Our Team

Governance Structure

Our ultimate goal for Havenly is to cultivate individual and collective leadership among refugee and immigrant women and create opportunities for them to transform their communities. We recognize this with how we distribute power within our own organization. That is why we've created a structure for our organization that puts decision making power and leadership positions in the hands of women from the community we serve. Primarily, our fellows.

Havenly is a member-based organization. Members are alumni of the fellowship that have elected to take on a leadership role in the organization, and have the power to vote the chief staff and Board Members in and out of the organization.

Havenly's staff is directed by three co-directors, not one. They make strategic decisions together and oversee different aspects of the organization.

Havenly is governed by a Board of Directors and four committees, who together advise and supervise the staff.

In three years, we aim for 51% of all committee member seats to be filled by refugee and immigrant women from low-income backgrounds, so that the organization is meaningfully directed by people who come from the community that Havenly was created for.


K.a Joben

Nieda Abbas

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Operations

Nieda is from Iraq, Baghdad, and an entrepreneur by nature. In Baghdad, she owned three restaurants with a degree in business management. In 2005, Nieda was displaced to Syria, then to Turkey, and then resettled to New Haven in 2014. She is a chef with a passion to share culture, health, and love through food. Nieda was an entrepreneur fellow with Collab and she co-founded Havenly in 2018.
Richard Bauer

Camila GĂĽiza-Chavez

Co-Executive Director, Mission

Camila majored in Ethnicity, Race and Migration at Yale. She gained a passion for organizing with others against injustice by watching the work of her parents and learning from the rich political history of her home, the Bay Area. In New Haven she spent years working with organizers at the Semilla Collective, a community that fights for immigrant justice. She plans to dedicate herself to organizing for many years to come.  
Marin Julia

Caterina Passoni

Co-Executive Director, Organizational Growth and Learning

Caterina is from Trieste, Italy, and has worked in refugee resettlement and researched the experience of Muslim female refugees in the US and Europe. She speaks Arabic, French and Spanish and has worked for Human Rights Watch Amman and in refugee education in Morocco. Caterina was an entrepreneur fellow with Collab and the Tsai Center for Innovation at Yale. She co-founded Havenly in 2018 and is currently pursuing her graduate studies in the United Kingdom.
Marin Julia

Nusaibah Shatta

Fellowship Director

Nusaibah is originally from Sudan and holds a bachelor's degree in Science. Nusaibah worked as an Arabic interpreter since 2016 at hospitals and public service settings, where she became passionate about working with refugees and immigrants, especially women. She also volunteered with IRIS since 2016 as an Arabic interpreter. In Sudan, she volunteered to help women in crisis alongside various nonprofit organizations.  
Marin Julia

Dina Tareq

Sales Director

Dina is originally from Baghdad, Iraq, and came to the U.S. as a refugee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, a field of study that called to her due to the health disparities faced by many migrant women that live in her community. She is fluent in Arabic and Turkish, having previously worked directly with newly-admitted refugees as an interpreter at several resettlement agencies like IRIS. She has helped refugee women in knowing their rights and the different services afforded to them as residents.

Pamela Javran

Marketing Specialist

Pamela is passionate about social change and community empowerment for marginalized communities. She recently graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Originally from Indonesia, she moved to the US by herself at 16 to pursue her education. Having recognized the struggles refugees and immigrants face in migrating to the US and building a life here, Pamela dedicated herself to helping refugee and immigrant women by joining Havenly. 

Nuha Ibrahim

Employment Specialist

My name is Nuha, and I am pleased to join the Havenly team! I’m here at Havenly because my purpose in life is to help. I learned to help others and to be a caretaker being the oldest of 6 siblings, and also now being the mother of three sons. Right now, I am studying Social and Criminal Justice at Gateway Community College, and I will soon study at SCSU. My dream is to be able to help all people in the world to live lives of dignity with full rights.

Board of Directors

Victor Ko

Samra Ali


Samra is a lifelong student, educator, and non-profit management professional. She began her formal career in a MomPreneur venture that grew to be a multi-brand year-round design house. Samra grew one of the most Islamic private schools in North Texas, and now works at the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation. Samra remains focused on community driven and centered projects, incorporating her faith, arts, and education backgrounds.
Richard Bauer

Sandra Trigueros


Sandra graduated from Cohort 4 and founded La Cocina de Sandra to continue building community through her delicious Guatemalan food. Sandra is a member of Semilla Collective and involved in organizing for undocumented rights through HuskyCT. She also serves on our small business and cooperative development committee. She has taken three accelerators, including Collab, and is specifically knowledgeable about cooperative business development. Main language: Spanish
Richard Bauer

Anabel Hernandez


Ana graduated from Cohort 5 and co-founded Tortilleria Semilla, a cooperative food business in New Haven. She is passionate about cooperative decision making, community development, and has been the head of our small business committee. Ana is originally from Tamaulipas, Mexico, and on the board of Red Sin Fronteras, a holistic healing support network for women across Connecticut and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Our director, Kobra Rahoma

