Board of Directors
A refugee from Iraq, psychiatrist Dr. Baher Butti works as a cultural counselor in mental health. He also works as a case manager for Lutheran Community Services Northwest, is a member of the board of Directors of the Institute for Progressive Spirituality, and is Secretary General for the newly founded Iraqi Society of Oregon.
Lisa Reed Guarnero
Board Vice President
Lisa Reed Guarnero came to the United States at 20 months old as a Korean adoptee, raised in a Chinese home in Portland, Oregon. Lisa, a graduate of CIO’s 2008 PILOT Program, is connected to many diverse communities, and is passionate about social justice and healing communities.
Cassie Cohen has a background in the education and nonprofit fields. She completed her Masters of Social Work at Portland State University with a focus in community-based practice. Her interests in social justice and partnering with underrepresented populations led her to be appointed to the new citywide Public Involvement Advisory Council that will help strengthen and institutionalize the City’s commitment to public involvement. Cassie is the Co-Director of Groundwork Portland, a network of organizations and individuals focused on the principles of environmental justice.
Anya Valsamakis joined the CIO Board in July of 2007. She has had the professional good fortune to often work for immigrants and refugees-developing and delivering services, with special focus on women and youth. She is active in the Slavic community, most recently with the Slavic Coalition of Oregon.
Salome is an Angolan/American. Her family immigrated here in the 90′s. Salome grew up in Portland, OR. She attends Willamette University. Salome has had various jobs in the legislature and has also worked in the Elections Division for the Secretary of State. She works in civic engagement and education in many places. Salome speaks four languages and learning her fifth. She joined the board this September, 2012. Salome graduated PILOT in May of 2012. Salome leads the Willamette University Student Center for Equity and Empowerment.
Ben Lischner is an IT professional and founder of Terserah Consulting. Ben established Terserah upon returning from Indonesia, where he volunteered with Peace Brigades International, a non-governmental organization that protects human rights and promotes nonviolent transformation of conflicts.
Ann Romer came to Portland a decade ago after working two years in the Philippines as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Believing in patience and humility as personal strengths, Ann has been an enthusiastic ally of CIO since its founding. Formerly a biomedical researcher and currently an office manager for the fundraising department at Portland State University, Ann holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from PSU and is deeply interested in how people relate to and collaborate with each other. Ann is also a very proud mother of a rambunctious 3-year old daughter.
A refugee from Bhutan, Som Subedi is the founder of the Bhutanese Community Organization, which builds capacity in this newly arrived population. He also works as a case manager for new refugees.