Instructors & Partners


Refugee Service and Response Management 

Instructors and Coordinators 

Chiara Peri, Ph.D.
AGI-Rome Immersion Coordinator 
Jesuit Refugee Service / Centro Astalli

Dr. Chiara Peri is Senior Researcher at IPRS (Istituto Psicanalistico per le ricerche sociali). Prior to this, was Senior Administrator of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Italy and Centro Astalli. Since 2014, she also serves as Coordinator of the AGI-Rome program. She is Centro Astalli / JRS Italy's Policy and Advocacy officer and Coordinator of International Relations and Interfaith Programs. She has worked for JRS in various capacity since 2000. She is also subject matter expert in migration and refugee related funds at the European level (in particular RES, EIF and ESF). She participates as a researcher in several research projects related to international law and social policies and has published several studies on forced migration. She a sought lecturer on asylum, migration and strategy of social work and has been lecturing and teaching for various academic and training centers, including the University of San Francisco, Loyola University Chicago and Pontifical University Lateranense. 

Parallel to her work in the field of forced migration, Dr. Chiara Peri has been cultivating academic research for many years. Her speciality is history of the religions of the ancient Near East, of biblical philology and of Semitic epigraphy, with particular reference to the Phoenician-Punic civilization. She have written 2 monographs and several scientific articles, published in the main journals of the sector and on the proceedings of national and international conferences.

She is deeply passionate about diversity, interested in understanding how models of intervention can be adapted to different contexts and how cultural background, faith and identity play a role in social inclusion and community building.

Connect with Dr. Chiara Peri at

Marco Tavanti, Ph.D.

AGI-Rome Program Director
Professor, School of Management, 
University of San Francisco 

Marco is a native of Tuscany, Italy. He worked for thirty years in global poverty alleviation projects with various NGOs in consultancy with the United Nations and other intergovernmental organizations. In the last twenty years he has been working with academic institutions to provide experiential learning opportunities while fostering university-community collaborations for sustainable development, urban poverty reduction and global social responsibility. He directed more than 20 short term study abroad program similar to this one in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

He Chaired and developed various graduate degree programs including the International Public Service (IPS) and Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at DePaul University. He is President and co-founder of WEI and SCII institutes, two international NGOs dedicated to anti-human trafficking and transitional justice for sustainable development. He serves as international expert for FAO, IFAD and World Bank on indigenous and land rights connected with FPIC. He is full professor in the School of Management and Program Director of the Master of Nonprofit Administration. 

Connect with Dr. Tavanti at

Partnering Organizations 

The experiential learning of the #AGIROME program would not be possible without the partnership of  key organizations and the sharing of reflections and practices of friends and colleagues on the front line of refugees service and humanitarian emergency management. The organizations involved in this program include the following: 

Since 1950, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has been protecting the rights and well-being of refugees around the world. For over seventy years we have been helping millions of people rebuild their lives: an action recognized by two Nobel Peace Prizes, the first awarded in 1954, the second in 1981. UNHCR is the world's leading organization on the front lines of saving lives, protecting the rights of millions of refugees, displaced persons and stateless persons, building a better future for them. UNHCR works in 132 countries around the world and care for over 84 million people, following the principles of our statute. The United Nations General Assembly has given the UNHCR a precise mandate: to govern and coordinate, worldwide, the protection of refugees and the actions necessary to ensure their well-being.
This is why we work day after day to ensure that everyone can have the right of asylum and find a safe reception in another state. Together with governments, to be refugees in the country where they found refuge in a third country. | 

Inspired by the generous love and example of Jesus Christ, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, that they may heal, learn, and determine their own future.
Our work expresses the commitment of the Society of Jesus  (the Jesuits) to stand with refugees around the world. JRS programmes are currently found in over 50 countries, serving refugees, other forcibly displaced persons and members of the host communities. The main services provided are in the field of Reconciliation, Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support, Education and Livelihoods. Occasionally, JRS provides emergency relief and basic health care. We never cease to advocate for the rights of refugees, and to articulate the obligation to protect the most vulnerable among us. 

