Our Team

The Columbia Human Rights Initiative Asylum Clinic (CHRIA) is run by a team of medical directors and co-directors, as well as case managers and coordinators dedicated to providing asylum seekers with the tools, resources, and support they need. We work with physicians and social workers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), who offer specialized evaluations to asylum seekers. CUIMC is a leader in patient care, and the Asylum Clinic works with experienced clinicians in internal medicine, family medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and pediatrics.

  • Michael Devlin, MD

    • Medical Director

    Michael Devlin is the Human Rights Initiative’s medical director for psychiatry and performs psychological evaluations for clients seeking asylum. He is a professor of psychiatry at CUIMC and a staff member at the Eating Disorders Research Unit at New York State Psychiatric Institute. He also teaches medical students in foundations of clinical medicine, including humanism, communication, and patient-provider relationship, and he is active in inter-professional education. Favorite activities outside of medicine include taking advantage of NYC’s music and theater offerings, reading, and learning to play the banjo. 

    Michael Devlin, MD
  • Prantik Saha, MD, MPH

    • Medical Director

    Pran Saha is the Human Rights Initiative’s medical director for medicine and pediatrics and performs medical and psychological evaluations for clients seeking asylum. He is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics. He spends 50 percent of his time in a busy primary care practice in the upper west side of Manhattan and 50 percent of his time as a medical educator. Besides precepting students in Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) and directing the Health Promotion Block in FCM–II, his focus is developing a motivational interviewing curriculum at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). In his free time, he loves cooking in his tiny NYC kitchen and nurturing his recently discovered love of creative writing. 

    Prantik Saha, MD, MPH
  • Anne Berhe

    • Clinic Co-Director

    Anne grew up in Los Angeles, California, and graduated from Pomona College in 2020 with a degree in molecular biology. Following graduation, she spent two years at the NIH contributing to research on vaccine development for malaria. She also spent time supporting Eritrean asylum-seekers and refugees through One Day Seyoum and is eager to serve people from across the globe through her role in CHRIA. In her free time, she enjoys working as a fitness instructor, trying new coffee shops, and exploring New York.

    Anne Berhe
  • Alexander Sanjurjo

    • Clinic Co-Director

    Alexander (Alex) grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from the University of Miami in 2022 with a degree in Neuroscience and minors in Health Policy and Management and Entrepreneurship. Having come from a family of Cuban refugees that escaped political persecution from the Cuban authoritarian regime, Alex hopes that through CHRIA he can help provide others escaping persecution with the same opportunities given to his own family in the past. In college, he served as co-director of Kesem at the University of Miami, an organization that supports children affected by a parent’s cancer and provides them with a free overnight summer camp, for two years. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic he assisted his community through contact tracing and vaccine advocacy work. He was also a part of a home health and community care non-profit called United HomeCare that provides free home health services for seniors and disabled individuals in the South Florida community. In his spare time, Alex enjoys rooting for his favorite Miami sports teams, trying new recipes, and hiking.

    Alexander Sanjurjo
  • Kathleen Gu

    • Outreach & Communications Coordinator

    Kathy is from Southeast Michigan and graduated in 2022 from the University of Michigan, where she majored in Neuroscience and minored in Business Administration. In college, she served as the Public Relations Director for a volunteer organization that provided tutoring and mentorship for pediatric patients and to young students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Working as an EMT throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and leading a bioethics student organization have additionally deepened her interests in working with and advocating for vulnerable populations at the intersection of medicine with law and policy. She is excited to apply her interests and experiences toward supporting refugees and asylum seekers as CHRIA's Outreach and Communications Coordinator. Kathy also loves listening to all sorts of music, reading memoirs and mysteries, and exploring new places and activities!

