Five years ago, the IRC established a gender action plan to create an environment where women are safe and respected. The plan comes from the belief that the IRC must be a gender equitable organization to deliver gender equitable programs in the communities it serves. Led by executive director Preethi Nampoothiri, the IRC in Silver Spring sets the bar for empowering female leaders.  

Tin Tin Oo, who has spent 16 years with the IRC, described the impact of female leadership as “leveraging diverse perspectives to drive better decision making.” The IRC in Silver Spring exemplifies that approach, with women holding eighty percent of leadership roles.  

The IRC in Silver Spring puts gender equity at the center of its services to refugees. Led by Kelsey Chippeaux, the gender equity committee evaluates IRC programs to ensure all refugees have equal access to our services, regardless of gender. This focus on equal access led the IRC to divide financial assistance into separate bank accounts for male and female heads of household and to provide each adult with their own phone. These tools provide female refugees the resources and tools to advocate for themselves.  

Since she arrived in the U.S. as a refugee herself, Rachel Mogga has helped hundreds of refugees become U.S. citizens and reunite with their families. “Picturing where I came from and to see myself where I am today means the whole world to me. I feel proud of the many [24!] years I have dedicated to work for the IRC serving humanity.”  

The IRC in Silver Spring is an environment where women can receive assistance, serve others, and in many cases, lead. The IRC is proud of the strong, caring, and resilient women who represent our organization and ensure the voices of all women and girls are heard.