The new american's pathway ensures new americans in metro atlanta can become successful, contributing, and welcomed member of georgia's communities.
New American Pathways is an Atlanta based nonprofit with the mission of Helping Refugees and Georgia Thrive. Our vision is for new Americans in metro Atlanta to become successful, contributing, and welcomed members of Georgia’s communities. We fulfill our goals by offering the most comprehensive, fully integrated continuum of services targeted to meet the specific needs of refugees and other immigrants in Georgia.
Our services support new Americans on their individual pathways from arrival through citizenship with programs that focus on four key milestones along the pathway – Safety & Stability, Self-Sufficiency, Success, and Service. Programs work in concert to guide new Americans on their individual pathways to long-term success.
| Our Leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Paedia has worked at New American Pathways (and its predecessor Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta) for fifteen years and has over twenty years’ experience in refugee service. Paedia is a leader in Georgia’s refugee and immigrant serving community and has helped to create a culture of collaboration among service providers that sets Georgia apart. She was a founding member and the first chair of the Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA), a 21 member advocacy coalition that works to ensure Georgia is a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees. She led the successful merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta and Refugee Family Services from initial concept through the creation of New American Pathways on October 1, 2014. In 2019, she helped create the Welcome Co-op, a shared services organization that provides logistics support to local resettlement agencies at a time of change in federal policy.
Under Paedia’s leadership, New American Pathways has created a comprehensive service model that guides a refugee’s journey from arrival through citizenship, diversified funding to reduce dependence on the federal government, and launched new programs supporting career advancement and civic engagement. Prior to New AP, Paedia served in programming and fundraising roles at Junior Achievement Worldwide, the Carter Center, and Catholic Social Services. She is an alum of Leadership Atlanta (2016), Leadership DeKalb (2012), Harvard Business School’s Executive Nonprofit Leadership Program for “Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management” (2013), and Fanning Institute’s Executive Leadership Program in Non-profit Organizations (2010).
Nancy Gaddy has over 20 years of experience working with non-profit organizations across the southeast, engaged in fundraising and external affairs. As Regional Director of Philanthropy with Mercy Housing, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of affordable housing, Nancy was responsible for all fundraising, marketing, community, and media relations activities throughout Mercy Housing’s southeast geographic footprint. Nancy has directed fundraising and external communications for arts and cultural organizations, including the High Museum of Art, Georgia Public Broadcasting, the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and she led the $131 million capital campaign to build the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.
Carey Serafin has over 12 years of experience working with immigrant populations in the U.S. through previous positions held with New American Pathways and World Relief Atlanta. She previously worked with the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, helping connect vulnerable communities to local farmers markets through a grant with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier in her career, Carey served as the Communications Coordinator for Food For The Hungry’s Child Development Program in Belo Jegenfoy, Ethiopia, and provided school social work services for Chapel Hill-Carrboro city schools in North Carolina.
Director of Community Support Programs
Donal R. Graham is a native of Noxapater, Mississippi. He served in the Army for 22 years where he completed numerous Military Leadership Schools, including the Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course, Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course and the United States Army First Sergeant’s Course. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management and Leadership from Shorter University. Donal is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Nu Mu Lambda Chapter located in Decatur, Georgia, and has over 37 years of experience in the Human Resources field. He and his wife Mildred have been married for 34 years and have two children, Brandon, and Jacquita.
Associate Operations Director
Director of Finance
Sara has been in non-profit accounting since 2006 when she began working for a reproductive healthcare organization in her hometown of Gainesville, FL. She brings her experience in contract negotiations, real estate, team leadership, grants management, HR, IT, and non-profit accounting to New American Pathways as the new Director of Finance as of May 2023.
New American Pathways is not only an organization for refugees, we are an organization of refugees
Approximately half of our professional staff are former refugees, with more than 20 languages spoken throughout our organization. All of our programs are delivered by more than 100 professional staff members who are supported by a 17-member AmeriCorps team and hundreds of volunteers.
| board of directors
Senior Vice President of Finance
Southern Company Gas
Examiner, Consumer Compliance
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Senior Manager of Freestyle Business
Insights and Analytics for the McDonald’s Division at Coca-Cola
Consolidated Planning, Inc.
Retired Senior Tax Counsel
The Coca-Cola Company
Adjunct Professor of Law
Georgia State University
Vice President & Managing Partner
Farid & Co. LLC
Director of Category Strategy & Innovation
Vice President of HR
Elliott & Associates Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Ellen Ott Marshall
Professor, Emory’s Candler School of Theology
Alston & Bird LLP
Chief Executive Officer
Capital Billing Services, INC
Managing Director, Loyalty
Delta Air Lines
Culhane Meadows PLLC
M. Khurram Baig
The Baig Firm
Change and Transformation Strategy
Chief Executive Officer
New American Pathways
VP HR International Operations
First Citizens Bank
Intellectual Property Associate
Eversheds Sutherland LLP
Vice President & General Manager
| ADVISORY COUNCIL
Foreign Attorney & Manager Global Client Services, Fragomen Worldwide
CFP, Financial Advisor, Retired Sherrill & Hutchins Financial Advisory, Inc.
AT&T Labs, Retired
Attorney, Former Parner, Powell Goldstein Founding Member & Chair, RISSA Board
Bain & Company
Dr. Heval Mohamed Kelli
Physician, Non Invasive Cardiology
Northside Hospital Cardiovascular Institute
Senior Officer, Medical Device Companies and Consultancies; Founding Board Member, RRISA
CEO, IrriMax Corp.
Managing Director, Integrated Loyalty Solutions PK International
King & Spalding
R James Properties Partner
Public Relations and Communications Consultant
Kelley Herd Lugo
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Director of Practice Operations, Real Estate
Attorney; Senior Advisor, Industry Strategy, Georgia Tech
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Atlanta Managing Partner and Chief Information Officer
University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
Mayor, City of Decatur
Retired Senior Litigation Counsel for The Coca-Cola Company
Director of Finance
East Lake Foundation
Masten Space Systems
AT&T, Retired Entertainment Counsel
AVP, Senior Legal Counsel
Realty Income Corporation
Wendy Gutierrez Cheeks
Client Service Strategist Blackrock
| our history
New American Pathways is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created on October 1, 2014, by the merger of Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta (RRISA) and Refugee Family Services (RFS). Prior to the merger, RRISA and RFS shared a deep legacy of service to the refugee community in metro Atlanta. For more than two decades, the organizations provided complementary services ranging from initial resettlement to literacy, employment, youth education and school services, and immigration and citizenship assistance.
Founded in 1977 as part the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2002, RRISA’s direct service programs (resettlement, employment, education and youth, and immigration) focused heavily on the immediate needs of refugees during their first 180 days in the United States.
RFS, which was introduced in Atlanta in 1994 as a program of Save the Children and became a 501(c)(3) in 1997, had an emphasis on longer-term needs and included programs aimed at women, youth, and civic engagement.
As each organization began to consider ways to better serve Georgia’s vulnerable refugee population, the inspiration for a more formal partnership emerged. In December 2012, with support from The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, RRISA and RFS embarked on a thorough and deliberate two-year evaluation process to explore partnership options. This process culminated in the decision to form a single organization that would improve the quality of service and deliver comprehensive services more efficiently under a single roof.
Together as one stronger organization, New American Pathways provides more than 5,000 refugees per year with the necessary tools to rebuild their lives and achieve long-term success. Our specially designed programs provide proven pathways for refugees and other immigrants to realize their full potential and dreams while becoming productive, contributing members of Georgia’s communities.