Denise Cumbee Long
Executive Director

Denise began serving as Executive Director of International House in November of 2010. She was formerly the Executive Director of NC LEAF, a statewide loan repayment assistance program for public interest attorneys, and SAFE SPACE, a four-county domestic violence program. She has also worked with Latino immigrants and farm workers in her prior role as Program Associate with the NC Council of Churches. Denise is a United Church of Christ minister and has been an interim pastor at congregations in Chapel Hill and Elon, NC and Lorain, Ohio. She holds a BA from Wake Forest University, a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Email Denise at



Anne Crotty
Immigration Attorney

Anne has led International House's Immigration Law Clinic since 2005, and each year helps over 250 low-income immigrants with their family reunification and naturalization needs. Anne is a member of the North Carolina Bar and has experience in legal services in Pennsylvania and private practice in North Carolina. Before International House, Anne was on the faculty of Independence High School and has worked as a freelance writer. Anne holds a bachelor's and a law degree from the University of North Carolina. She also has a master's degree in teaching.
Email Anne at


Kathy Brennan
Immigration Attorney

Kathy joined International House in 2011 as an attorney with The Immigration Law Clinic. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar. Prior to International House, Kathy was a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem and worked in Insurance Defense Litigation. She has a BA from Mary Washington College in Virginia and a JD from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Email Kathy at




Jelena Giric-Held
Immigration Clinic Director

Jelena first came to International House as a volunteer in 2004. In 2006 she joined the staff as operations manager and immigration paralegal. In 2014,she became our Immigration Clinic Director. She holds BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) accreditation which means she can represent clients in much the same way an attorney can. Email Jelena at





Jackie Berry
Immigration Paralegal

Jackie first came to the International House as a volunteer to help with the Immigrant Advocacy Project, now known as The Ginter Immigration Law Clinic, when the program started in 2002 under the direction of David Stewart. She volunteered for this project from 2002 to 2004. During the summer of 2005, Jackie came back to work for this program as a co-op student to meet a requirement to graduate as a Paralegal from CPCC. She just joined the International House as a full -time Immigration Paralegal. Jackie holds a JD in Colombia, South America and a Paralegal degree in the United States. She holds a full BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) accreditation which means she can represent clients in much the same way an attorney can before the USCIS and before the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Jackie was granted full accreditation on September 30, 2014.  She also has over 8 years of experience as an interpreter and translator. Email Jackie at


Rusty Reynolds
Associate Director

Rusty has been with International House since February 2009 and she brings experience and expertise in project management, marketing, team building, process development and training. Her professional experience includes management positions with Bank of America, Belk Stores Services and Cadmus Communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration/accounting, from Western Carolina University, and a Master of Project Management, also from WCU. Email Rusty at



Megan Mavity
Director of Education 

Megan Mavity is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but is happy to call Charlotte, North Carolina her new home. She is a graduate of Davidson College with a bachelor's degree in Hispanic Studies, and a minor in Educational Studies. Megan began her International House journey in the summer of 2013, first as a tutor for the Youth English Tutoring Program (YETP), and later as Project Manager for YETP 2014. These experiences of more hands-on ESL experience combined with her experience researching K-3 literacy rates for The Belk Foundation ignited Megan’s passion for ESL education and literacy development. She has fallen in love with International House’s mission and community and is so happy to support the area’s immigrant community in her role as Director of Education. . Email Megan at


Caroline Cate
Marketing & Communications Director

Caroline joined the International House staff in early 2015. An alumna of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she also earned a master’s in technical communication from NC State University and a certificate in non-profit management from Duke University. She studied at lycée in Evian, France, as a high school junior and enjoys traveling to see cultural performances, explore nature, hear languages and sample world cuisine. Caroline is part of a care team at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church (Raleigh) that befriended and helped to settle an immigrant family from Vietnam. She volunteers as a tutor for beginner reader adults at the Literacy Council of Union County. Email Caroline at


Johnelle M. Causwell
Citizen Diplomacy Program Director

Johnelle has been working with International House since 2012. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, she graduated from Warren Wilson College with a major in Economics and a minor in Political Science. After almost a decade in advertising, Johnelle transitioned her career as an agency Creative Director to her other passion, International Relations. She currently works on the local level to administer the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program along with other international professional and youth exchange programs. She is the 2013 recipient of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Newcomer of the Year Award will serve on the 2014/2015 National Committee for Global Ties (formerly the National Council for International Visitors).
Email Johnelle at




Alma Hernandez
Client Services Coordinator

Prior to arriving in Charlotte, Alma worked for a decade in Education, teaching Bilingual/ESL elementary K-5; often leading after-school programs for students and parents. Since her arrival in Charlotte, she has been a volunteer with Action NC, Women Voting our Values, and she is VP of the National Organization of Women of Charlotte. Working at the International House in this way allows her to work with and serve the community. Born of parents who immigrated here from Mexico, Alma understands the struggle of being in a new country. Thanks to local community support, ESL and citizenship classes were available to her family. Alma believes in giving back. Email Alma at



  Carole Ward
Citizen Diplomacy Program Associate

Carole began as a volunteer at International House last year before she was hired as Citizen Diplomacy Program Associate. In addition to her Bachelor's degree, she obtained a Masters in Social Work from Tulane University. She is currently working towards a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Winthrop University. Carole is passionate about traveling. She has lived in Japan, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Turkey, India, Ireland, England, Germany, Czech Republic and the Bahamas.

Email Carole at




Anne Harber
Development Director

Anne joined International House in the fall of 2014 as a grant writer, expanding her role to Development Coordinator soon after. She has been an active elementary and middle school volunteer and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Charlotte Secondary School. Her professional experience includes corporate proposal writing and marketing. She has a bachelor’s degree in English/Communications from Gannon University in Erie, PA.

 Email Anne at



 Tanja Ribar Pauler, AmeriCorps ACCESS Volunteer Coordinator

Tanja was introduced to the International House through English Conversation hour in 2009, where she worked on her English in a fun and relaxed atmosphere and made her first friends in Charlotte upon moving here from Belgrade, Serbia. This first experience with International House made a lasting impression and left her with desire to come back. Since the beginning of 2014 Tanja has been volunteering with International House in the Citizenship Tutoring Program and enjoys helping new Charlotteans make Charlotte their home. Tanja has a master’s degree in History from University of Belgrade and is working towards the post-bac Nonprofit Management Certificate degree at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She is also starting an internship position as a Development Associate with Latin American Coalition. 

Email Tanja at


 Amanda Tesh, AmeriCorps ACCESS ESL Education Coordinator

• Educational Background: BA from UNC-Asheville in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies; minor in Africana Studies.
• Languages Spoken: English and Spanish—also learning Portuguese
• Countries Visited: France, Mexico, Honduras, Ghana
• Why I teach with International House: . I am an AmeriCorps volunteer for International House because I believe that education is an important part of the successful integration of immigrants and refugees into their new communities. I also have a passion for languages—I am fluent in Spanish, and am now working on learning some Portuguese as well! I hope that my experience with the International House as an ESL Education Coordinator will provide me with many opportunities to grow in my personal and professional relationships. I also hope to continue working with immigrant/refugee populations throughout my career.

Email Amanda at

Monique Howell
Rising Readers Project Manager

Monique began her work with International House as a Rising Readers tutor in the summer of 2013. She returned the next year as the Project Manager for the program and is now back in that same role for 2015. A graduate of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Monique holds a bachelor’s degree in English and has a strong background in Secondary Education. She hopes to use her educational background to continue to help students grow to reach their full academic potential.

Plans for RIsing Readers in Summer 2015 are posted here. Email Monique at