    Kathleen Gu
  • Ryan Leone

    • Programming Coordinator

    Ryan grew up on Long Island and graduated from the Life Sciences and Management Dual-Degree Program at Penn in 2019. He subsequently earned an MSc in War and Psychiatry at King’s College London as a Thouron Scholar and concurrently worked with the former Surgeon General of the British Military. Ryan then served as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Defense and Department of State, working on healthcare policy and operations issues, before leaving to complete U.S. Army officer training and start medical school. Outside the classroom, Ryan likes to run, lift, travel, and mosh at pop-punk concerts. He is excited to apply his background in policy to support refugees and asylees as a Programming Co-Coordinator for CHRIA!

    Ryan Leone
  • Ashwin Viswanathan

    • Programming Coordinator

    Ashwin was born in New York and grew up on Long Island. He graduated from Cornell University where he studied Neurobiology and Political Science. He spent time in New York City conducting Neuroscience research prior to attending medical school and is now part of the MD-PhD program at VP&S. His professional goals include a career in academic medicine, focusing on research into novel therapies for neurological disorders. He can otherwise be found on the basketball court, eating at one of his many favorite restaurants, or outdoors on a bench in a park. He's excited to be a part of the CHRIA team and develop new advocacy programs!

    Ashwin Viswanathan
  • Isabella Lorence

    • Interdisciplinary Refugee and Asylee Partnership in Health (IRAPH) Coordinator

    Isabella grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and went to undergrad at Yale University. At college, she studied Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and conducted research in PET neuroimaging on neurodevelopment and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Isabella is deeply interested in neurology and neurological research, and in her spare time she is a dedicated volunteer. At Yale, Isabella worked at the HAVEN free clinic. Since coming to Columbia, Isabella volunteers at Love Kitchen, a local food pantry, and the Companionship Project. Isabella also enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family.

    Isabella Lorence
  • Melissa Wang

    • Interdisciplinary Refugee and Asylee Partnership in Health (IRAPH) Coordinator

    Melissa grew up in Boulder, CO, and Bucks County, PA, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2021 with degrees in Biology and the Anthropology of Global Health. After graduation, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital with transgender women and non-binary individuals to study the physiological and psychosocial effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy. As a child of immigrant parents, Melissa’s personal experiences navigating the health system and her experience working with refugee populations in East Boston fuel her drive to advocate and serve these populations at CHRIA. In her free time, Melissa enjoys cooking, hiking, thrifting, and exploring the city.

    Melissa Wang
  • Dylan Kim

    • Research Coordinator

    Dylan is from Atlanta, GA, and graduated from Princeton University with a major in chemistry and minors in global health policy and computer science. During his gap year after graduation, he worked in a surgical practice with an orthopedic surgeon and ophthalmologist. In college, one of his most formative experiences was working with and tutoring incarcerated students at a local correctional facility. He hopes to combine his experiences in such advocacy work and academic research to better support asylum seekers, refugees, and other clients as research coordinator at CHRIA. Outside of medical school, Dylan loves fencing, a sport he was involved with since childhood.

    Dylan Kim
  • Lauren Kleidermacher

    • Research Coordinator

    Lauren grew up in Miami Beach, Florida, and went to college at the University of Pennsylvania. In college, she majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry, and she conducted bioinformatics research on neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Following graduation, Lauren attended the University of Oxford, where she received an MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology. Her dissertation focused on the interaction between alcohol and mental health. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to involve herself in education and mental health research. Outside of medicine, Lauren enjoys lifting, going on adventures with family and friends, and playing chess. 

    Lauren Kleidermacher
  • Eunice Yang

    • Financial Coordinator

    Eunice grew up in the Bay Area, California, and graduated from Stanford University in 2022 with dual degrees in Computer Science and Biology. During undergrad, she served as a Director for Camp Kesem at Stanford and was a Live-In at the Bridge Peer Counseling Center. She is passionate about working with vulnerable populations and has had a long-standing interest in refugee and immigrant health. Outside of school, Eunice enjoys road-trips, hedgehogs, and sparkling water.

    Eunice Yang
  • Simone Dreux

    • Case Coordinator

    Simone grew up in New Jersey and attended Harvard University, graduating in 2020 with a major in History and Science and a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. Throughout college, she became very interested in the intersection of mental health, health disparities, and social justice, having written her senior thesis on the history of Black psychiatrists’ advocacy work during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Through volunteering with CHRIA, she hopes to gain a more global, human rights-centered perspective on mental healthcare and healthcare more broadly, while also learning to how to be an effective advocate for refugees and asylees in the United States. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and going to R&B and Afrobeats concerts throughout the city.

