Staff

 

Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus

Director, (800) 728-7228 x5840

Rev. Dr. Kraus manages the staff and programs of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, overseeing domestic and international response initiatives.  She appreciates the opportunity to serve as the "face" of PDA, interpreting our mission in churches, presbyteries and synods; and teaching, developing curriculum, and writing for various publications. She leads and supports collaborative efforts with neighboring ministry areas within the PC(USA) and among our ecumenical and interfaith partners in disaster response.

Laurie is a certified Compassion Fatigue Professional and has additional certification and expertise with the International Critical Stress Foundation and in training response to Public Violence events.  Her 30 years of pastoral experience includes doctoral work and graduate level teaching, both in the theology and practice of ministry in disaster, and in multicultural ministry practice.  


David Barnhart 

Associate for Story Ministry

David is a producer and director for PDA's Story Ministry. He produces, directs, and promotes documentaries for PDA for the purpose of tracking and sharing stories of disaster relief and recovery. He also develops and facilitates PDA Story Ministry initiatives with survivors and their communities that educate the public about the continuum of disaster preparedness, disaster, and disaster recovery.


Rev. Edwin González-Castillo

Associate for Disaster Response Latin America and the Caribbean

Edwin is responsible for coordinating PDA’s response in Latin America and the Caribbean. As part of the response, he establishes relationships with different partner organizations from LAC as well as international partners such as ACT Alliance and Church World Services. Through his work Edwin develops fellowship between PDA and organizations for the funding of immediate response strategies as well as long-term projects. Throughout the Emotional Spiritual Care area, Edwin provides training to develop resilience tools in Spanish.

 


Rev. Jim Kirk

Associate for National Disaster Response, (502) 569-5036

Jim trains, recruits, coordinates and manages the PDA National Response Team. He works with middle governing bodies to enable response to disasters in their area and tracks our national responses. He is responsible for decision making around where we respond and at what financial level. Working with middle governing bodies, congregations, National VOAD partners and other organizations, he helps to establish and offer consultation about the operation of Presbyterian Volunteer Villages where volunteer work teams can be hosted as they help rebuild disaster-affected communities. Jim also oversees PDA equipment and operations at the PDA National Call Center/Warehouse.


Susan Krehbiel

Associate for Refugees & Asylum, 502-565-6148

Susan works part-time as the Catalyst for Refugees and Asylum to coordinate PC(USA) humanitarian response and advocacy on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants.  She coordinates PDA assistance and technical support to mid-councils and local task forces to equip congregations in their respective ministries.  She also works with other PC(USA) ministries and with ecumenical and interfaith partners to expand our capacity to serve refugees and other vulnerable migrants.  


Myles Markham

Mission Specialist for National Disaster Response

Myles provides overall program support for PDA's national disaster response, including management of records, grant requests and reporting, assistance with oversight of the National Volunteer program and management of screenings and campaigns as a part of the Story Ministry Team.


Dayna Oliver

Associate for International Program Administration, (800) 728-7228, x8700

Dayna assists with the international disaster responses of PDA, primarily walking with partners through the grants process and tracking fund allocation and reporting. She helps to provide communication with partners and to interpret the international work of PDA more widely.


Rev. Dr. Kathy Riley

Associate for Emotional and Spiritual Care, (859) 536-7792

Kathy is responsible for coordinating the Emotional and Spiritual Care offerings that PDA offers through the course of disaster response and long term recovery, as well as in “blue sky” times to assist partners in being ready to provide emotional and spiritual care to others when disaster strikes. She responds to requests from Mid Councils, VOAD partners and other organizations for our programs and helps prepare National Response Team members to present them. Kathy is also involved in developing and revising the curriculum for PDA’s emotional and spiritual care ministry.


Eden Roberts

Mission Specialist for Hosting and Volunteer Management, (866) 732-6121

Eden provides coordination between PDA-related volunteer hosting sites and prospective volunteer work teams; manages the toll-free PDA Call Center number and is the PDA point of contact for teams who would like to explore and/or schedule PDA short term mission opportunities; helps manage distribution of PDA materials located at the Ferncliff Disaster Assistance Center.

Administrative Project Manager, (800) 728-7228 x5326

Becca provides support for PDA staff, volunteers and contract staff, provides support in the organizing, preparation and implementation of training events and gatherings, tracks volunteer activity and maintains such records as requested.


Cameron Stevens

Associate for Constituent Relations and Outreach, (800) 728-7228, x5839

Cameron manages constituent relations and outreach for PDA. She manages PDA's social media and website and is the go-to person for general PDA questions. 

 

 

PDA Advisory Committee

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is guided in its policy making, strategic planning, and program development by an advisory committee of seven members elected by the General Assembly. Committee members possess a variety of skills, knowledge and experience and are considered an integral part of the program.

The term of service on the PDA Advisory Committee is normally two or three years and the commitment is to attend two meetings per year and to be available by conference call between meetings.

We are always seeking persons with special skills and knowledge in the areas of communication/public relations, financial management, and information systems management. Prior experience in disaster response and international relief ministries is very helpful.

Member selections are made through the General Assembly Nominating Committee process. If you are interested in being on the PDA Advisory Committee, please contact Valerie Izumi.

 
 

Stay Updated on Disaster Responses

Join the Rapid Information Network to receive updates and more.