USCRI: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

Our Board

Scott Wu, Chair
Mr. Wu has nearly 20 years of private equity and investment banking experience.  He is a co-founder of Blue Horizon Equity, a middle market investment firm based in San Francisco.  Prior to Blue Horizon, Mr. Wu was on the investment team of a fund focused on private equity investments in public securities, and an advisor to a family office on cleantech strategy.  Prior to this, he was a co-founder of Financial Technology Ventures, a private equity firm with over $1 billion of capital to invest.  In addition, Mr. Wu has worked at Montgomery Securities, Morgan Stanley & Co. and A.T. Kearney, Inc.  Mr. Wu has been actively involved for over a decade as a Director of several local and national non-profit organizations.  He has been the President of Aim High for the past eight years, an educational organization focused on inner-city, disadvantaged children.  He was a co-founder of a Gates Foundation-funded middle school, and formerly was Director of the International Institute of San Francisco.  Mr. Wu received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard University.  Mr. Wu resides in San Francisco, California.

Gene DeFelice, Vice Chair
Mr. DeFelice is an experienced General Counsel with a wealth of experience in a range of areas, including technology, business management, compliance, and corporate governance. He currently is the Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of HMS Holdings, Inc.  Most recently, he was the General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Barnes & Noble Inc.  Before that he served as the General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of several healthcare and technology companies. Gene has also held leadership positions in sales and marketing, as well as general management roles. He has a broad range of expertise, including in operations and business. Mr. DeFelice graduated from Rutgers University, received his doctorate of Law degree from Seton Hall University and a master’s of Business Administration with distinction from Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland.  He previously served as a member of the Board of the International Institute of St. Louis and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee.

Lawrence M. Rosenthal, Treasurer
Mr. Rosenthal is a real estate developer and venture capitalist.  He is a member of a number of corporate boards and is also Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of GTL, Inc.  His business activities have required him to spend substantial time in Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Mr. Rosenthal resides in New Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Mindy W. Saffer, LEED AP Principal, Secretary
Mindy W. Saffer, LEED AP, joined Cresa Washington DC as a Managing Principal in 2012, bringing with her a specialization in providing innovative real estate solutions for tenants. Her background and experience in project management, including space programming, space planning, ADA/Fire/Life/Safety code issues, interior design, construction administration and price negotiations, directly and uniquely benefits her clients in her capacity as a full service real estate advisor.

Ms. Saffer primarily focused on the representation of trade associations and non-profit organizations within the Washington, DC region, having completed millions of square feet of real estate transactions since 1999. Prior to becoming a real estate consultant, Ms. Saffer spent ten years managing a commercial interior architecture firm and consulted to a general contracting firm, MEP engineering firm and office relocation firm, enhancing her ability to offer her clients knowledge about the full office design and relocation process.

Ms. Saffer is a graduate of the University of Maryland and received her Master's at Johns Hopkins University.  She resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Thomas H. Belote, Esq.
Mr. Belote is a partner at Belote & Belote, a law firm specializing in immigration and consular law. Prior to joining Belote & Belote, he participated in the United States Attorney General Law Honors Program and served as Special Assistant to the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Chief of the Immigration and Visa Unit, and Special Attorney to the Associate Attorney General of the United States with responsibilities for anti-terrorist and war crimes prosecutions.

Mr. Belote is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice award for Exceptional Performance and a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service award for Outstanding Performance.  He has a BA from Clark University and a JD with honors and law review from the University of Connecticut.  Mr. Belote resides in Ridgefield, Connecticut. 

Kenneth Blackman
Mr. Blackman is a corporate partner resident in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP.  He joined the firm in 1966 and became a partner in 1973. Mr. Blackman has a wide-ranging practice that includes representing domestic and international clients in a variety of corporate transactions.  His areas of expertise include the representation of Canadian companies in connection with cross-border financing, as well as merger and acquisition transactions and other matters involving the application of U.S. securities laws to foreign issuers. 

Mr. Blackman received his LLB, cum laude, from Columbia University Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and his MBA from Columbia Business School.  He received his AB, magna cum laude, from Brown University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  Mr. Blackman resides and is barred in New York.

Edward Grode

Mr. Grode has thirty-one years of experience as an inner-city teacher, elementary school principal (and founder of the first "geography-based theme school” in the United States), middle school assistant principal, and high school principal.  He served as Director of the Institute for Geography Education at Mercyhurst College for five years and was founder and editor of The Geography Teacher Magazine with subscribers in forty-three countries. An active community member, Mr. Grode is President of the Notre Dame Alumni Club and a member of the Erie Blood Bank and the Times Publishing Company.  He also serves on the School Board of the Fairview School District and previously served as President of the Board of the International Institute of Erie.

Mr. Grode has visited the Kakuma Refugee Camp on the Kenyan-Sudanese border twice in the past year.  Mr. Grode received a BA from Gannon University, MA from the University of Notre Dame, and M.Ed. from Edinboro University.  He was a Fulbright Scholar in the United Kingdom from 1978-79.  Mr. Belote resides in Fairview, Pennsylvania.

Ken Leung
Perhaps best known for his roles on LOST and The Sopranos, Mr. Leung has been an advocate for refugees since 2010, when he traveled with USCRI's Global Ambassador, Jeff Fahey, and other interested advocates to Morocco and Western Sahara. There, they learned about the warehousing of Sahrawi refugees, who remain imprisoned in remote desert camps in Algeria and have been denied their basic rights and prevented from returning home for more than three decades. Since then, Mr. Leung has joined USCRI on fact-finding trips to Ethiopia, Ecuador, and Thailand. A lifelong New Yorker, his parents immigrated to the United States from southern China.