    Simone Dreux
  • Allison Lin

    • Case Coordinator

    Allison grew up in central New Jersey and attended Brown University, graduating in 2021 with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduation, she worked in clinical research in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. She is interested in the intersection between government, medicine, and law due to her previous experiences working for a government agency. Outside of academics, she loves Broadway, live music, and trying new cuisines. Allison is excited for the opportunity to serve as a Case Coordinator and learn to navigate the legal field on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers. 

    Allison Lin
  • Nana Owusu

    • Case Coordinator

    Nana grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Yale University, where he double majored in Economics and Molecular Biology. Prior to VP&S, Nana worked as a healthcare consultant and MedTech strategy analyst in the city of Chicago. During that time, he got the opportunity to help these organizations develop programs to reduce healthcare disparities within the communities they serve, and he is passionate about continuing that work at VP&S. Outside of work/school, Nana enjoys playing piano, running, reading, and traveling whenever he gets a chance.

    Nana Owusu
  • Mina Yuan

    • Case Coordinator

    Mina grew up in Maple Grove, MN, and attended Stanford University for undergrad, where she majored in economics. After graduating in 2021, Mina spent a year working in community engagement, research, and policy innovation at United States of Care, a nonprofit dedicated to building a better, more equitable healthcare system by listening to people and affecting policy change at the state and federal levels. Mina joined CHRIA because she is passionate about listening to, working with, and advocating for immigrant and refugee populations. As a case coordinator, she is excited to help foster interdisciplinary collaboration between clinicians, legal teams, and students to better serve CHRIA’s clients. In her free time, Mina loves to bake, craft, and read anything and everything Tolkien!

    Mina Yuan
  • Hannah Houpt

    • Continuing Care Coordinator

    Hannah Houpt (she/her) grew up in Virginia and graduated from DePauw University in 2019 with degrees in International Conflict Resolution and Anthropology.  She is now pursuing a joint masters in Social Work and International Affairs, focusing on trauma, migration, and human rights (CU '23). Hannah has worked with survivors of forced displacement in resettlement organizations in her hometown and in New York, asylum centers in Denmark, and refugee camps along the Thailand-Myanmar border. She hopes to apply the lessons learned from her experiences and classes to support and advocate for CHRIA’s clients. In her free time, Hannah works at her local wine store, explores the city with her pug, goes on long runs, bakes breads of the world, and reads/watches Scandinavian thrillers. 

    Hannah Houpt
  • Robyn Wolin

    • Continuing Care Coordinator

    Originally from Dallas, TX, Robyn has happily resided on the East Coast for the last fourteen years. She received her B.A. in Cultural Psychology from Wesleyan University in 2013.  Since then, she has lived in NYC, working at non-profits such as Catholic Charities and World Animal Protection, in various capacities, from operations to development. While pursuing her MSW at Columbia, she has had the opportunity to engage in casework with a refugee and asylum-seeking population and she plans to pursue this type of work further upon graduation.  She looks forward to working directly with CHRIA’s clients and is eager to support them in navigating available NYC resources for asylum-seekers. In her free time, Robyn is a calligrapher and mixed-media artist.

    Robyn Wolin
  • Halil Beqaj

    • Senior Advisor

    Halil grew up in several states in the Midwest and in California. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Because of his immigrant background and his grandfather’s path as an asylum seeker in Europe, Halil immediately sought out CHRIA to learn more about the asylum process and asylee experiences while simultaneously supporting advocacy efforts on behalf of asylum seekers and refugees. Initially one of the co-directors during his preclinical years, he now returns in an advisory capacity as a fourth year medical student. In his free time, he loves to play soccer, spend time outdoors, and read history-based books.

    Halil Beqaj
  • Emily Honzel

    • Senior Advisor