Colleen Mahar-Piersma

Colleen Mahar-Piersma is the Associate Director of the Cultural Orientation Resource Center. In this role, Ms. Mahar-Piersma's responsibilities include designing and facilitating skills development and informational workshops and presentations throughout the country; managing development of background material on refugee populations; leading the development of the Choosing My Way video game for newcomers; reviewing professional development, content, and outreach materials for service providers, clients, and community members; managing the COR Center website and developing an online repository of resources related to refugee groups and their orientation; and facilitating the exchange of orientation-related information and promising practices between the COR Center’s many overseas and domestic partners in the U.S. resettlement and integration field.

Prior to her work at the COR Center, Ms. Mahar-Piersma served first as Field Support Coordinator and later as National Diocesan Development and Support Coordinator for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Office of Migration and Refugee Services.  Ms. Mahar-Piersma has also worked on the Asia team at the National Endowment for Democracy, coordinating grants supporting democratization and human rights in the region.  Ms. Mahar-Piersma has a MA in International Studies from the University of Washington in Seattle.