John Monahan
Mr. Monahan has joined Georgetown University as advisor to President John J.DeGioia. Until April he was the U.S. Department of State’s special adviser for global health partnerships. He works closely with organizations in the global health sphere and, in particular, coordinates engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Lily O’Boyle
Mrs. O’Boyle is President of Acacia Book Company, a boutique publishing company in Connecticut.  Originally from the Philippines, where she distinguished herself as an actress, she is the author of numerous books on the Philippines including the most recent Tropical Gardens of the Philippines.  She is a SEATO scholar and a recipient of the John D. Rockefeller 111 Fund grant for Drama.  Mrs. O'Boyle has served on the boards of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and the US Committee for UNICEF.  She presently serves on the boards of the Children's Orchestra Society of New York, The Center for Art and Thought, and the UNESCO Philippine International Theater Institute.  She is a graduate of St. Paul College of Manila and received her Master's in Drama from New York University.  She currently resides in Connecticut. 

Donna Scarlatelli
Ms. Scarlatelli is an attorney admitted to practice immigration law anywhere in the U.S. and licensed by the Florida Bar Association of the State of Florida.  Donna earned her Juris Doctor Law degree cum laude from the University of Miami, School of Law.  Ms. Scarlatelli also holds a Master's degree in International Administration from the Experiment in International Living's School for International Training, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors from Marlboro College in Vermont.

Donna Scarlatelli began her career in the immigration field with the U.S. Refugee Program in Singapore and Indonesia.  She has been involved in immigration services since 1979 and has successfully helped thousands of people from all over the world come to live and work in the United States.  She is founder and publisher of Coming to America Magazine.  Her articles appear in various publications around the world. Donna is a frequent lecturer and guest speaker at seminars, professional association meetings, sponsored events and trade shows both in the U.S. and in Europe.  In addition to serving as a member of the Board of Directors at USCRI, she is a member in good standing of the Florida Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

William Shuey
William (Bill) Shuey served for 24 years as Executive Director of the International Institute of Rhode Island (IIRI)—a USCRI partner agency. Before retiring in December 2012, he orchestrated a merger of IIRI with Dorcas Place Adult Literacy Center, now known as Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island. Mr. Shuey has served on numerous boards and task forces at the local, state, and national levels and is the founder of the International Charter School, a dual language immersion K-5 elementary school in Pawtucket, RI. He has 30 years of experience working with immigrants and refugees. Over the years he has made several site visits to refugee camps in Thailand, Eritrea, Hong Kong, and Ethiopia and has also traveled to/lived in several countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. 

Mr. Shuey was Executive Director of Project Persona and oversaw its transition to the International Institute in 1984. In 2000, he became an inaugural fellow of the Rhode Island Foundation Non-Profit Fellowship program. He received an MA in Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; an AB in Literature from Claremont McKenna College; and completed graduate work in English literature at New York University. He taught English as a Second Language both while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey and back in Providence, RI. Mr. Shuey speaks, reads, and writes Spanish and is comfortable reading and speaking French and German, as well as some Turkish. Mr. Shuey currently resides in Providence, RI and West Yarmouth, MA with his wife.

Sam Udani
Since 1999, Mr. Udani has served as publisher at ILW.COM, a website with over 25,000 pages of information on immigration law that receives 150,000 unique visitors per month.  Mr. Udani pioneered the regular use of telephone seminars in immigration law and serves as Master of Ceremonies for three such seminars each month.  He regularly speaks and writes on labor certification matters for immigration lawyers.  Mr. Udani previously co-founded Adnet Advertising Agency in New York, NY.  He currently resides in New York. 

James Hathaway
Emeritus, Counsel on International Protection
James C. Hathaway, the James E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law and Director of the Program in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan since 1998, is a leading authority on international refugee law whose work is regularly cited by the most senior courts of the common law world.  He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Refugee Law at the University of Amsterdam, Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne, Senior Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Programme, and President of the Cuenca Colloquium on International Refugee Law. 

From 2008 until 2010 Hathaway was on leave from the University of Michigan to serve as the Dean of Law and William Hearn Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne, where he established Australia’s first all-graduate legal education program.  He previously held positions as Professor of Law and Associate Dean of the Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada (1984-1998), Counsel on Special Legal Assistance for the Disadvantaged to the Government of Canada (1983-1984), and Professeur adjoint de droit at the Université de Moncton, Canada (1980-1983).   He has been appointed a visiting professor at the American University in Cairo, and at the Universities of California, Macerata, Tokyo, and Toronto. 

Hathaway’s publications include more than seventy journal articles, a leading treatise on the refugee definition (The Law of Refugee Status, 1991, republished in both Japanese and Russian), an interdisciplinary study of models for refugee law reform (Reconceiving International Refugee Law, 1997) and, most recently, The Rights of Refugees under International Law (2005) – the first comprehensive analysis of the human rights of refugees set by the UN Refugee Convention.  He is Founding Patron and Honorary Director of Asylum Access, a non-profit organization committed to delivering innovative legal aid to refugees in the global South.  Hathaway also sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Refugee Studies and the Immigration and Nationality Law Reports and directs the Refugee Caselaw Site (, a website that collects, indexes, and publishes leading judgments on refugee law.  Professor Hathaway regularly advises and provides training on refugee law to academic, non-governmental, and official audiences around the world.

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