Meet our Managers
Medard Ngueita’ s connection with World Relief began in 2007 when he and his family from Chad, were granted asylum to the United States. As a program participant, Medard experienced first-hand the refugee and asylee services provided by World Relief Western Washington. Initially, he started in the Hospitality industry and took on a leadership role. However, he had a heart for serving the vulnerable, and five years later, he joined World Relief as an employee. Over the course of eleven years, he has developed a close understanding of refugee resettlement and held positions of increasing responsibility. These included Donations Coordinator, Housing Coordinator, Resettlement Manager, and Resettlement Director. Now, as the Executive Director of World Relief Western Washington, Medard oversees the Kent, Bellingham, Olympia offices, and a team of over 100 employees from more than 18 different countries.
With this, Medard believes in a just world where any doors of opportunity should create opportunities for many others no matter where they come from. He firmly believes that excellence in leadership arises through collaboration, contextualization, and co-empowerment, and appreciates that every human being has God given talents to contribute to a better world.
Medard holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography from the University of Ngaoundere in Cameroon, a Certificate in High Performance Leadership from Cornell University, and a M.A. in International Community Development from Northwest University. Medard also loved bringing people together and barbequing (that's why here at World Relief we call it a Medard-BQ).
Director of Programs
Luke has served in various roles at World Relief Western Washington since 2004. Over the years, you could find him delivering furniture to refugee families, training staff and interns, or assisting immigrants released from the ICE Processing Facility. Luke has served twice as Interim Executive Director; in his current role, he oversees most of World Relief Western Washington’s direct services with refugees and immigrants as well as finance and operations. Luke has a wide range of experience training community groups, churches, and partner agencies. He and his family live in South Seattle and are members of Emerald City Bible Fellowship. Luke holds a Bachelor's degree in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College and is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Seattle Pacific Seminary.
Director of Resettlement
Originally from Seattle, Erin moved to Ireland and received her master's degree in International Human Rights Law (LLM) with a focus in Refugee Protection. Erin then moved to the middle east to support human rights reporting in Jerusalem and then worked in refugee camps on the Aegean islands in Greece. For several years, Erin worked in a mental health NGO in Ireland and most recently managed the Migration Policy at the European level for Oxfam International. She is particularly passionate around mobilizing grassroots refugee and migrant led groups, encouraging meaningful refugee participation, and empowering her team. Erin is looking forward to welcoming newly resettled people as World Relief's Director of Resettlement here in her home state.
Director of Strategic Advancement
Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Annie holds an MBA in Finance and Organizational Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. Her passion for serving the community led to a Social Services position, where she aided individuals living with developmental disabilities. In 2014, she relocated back to Nairobi, immersing herself in the financial industry, as a Relationship Manager at KCB Bank Kenya for more than eight years. While in Kenya, she was especially active in supporting non-profit organizations. In 2022, she returned to the U.S. working at a local non-profit where she was instrumental in donor partnerships, creating a philanthropy culture, and developing organizational fundraising. Annie loves the outdoors, hiking, long road trips, photography, trying new recipes, praise and worship, volunteering, reading and comedy shows.
Director of Finance and Operations
Prior to starting with World Relief Western Washington, Jon had a long career in operations and financial management within the insurance industry. He moved on from that to serve as the Managing Director of a social enterprise business in Thailand helping to build and support economic opportunities for marginalized populations. In 2018, Jon joined World Relief and still gets excited every time he sees our work connecting people and creating opportunities for better community. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from Wheaton College and is happy to call the Pacific Northwest home. He also enjoys the occasional golf game as well as spending time with his wife and grandkids.
Youth and Family Services Manager
Born and raised in India, Vidhya moved to the US in 2015. She has worked in the field of social and environmental justice for over a decade, and most recently managed the Children and youth programs in a non-profit that served families facing or at the risk of homelessness. Vidhya is excited to be a part of the Youth & Family Services team at World Relief. And in her current role, oversees and develops programs to address the needs and challenges faced by immigrant and refugee youth and children, alongside their families. Vidhya has a master's degree in International Community Development from Northwest University, and lives with her family in Maple Valley, WA.
Vienna is originally from Southern California, but went on to live and serve in over 20 nations, and is now very happy to call Washington her new home. She originally started at World Relief as an AmeriCorps ESL instructor, teaching intermediate and advanced ESL classes. She then transitioned to the Outreach Team as the Good Neighbor Team Coordinator where she greatly expanded and developed the program, before landing in her current role as Outreach Manager. Vienna holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Humanities from Azusa Pacific University.
