The Volunteer Team 

Vivian Nguyen, Director & Co-Founder Vivian  is currently a Program Associate at the Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace in Bethesda, Maryland. She was born in Vung Tau, Vietnam and began her immigration to the US as a boat refugee with her mother at the age of five. They were processed at a refugee camp outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1981 before being sponsored to the US.

A graduate of the Peace Corps Master’s International program through Rutgers University, Vivian holds an MPA in International Development and Public Service. From 2003-2005, she served in the Peace Corps as a Community Health Extension Agent in rural Niger where she organized and implemented youth empowerment and life skills projects in addition to promoting maternal and child health best practices.

She has volunteered with the International Rescue Committee to mentor a refugee family on a volunteer team.
Dexter Sumner, Co-Founder Dexter has organized awareness campaigns on landmine and Rwandan refugee issues in the United StatesHe is the Director and founder of the Feedback-360 communications group which builds public awareness on a broad range of international hot topics such as energy and environment issues to international conflict issues. 
Dexter has devoted time to Amnesty International's English speaking Berlin Germany group (AI-1312). With knowledge gained through actively participating in campaigns, Dexter has researched and written reports on the International Criminal Court, enforced disappearances worldwide, and new types of automotive mechanisms promoting global energy efficiency. He received his education from the University of Maryland and Georgetown University. 
Yonas Hamda, Associate

2009 World Refugee Fundraiser Celebration Taskforce 

Guled Hersi  Solome Paulos  Taylor Vaught  Virginia Weyer 
Vivian Nguyen

Guled Hersi is a Project Management Professional and is currently a software engineer and consultant. He has an MBA from the University of Maryland, College Park, an MS in Management of Information Technology from the University of Virginia, and a BS in Decision Sciences and Management of Information Systems from George Mason University. Guled has special interest in refugee issues and has attended several TRES events since A Sudanese Experience in March 2008.


Solome Paulos has a BA in Foreign Affairs and African & African American Studies from The University of Virginia, Charlottesville. She has worked with African Action, The Carter G. Woodson Institute, and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Solome has also volunteered as an interpreter for Georgetown University's Refugee Legal Clinic. Solome's background is Ethiopian. She speaks French, Amharic, and Portuguese. She has also lived in Oman and Cote d'Ivoire and has studied in Brazil. 


Taylor Vaught is was a Youth Development Worker in Bulgaria with the Peace Corps from 2006 to 2008.  A graduate of Michigan State University, she mentored Cuban refugees in Lansing, MI from 2004 to 2006, as part of the Refugee Services program. This period in her life had a profound impact on Taylor and ultimately influenced her decision to join the Peace Corps and to choose her assignment of working with the Roma population in Bulgaria. Through working with The Refugee Experience Series, Taylor aims to build upon her refugee work experiences from her university and Peace Corps days.  A new addition to the DC area, she hopes to connect with like-minded people who are making a tangible difference in the lives of refugees. 


Virginia Weyer has a BA in International Studies from American University. She has studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya. She has worked with the Ray of Hope Foundation, Service Members Legal Defence Network, and the International Rescue Committee. She has fundraiser experience and hopes to assist to make the TRES World Refugee Fundraiser celebration a success.



Soviet Refugees Dinner Discussion Co-organizer


Katy Lafen is serving a Volunteership with TRES this summer.  She  spearhead the Soviet Refugees Dinner Discussion in August 2009.  Katy currently is a student at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY where she studies Russian and American government. She has spent an academic year in St. Petersburg, Russia learning Russian and tutoring English. Katy became interested in issues concerning refugees and immigrants during high school, when she wrote several stories for her school newspaper on the challenges faced by the non-English speaking community of Silver Spring, MD. At Hamilton, she has taught English to the refugee population of in Utica, NY and compiled a presentation of her experiences to give to area schools. Upon her return to Hamilton, Katy will begin research of her senior thesis on the topic of former Soviet Union refugee resettlement.

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Join Our Team!

Play a key role in organizing refugee awareness events while meeting like-minded people in the Washington, DC area dedicated to the field of refugee assistance. Send an email with

  • a statement on why you would like to join our team
  • a resume or CV
  • a short bio

 Volunteer Alums 

Amelia Matthews
Beyola Belizaire

Chris Martin

David Calleja

Dexter Sumner

Nancy Lin

Nicholas Cunningham

Robyn Cadwallader

Sarah Maxwell

Steven Grant