Kobra Rohoma


Kobra, originally from Sudan, graduated from Cohort 3 and has served on our fellowship committee, in addition to being an active member of our daycare committee this year. She is one of the founding members of the Sisters in Diaspora and co-leaders of our housing campaign. She has a background in accounting and is especially passionate about Havenly’s community organizing efforts. Main language: Arabic
Richard Bauer

Maria Torres


Maria graduated from Cohort 3 and served as our kitchen manager for one year before opening her own business, Venezia Pizza. She is a graduate of Collab and CitySeed’s food business accelerator and especially brilliant in thinking through kitchen management and sales development. She also served on our alumni visioning committee this summer.
Richard Bauer

Hala Ghali


Hala graduated from our first cohort in 2019 and has since then been engaged in our housing campaign, visioning committee, and recruiting new participants every year. As our first participant who found a job, she has been key in making the University of New Haven dining hall a space that now employs 7 of our graduates. Hala is especially passionate about employment ecosystems and community organizing. She is a founding member of the Sisters in Diaspora and co-led our housing campaign. Main language: Arabic
Richard Bauer

Denisse Cruz-Contreras


Denisse is an indigenous woman from Oaxaca, Mexico. She graduated from Cohort 5 and has since been heading our alumni engagement committee, speaking at graduation about engagement opportunities and creating materials to make sure alumni come to events. She also teaches a personal development and violence awareness workshop during the fellowship. She has a Ba in Psychology and a Masters in Anthropology, with a focus on women survivors of violence. She is the founder of Life Coaching Services as well as of Red Sin Fronteras, a non-profit network of support for indigenous survivors of violence across Connecticut and Oaxaca, Mexico. Main language: Spanish
Richard Bauer

Jonix Owino


Jonix Owino, originally from Kenya, is a professor of psychology at Sacred Heart University. Jonix’s research focuses on health among refugees in the United States, and specifically on health and wellness among aging refugees. Jonix worked with Havenly as a Swahili interpreter, and is part of the analysis research team for a project focused on how to analyze Havenly’s impact on Havenly and choice for our participants. Jonix also conducts trauma and psychology workshops for Havenly fellows and staff. Jonix brings experience in trauma-informed work; refugee wellness and integration; research and program evaluation; interpretation. Speaks Swahili, English
Marin Julia

Stacy Downer


Stacy is a community activist, entrepreneur, and counselor passionate about helping people, and especially women, build financial power and wealth. She works as a Financial Counselor at the Connecticut Association for Human Services and as a Research Technician at the Yale School of Medicine. Stacy is currently doing a Masters in Leadership at Albertus Magnus, and building Bathe in Blessings, a personal care business dedicated to creating nontoxic health products for self-care and wellness.
Richard Bauer

Siham Osman


Siham graduated from cohort 2 and is now a full-time kitchen staff member at the university of New Haven Sodexo Dining Services. Siham was also a member of the Sisters in Diaspora and key in developing our housing campaign. She is a leader in her Sudanese community here in New Haven.
Richard Bauer

Ruth Kioni


Ruth graduated from Cohort 6 and is now studying for a Childcare Development Associates Degree at Gateway Community College with the support of CERCLE, a childcare training program. She’s been an active member of our daycare committee as well as our visioning committee, and is a brilliant mind with ideas for our business model, programming, and most of all a commitment to Havenly growing with and for its community. Ruth is from Angola. Main language: Portuguese, speaks Spanish
Marin Julia

Jad Maayah


Jad is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied Economics. Originally from Jordan, Jad originally started working with refugees in high school, volunteering with displaced people from Syria and Iraq coming to Amman. His passions lie in immigration reform and he hopes to become a public and legal advocate for refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants in the US. He previously served on the Havenly staff as Marketing Director and is now completing his MPP at Georgetown University.

Safa Adam


Safa graduated from Cohort 3 in 2021. She is a mother on a mission to support other mothers through prenatal care and childcare. In Sudan, she ran a center providing services and childcare to mothers and their babies. She studied early childhood development and prenatal care. She is now working at EBJ childcare, and hopes to open her own center one day. Main language: Arabic

Nour Hussari


Nour Hussari is a Syrian-American medical student who lives in California, and was an instrumental volunteer in the early days of Havenly’s development. He created the first curriculum for the fellowship and taught classes for the first cohort. Nour is passionate about immigrants receiving the same care and rights as others. He has experience in program development; program research; teaching the fellowship; grant research and writing. Main language: English and Arabic

Chloe Kidder

Yale SOM Board Fellow

Chloe is an MBA candidate with experience working in both economic consulting and non-profits. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree Magna Cum Laude from Middlebury College with a double major in Economics and Spanish.