Staff

  • Dr. Vilma “Nina” Balmaceda

    Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Nina earned her law degree at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. After pursuing graduate studies in the US as a Fulbright scholar, Nina taught part time at her alma mater’s Law School, and worked in the human rights legal field. She holds master’s degrees in International Peace Studies, and in Government and International Studies, as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame du Lac. In addition to serving as Professor of Political Science at Nyack College, Dr. Balmaceda was appointed to President and CEO of PHI on May 1st, 2016.

  • Kim Nguyen

    Kim Nguyen grew up in Lancaster, PA. She later moved to Philadelphia to study at Temple University where she got her bachelor’s degree. After graduating, she moved to Nyack, NY to get her Masters in Divinity at the Alliance Theological Seminary. She currently lives in the Bronx working with the youth in her church. Kim looks forward to continue working with Peace and Hope International and its efforts for justice to communities in South America.

  • Pablo Emil Garcia Ruiz

    Pablo was born in the beautiful province of Loreto, Peru and grew up in Lima. At 17 years old, he moved to the US to study at Nyack College. He graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science and later received his Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. He currently works as a full time Youth Pastor at the Chinese Alliance Church in Port Chester, NY. Pablo loves watching movies, spending time with friends, and traveling around the world. He is passionate about helping those in need, and is excited to be a part of the of PHI.  

  • Roberto W. Chia

    Roberto W. Chia is a certified mental health counselor by the National Board of Clinical Counselors. He holds a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nyack College’s School of Human Services, and a Master of Divinity from the Alliance Theological Seminary, NY. Roberto serves with Peace and Hope International as a volunteer Research Officer and he is grateful to support the organization’s mission of justice and compassion in Latin America.

Board of Directors

  • Ryan Juskus

    Ryan Juskus is an educator with degrees in political science and theology. After ten years of directing housing advocacy and a global experiential learning program, he is currently a doctoral student at Duke University studying the intersection of religion, environment, politics, and ethics in the Americas. Ryan interned with Paz y Esperanza in Peru in 2004, has recruited and sent many volunteers to the ANDEMOS program, and is newly a board member as of this year. Ryan is married to Kendra and lives with their two energetic sons in Durham, North Carolina.

  • Brian Swarts

    Brian is the Director of Pepperdine University’s Washington, D.C. Internship Program in Global Leadership. For the past nine years he has worked in the area of international affairs and global development—international finance, small business initiatives in South Asia and Africa, and disaster recovery programs in Haiti, Japan and the Philippines. Most recently, Brian oversaw global strategy and partnership for The Salvation Army’s global development office. Prior to coming to Washington, D.C. Brian helped found a faith-based advocacy network in Oregon focused on local hunger and poverty issues, and served as a 4th grade teacher in rural Mississippi with the Teach for America public service program. He currently lives in D.C. with his wife and two “busy” little boys.

  • Andrew Jennings-Grisham

    Based in La Paz, Bolivia, Drew Jennings-Grisham is the co-Director of Memoria Indígena. He graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in Spanish and Anthropology and has a Master’s degree in Agroecology from the Universidad Mayor de San Simon in Cochabamba, Bolivia. He and his wife, Ann, grew up in Chattanooga, TN, and worked previously with Paz y Esperanza in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

  • Kelley Stopnik

    Kelley Stopnik is married to her high school sweetheart, Blair, and lives in Charlotte, NC with their three children, Brooke, Britton, and Jude. Kelley is currently on staff at Journey Church in the Global Outreach Department and dedicates her free time to raising awareness and funds for Peace and Hope’s Hovde House of Good Treatment in Huanuco, Peru. Her family loves to travel and to share cultural experiences with new friends they meet along the way.

  • Colleen Beebe, J.D.

    Dr. Colleen Beebe Purisaca is a lawyer, practicing in the areas of immigration and human rights. She currently manages the Immigrant Legal Services Program at the nonprofit, Volunteer Lawyers Network. She has taught human rights law at Hamline University School of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law, and the University of Minnesota. At North Central University she taught non-profit management, Biblical Justice, and Spanish. Colleen is married to Rev. Jesus Purisaca, and they minister together alongside the Latino community in South, Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they reside. Colleen co-founded Peace and Hope International in 2002.

  • J. Mark Bowers

    J. Mark Bowers writes and trains for the Chalmers Center, a church equipping organization focused on breaking the spiritual, social, and material bonds of poverty. Throughout his time at Chalmers, Mark has overseen the research, development, and pilot-test of US and international development curriculum. He is the co-creator of Faith & Finances and Work Life, financial education and jobs readiness tools aimed at economically empowering people who are poor and restoring fellowship across socioeconomic lines. As part of a church plant, he spends his time after hours with Tannia and Elias, his wife and son, creating community in East Lake—their under-resourced neighborhood on the margins of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

  • Gregory Sabarese

    Gregory Sabarese is a compliance professional within the financial services industry. For the past six years he has served the public by conducting regulatory audits of financial institutions with the purpose of preventing fraud and ensuring stability within the marketplace. Gregory received a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School, a BA in Psychology and Theology from Wheaton College and an Accounting & Finance Certificate from the University of Chicago. He also has an MA from the University of Pennsylvania where he researched inequality in the United States. Gregory and his wife Rachel have one son and currently live in Chicago, Illinois.

  • Cheryl Tokke

    Dr. Cheryl Tokke is Assistant Professor of Management and Business at the City University of New York: Queensborough College, where she works consistently with service learning partnerships alongside community and non-profit organizations. She teaches a variety of management, business ethics, and behavioral sciences courses, and presents workshops and conference presentations on change management, volunteerism, and values-based leadership. She holds a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University, and an MS/BS (Organizational Leadership) from Nyack College, and a Certificate of Special Event Management, from New York University.

  • Alfonso Wieland

    Alfonso Wieland is a human rights lawyer and writer in Lima, Peru, and is the co-founder and Latin American Director of Paz y Esperanza. Prior to his work with Paz y Esperanza, Mr. Wieland served for over 9 years as a member of the legal team for the National Evangelical Council of Peru, working in the area of human rights. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Wieland has post graduate degrees in sociology and theology. Dr. Wieland has published several books including In Love with His Justice (2003), reflecting on the work of Paz y Esperanza during and following the Peruvian civil conflict, and co-authored Seeking Justice For All (2006), a practical guide introducing Christians to topics of human rights and advocacy. He lives in Lima, Peru, with his wife and two children.