The East Bay Refugee Forum (EBRF) was established in the 1970’s in response to a large influx of South East Asian refugees. We are a coalition of over 30 agencies serving refugees, asylees, SIVs and others permanently displaced from their home countries by persecution, violence, or war who now seek refuge in the San Francisco East Bay. The EBRF includes government agencies, resettlement and other non-profit organizations, community-based groups, members of the refugee community, and individual advocates.

As a coalition, the EBRF is dedicated to:

  • Strengthening overall resettlement through collaborative knowledge resource sharing and increased coordination of services among a broad array of service providers.
  • Identifying and addressing the personal and systematic challenges faced by new arrivals.
  • Providing resource knowledge, cross-referrals, and tools to empower advocacy among new arrivals as well as service providers.
  • Raising public awareness of refugees, asylees and SIVs on all governmental and societal levels.

We provide a formal channel for networking and information sharing across the service realms (to include resettlement, legal, education, employment, health, mental health, and the social safety net ) through bi-monthly meetings, frequent list serve announcements, and centralization of resource knowledge for new arrivals as well as service providers.

As a collaborative, the EBRF makes the best use of existing resources to help safely integrate new arrivals into their communities and to facilitate and enable our newest members to live healthy and fulfilling lives.


EBRF Leadership Team

The EBRF has an active Voluntary Steering Committee which determines the strategic direction of the Forum. Current Steering Committee members have expertise in the realms of primary resettlement, education, employment programs, health care, legal services and public safety net delivery pertinent to the refugee populations in the East Bay. Service providers, new arrival community members and advocates are encouraged to use the East Bay Refugee Forum Steering Committee INPUT FORM regarding any current, local resettlement issues. The Steering Committee will review input at each bi-monthly meeting to help drive the course of work undertaken by the EBRF. Return the form to the Forum Chair, Jack Tyler, via email: jack.tyler@dhti.org  or any one of the Steering Committee members listed below:

Nate Dunstan
Refugee and Asylee Program Specialist
Oakland Unified School District

Elisabeth Lang
Director of Refugee Resettlement
Catholic Charities of the East Bay

Christine Lemonda
Deputy Director
International Rescue Committee of Northern California

Sambo Ly
Director of Refugee Health Assessment Services and Director of Interpreter Services
Alameda Health System

Ballav Poudyel
Lao Family Community Development Inc.

Sadaf Siddiq, MPA
Program Specialist
Workforce and Benefits Administration
Alameda County Social Service Agency

Jack Tyler
Program Manager
Diversity in Health Training Institute

Yonas W. Woldeab
Representative of Refugee & Asylee Community Affairs

Sean Kirkpatrick
East Bay Refugee Forum Coordinator


Become a Member

To become a member, agencies agree to abide by the Forum Bylaws as well as contribute an annual membership fee of $150.00 per agency.

Smaller agencies with operating budgets of less than $500,000 per year are highly encouraged to participate in the Forum and will receive a fee waiver as will any other agency for which the fee would otherwise serve as a bar. Please contact the Forum Chair, Jack Tyler, if your agency is interested in becoming an active member.

For the agency member list please see our Member Directory



EBRF Bylaws