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Meet our Policy and Advocacy team

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The International Rescue Committee is a global humanitarian aid organization that offers emergency aid and long-term assistance to people in crisis in over 40 countries and resettles refugees in 28 U.S. cities. The IRC’s advocacy leverages our work on the ground and our expert knowledge informed by research and practice to ensure refugees and other displaced people have what they need not only to survive, but to rebuild and thrive in new communities.

To find out how you can join our advocacy efforts, visit our Take action page. You can contact our team at advocacy [at] rescue.org.

Nazanin Ash, Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy

Nazanin Ash oversees the IRC’s policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to this role, she was a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, where she focused on aid effectiveness and political and economic reform in the Middle East. Previously, she served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, leading the U.S. government’s Middle East Partnership Initiative. Her U.S. government experience also includes serving as a member of the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff, as chief of staff to the first director of foreign assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as a White House fellow. She holds an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a BA in political science from Bryn Mawr College.

Amanda Catanzano, Senior Director for International Programs Policy and Advocacy

Amanda Catanzano focuses on the IRC’s country-level operational barriers and the challenges faced by the people we seek to assist. She comes to the IRC from a career in the U.S. government, most recently as the director for strategic planning at the National Security Council. Prior to the National Security Council, Amanda was a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff and special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, covering South and Central Asia with a focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. She has served in leadership roles in the private sector including at Booz Allen. Amanda holds an MA in American Foreign Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Sarah Charles, Senior Director for Humanitarian Aid Policy and Advocacy

Sarah Charles leads efforts to drive reform in the humanitarian aid system and promote policies to improve the lives of refugees and other conflict-affected persons. Sarah previously spent four years on the National Security Council staff at the White House, first as the Director for Humanitarian Policy and then as the Director and Acting Senior Director for Strategic Planning. Sarah coordinated the White House response to the global refugee and migration crisis including the 2016 Leaders Summit on Refugees. She coordinated the Ebola response in West Africa in addition to the U.S. government response to complex emergencies in Syria, Iraq, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and elsewhere. Before joining the NSC, Sarah worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development and with the IRC in field posts throughout East Africa and Central Asia. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Geography from Dartmouth College and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.