Centro Astalli is the Italian headquarters of the Jesuit Refugee Service-JRS. For 40 years it has been engaged in activities and services that aim to accompany, serve and defend the rights of those arriving in Italy fleeing wars and violence, not infrequently even torture. Centro Astalli is also committed to making public opinion aware of who the refugees are, their history and the reasons that have brought them here. Centro Astalli began its activities in 1981 at the headquarters in via degli Astalli in Rome, accepting the appeal of Father Pedro Arrupe sj, then Father General of the Society of Jesus: in the autumn of 1980, deeply affected by the tragedy of thousands of Vietnamese boat people fleeing their war-torn country urged Jesuits around the world to "bring at least some relief to this tragic situation." Thus was born the Jesuit Refugee Service-JRS. The accompaniment of refugees and the sharing of their experiences is at the heart of all the services of the Astalli Center, from the first reception services (for those who have recently arrived in Italy), to the awareness-raising activities and the commitment of advocacy, which aims to change unjust policies at the local, national or international level. Compared to the first years of activity, Centro Astalli has expanded and diversified the services offered, thanks to the constant commitment of about 500 volunteers. In total, considering its different territorial offices as a whole (Rome, Vicenza, Trento, Catania, Palermo, Grumo Nevano - NA, Padua), the Astalli Center in one year responds to the needs of about 20,000 forced migrants, of which 11,000 in the only Rome office. 

Headed by Pope Francis, the Migrants & Refugees Section helps the Church to accompany Refugees, those who are Forced to Migrate or Victims of Human Trafficking. The Migrants and Refugees Section (M&R Section) is a section on migrants and refugees included in the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (IHD). Appalled by the conditions and treatment of great numbers of migrants, refugees, displaced and trafficked persons, Pope Francis explained to several thousand representatives of Popular Movements in the Audience Hall on 5 November 2016 that "In the department [IHD] Cardinal Peter Turkson heads, there is a section concerned with those situations. I decided that, at least for a while, that section would be directly under the Pope, because here we have a disgraceful situation that can only be described by a word that in Lampedusa came spontaneously to my lips: shame. In mid-December, he named Michael Czerny S.J., a Canadian Jesuit, and Fabio Baggio C.S, an Italian Scalabrinian, to serve as under-secretaries of IHD to be "occupied specifically in the care of migrants and refugees." While under the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the M&R Section is "directly under guidance" of Pope Francis since its creation "for the time being", following the will of Francis. 

The Save the Children Fund, commonly known as Save the Children, was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. After passing a century, which it celebrated in 2019, it is now a global movement made up of 30 national member organizations which work in 120 countries. Headquartered in London, the organisation promotes policy changes to gain more rights for young people especially by enforcing the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Saving the Children through co-ordinate emergency-relief efforts, helping to protect children from the post effects of war and violence. Save the Children has a general consultative status in the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Save the Children Italy, our immediate partner, is strongly committed in Italy and in the world to save girls and boys and ensure their growth.
Courageous in their ambitions and strong in taking care of them, they do everything necessary for their development.  | 

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Italy is working to support migrants and people on the move in several areas, in collaboration with local health authorities. "In Palermo, Sicily, we are working on strengthening the capacity of a Ministry of Health (MoH) clinic for migrants to provide medical care for patients who survived intentional violence and torture in their country of origin or during their journey to Italy. In Rome, we support vulnerable migrant women in squats and informal settlements to access sexual and reproductive services, working in several family clinics alongside MoH staff, conducting health promotion activities and offering psychological care. We are also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the capital, working in collaboration with the MoH to reach undocumented people and facilitate their access to vaccination programmes. 

UNICEF, in full called the United Nations Children's Fund, is an agency of the United Nations responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations in the world, with a presence in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF's activities include providing immunizations and disease prevention, administering treatment for children and mothers with HIV, enhancing childhood and maternal nutrition, improving sanitation, promoting education, and providing emergency relief in response to disasters. UNICEF Italy is one of the 33 National Committees and is an integral part of UNICEF International.  | 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is a United Nations agency that provides services and advice concerning migration to governments and migrants, including internally displaced persons, refugees, and migrant workers. The IOM was established in 1951 as the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (ICEM) to help resettle people displaced by World War II. It became a United Nations agency in 2016. The IOM is the principal UN agency working in the field of migration. The IOM promotes humane and orderly migration by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. 
The IOM works in the four broad areas of migration management: migration and development, facilitating migration, regulating migration, and addressing forced migration. 

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