Experts

HealTorture draws experts from across the country and around the world to speak and write on topics in the field of torture rehabilitation. Click on an expert's name to learn more about them and check out their presentations and/or articles.

Josepha Ntakirutimana

Josepha Ntakirutimana is a Community Health Promoter at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Tucson.  A native of Rwanda, Josepha came to the U.S. as a refugee in 2013 and was resettled in Tucson.  Josepha was a nurse in Rwanda for 21 years.  After the 1994 genocide, she and her husband and four children were displaced within Rwanda.  Her husband was falsely accused for participating in the genocide and placed in prison for nine years.  Upon his release in 2004, the family fled to Malawi and spent the next nine years living in refugee camps.

Favour Olumofin

Favour Olumofin is the Lead Case Manager for the Survivor of Torture Program at the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN). She has eight years of experience providing comprehensive, client-focused services designed to educate and empower individuals and families from culturally diverse populations. She received her BA in Social Development Studies and Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. 
 

Paul Orieny, PhD, LMFT

Dr. Paul Orieny, PhD, LMFT, works as an International Services Clinical Advisor at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) where he is responsible for supervising field expatriate psychotherapists, and providing clinical oversight to CVT’s international clinical programs operations in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda. He spent over five years working full time as a CVT psychotherapist, where he worked in individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy formats with clients from a wide range of cultural and national backgrounds.

Nancy Pearson

Ms. Pearson received her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Sociology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her Master of Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a member of the New Tactics in Human Rights team from 2003 to the present, serving as the Project Manager from 2006 through 2011, and the New Tactics Training Manager since 2012. Ms. Pearson has provided extensive trainings – face-to-face as well as virtual online courses – using the New Tactics Strategic Effectiveness Method to strengthen and build the strategic and tactical

Lauren Pesso

Lauren Pesso, LMSW, MPA, is the Program Director of the Human Rights Clinic (HRC) at HealthRight International, where she is responsible for overseeing the HRC’s work providing forensic and case management services to immigrants fleeing torture and other severe human rights abuses. Lauren has worked for over a decade to address the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad.

Marianne Philbin

Marianne Philbin is executive director of Pierce Family Foundation and a consultant to foundations and nonprofit organizations, specializing in planning, evaluation and organizational development. She has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and is a frequent trainer on nonprofit management issues. Prior to establishing her consulting practice, she was Development Director for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge; Executive Director of The Chicago Foundation for Women; and Executive Director of The Peace Museum.

Jacqui Pilch

Ms. Pilch is the MENA Program Officer in the Office of Admissions, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State, where she is responsible for oversight of refugee resettlement processing throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Jacqui joined the federal government in 2012 as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of Homeland Security’s Refugee Affairs Division. With DHS, she spent over three years as a Refugee Officer conducting adjudication interviews overseas, primarily in the Middle East.

Laura Pizer Gueron

Laura Pizer Gueron has been a Physical Therapist since 1983 after graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She obtained a Master's degree in public health education from the University of Minnesota in 1990.  Laura began providing PT as a volunteer at the Center for Victims of Torture in 1992, and has treated clients at CVT for 21 years. Laura has worked as a PT trainer in Thai villages and in the Ban Vinai refugee camp, and provided PT services to patients in Israel, India, and Rosebud reservation in South Dakota.

Katherine Porterfield, Ph.D.

Staff Psychologist

Kate Porterfield received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in child and family treatment. She received the Power Fellowship at the University of Michigan to focus her clinical and research training on the needs of children who have suffered loss, either through death, divorce, or other trauma. Dr. Porterfield was a postdoctoral fellow at the NYU Child Study Center. In her work at Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture since 1999, Dr.

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