We are proud to announce Rona Buchalter has been named the new Director of Refugee Programming and Planning.
Rona has developed and led several education-related programs in Philadelphia over the past 20 years. Most recently, she led the team founding Independence Charter School West in Southwest Philadelphia, a public K-8 school focused on global citizenship and language acquisition. Previously, she was the Founding Director of the Fellowships Office at Drexel University, where she created a program that worked with students to access, understand, and apply for nationally-competitive programs like Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater, and NSF grants, and received the President's Award in recognition of the impact of the program on the university. She has been a board member at Independence Charter School, Project Flow (a collaboration between the city's public and private schools, funded by EE Ford), and is currently a founding board member at the JMB Award, a small award for Philadelphia high school "girls with grit." Earlier in her career, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Swarthmore College and, even earlier, worked in various media production roles.
Rona received her Master's and PhD from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on urban studies, and a Bachelor's in Communication Studies and Political Science from Northwestern University in Chicago.
She recently learned that her great-grandfather was resettled in the US from Odessa with the help of HIAS, giving extra resonance to her work with us.
Please join us in welcoming Rona to the Refugee Team. We're excited to have her!