infotech.

Erin Stroup

Erin joined the advisory council in 2020. She began volunteering at WRWW in 2018 with our Host Home program and has also used her background as an event planner to organize our 40th Anniversary Gala in 2019. Erin has previously done social work with Volunteers of America, and also volunteers with Mary’s Place, a shelter for homeless families in Seattle. She is currently going back to school at Pepperdine University to become a financial planner and stockbroker and help empower women in their finances.

Joe Kurian

Joe immigrated to the US from India 35 years ago, and has since navigated a corporate career with recent emphasis on leveraging those learnings for the non-profit sector. He has held leadership roles at Microsoft, Verizon Wireless and Alaska Airlines, is a lifelong elder of the Presbyterian Denomination, and sits on the Board of the Bellevue Presbyterian Legacy Foundation. His heart for the under-privileged is driven by his faith. Joe says the work that World Relief Western Washington community does is “putting what we are taught to do in the New Testament into action.”


Mohammad Qadam Shah, Ph.D.

Dr. Mohammad Qadam Shah joined the advisory council in 2020. He comes with an academic and practical background focused on development management. Mohammad is currently working as Assistant Professor of Global Development at Seattle Pacific University where he teaches courses on different aspects of global development including program/policy analysis and evaluation, and grant writing. In addition to teaching, Mohammad conducts academic research on issues related to state building, development management, anti-corruption reforms, and public policy analysis in conflict-affected countries. As an immigrant, Mohammad is passionate in helping refugees and immigrants who come to the US and need resettlement support.

Sara Shaban, Ph.D.

Dr. Sara Shaban joined the advisory council in 2022. She is currently an assistant professor of communication and journalism at Seattle Pacific University where she also conducts research on women's social movements in the Middle East. Prior to academia, Sara worked as a news producer before pursuing freelance journalism in Israel, the West Bank, and Sierra Leone. Sara is fueled by her passion for social justice, specifically for immigrants and refugees. She was involved in initiatives to improve conditions for incoming refugees during the 2015 crisis and served as a volunteer and board member for the Immigrant and Refugee Women's Program in St. Louis. Additionally, she served as the communications director for the St. Louis-based NGO Project Peanut Butter - an organization committed to the eradication of child malnutrition throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Victor Chinn

Victor was born in the US to immigrant parents who arrived in the late 1950’s. He has over 40+ years of experience in the computer industry and owns a small business that manufactures a patented scientific instrument. His passion is to be the best steward of what God has entrusted to him and to empower people on the margins and in vulnerable situations with access to technology. “I fully support those who are the hands and feet of Jesus ministering to the very people in need."


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