Immigration Legal Services Manager
Kara holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Colorado Law School and is admitted to practice law in Washington state. Ultimately, Kara’s love for the Pacific Northwest brought her back to the Seattle area after graduating from law school. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Washington. While a student at UW, Kara interned with World Relief and was inspired to pursue a career in immigration law. She is excited to lead the Immigration Legal Services team at WRWW as they strive to provide both legal education and representation to individuals and families from all over the World. In her free time, Kara enjoys reading and spending time outside with her husband. They particularly enjoy rock climbing, snowboarding, and sea-kayaking in the Puget sound.
King County Post Arrival Resettlement Manager
Lauren Epperson joined World Relief Western Washington in 2018 as an intern and stuck around. She started as a Health and Wellness Caseworker and now manages our Resettlement Casework team. She is passionate about helping vulnerable populations and learning from new cultures. She has enjoyed living in several different countries around the world. She has a Communication and Marketing degree from Walla Walla University as well as a Masters in Global Community Development from Southern Adventist University.
ESL Programs Manager
Megan joined World Relief as an instructor in 2011 and now leads the ESL team. She holds a B.A. in Institutions and Policy from William Jewell College, a post-graduate certificate in TESOL from Seattle University, and an M.S.E. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in TESOL from the University of Kansas. In her role at World Relief Western Washington, Megan has taught adult English learners at all levels, trained and supervised dozens of new instructors, developed an ESL curriculum relevant for adult refugee and asylee learners, and collaborated with stakeholders to cultivate creative, holistic, inclusive services. She is a member of Downtown Cornerstone Church in Seattle.
Resiliency Programs Manager
Amy moved to Seattle in 2022 to manage World Relief’s Resiliency Programs, following her passion to support refugees and displaced people as they rebuild their lives and communities after crisis. She graduated from the University of Michigan with an M.A. in Liberal Studies focusing on gender and globalization, environmental studies, and creative advocacy. Prior to her current role, Amy worked overseas in humanitarian aid supporting displaced people across the world as they moved forward after war and disaster. She is excited to now have the opportunity to support refugees and immigrants in her home country.
Santa and her family fled persecution in their homeland of Bhutan in 1992. She lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for 18 years before resettling in Seattle in 2009 with the assistance of World Relief. She holds an Honors Bachelor's Degree in Commerce from the University of North Bengal in India and an AA degree from Highline Community College. She oversees the Employment and English programs at World Relief, working with local companies and connecting newly-arrived refugees to employment opportunities throughout the Puget Sound. Santa works closely with other VOLAGs in the Northwest advocating for refugees and immigrants.
Health and Wellness Manager
Stephanie started at World Relief in 2016 as in intern providing support to people detained and released from the ICE processing center in Tacoma. Passionate about the work World Relief was doing, she joined the team as the Detention Center Post-Release coordinator in 2018. She now oversees the Health and Wellness team, providing extended support to families with extra needs or barriers to success. Stephanie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Global Development from Seattle Pacific University. She lives in Tacoma with her husband and son and is a member of Anchor Lincoln Church.
Nataliya moved to the US from Ukraine in 1993 and joined the team at World Relief Western Washington in 2000. She is Department of Justice accredited (formerly BIA) and manages World Relief Western Washington's IT needs, Reception, as well as general office operations. Nataliya is a member of CityHill Church in Auburn.
Whatcom County Resettlement Manager
Steven has been managing World Relief’s efforts in opening a resettlement office location in Bellingham (Whatcom County), Washington since 2021. Steven has several years of ESL teaching experience, both in the United States as well as overseas, and has been involved in cross-cultural work in one capacity or another for most of his adult life. He and his wife have four children and attend Bellingham Covenant Church. Steven has a BA in Spanish and Political Science from Western Washington University, an MA in TESOL from Wheaton College, and is nearing completion of an MDiv degree from Regent College in Vancouver, BC.
Thurston County Resettlement Manager
Natalie was born and raised in the Caribbean and has been a resident of Thurston County for 25 years, she has served in many roles in that time: school teacher, insurance agent, a barista at her favorite local coffee shop, and recently has owned her own small business in Olympia. She is fully invested in her community and has strong connections within many spaces, from schools, to churches, to the Latino community, to the business spaces of local entrepreneurs. She lives in Olympia with her husband Frank and they have raised 3 children adopted from Africa and 2 from birth.