Donald M. Kerwin, Jr.
Executive Director

FINAL IMG_0013sbw-2Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. has directed the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) since September 2011. He previously worked for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) between 1992 and 2008, serving as its Executive Director (ED) for 15 years and its interim ED for six months in late 2012 and early 2013. Upon his arrival at CLINIC in 1992, Mr. Kerwin coordinated CLINIC’s political asylum project for Haitians. CLINIC, a subsidiary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a public interest legal corporation that supports a national network of several hundred charitable legal programs for immigrants. Between 2008 and 2011, Mr. Kerwin served as Vice-President for Programs at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), where he wrote on immigration, labor standards, and refugee policy issues. He has also served as an associate fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center where he co-directed Woodstock’s Theology of Migration Project; a non-resident senior fellow at MPI; a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Immigration Task Force; a board member for Jesuit Refugee Services-USA, the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, and the Border Network for Human Rights; an advisor to the USCCB Committee on Migration; and a member of numerous advisory groups. Mr. Kerwin writes and speaks extensively on immigration policy, refugee protection, access to justice, national security, and other issues.

Reverend Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S., Ph.D.
Executive Director Emeritus

Lydio TomasiFather Lydio F. Tomasi is a founding member of the Center for Migration Studies and directed the agency from 1968 to 2001.  During his tenure at CMS, Father Tomasi was the founding editor of Migration World Magazine, a bi-monthly review of current issues in migration policy. He was also editor of the annual volume, In Defense of the Alien, the proceedings of an annual conference held on immigrants’ rights and immigration policy. His younger brother and CMS co-founder, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, recently retired as the Permanent Observer of the Holy See at the United Nations and Specialized Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Born in Vincenza, Italy, Father Tomasi entered the Scalabrinian Seminary for high school in Brescia and college in Como. After his noviciate in Treviso, he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, where he earned his Philosophy and Theology Licenses and was ordained priest by Cardinal Confalonieri on December 16, 1962.  In May 1984, he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University.

After his ordination, Father Tomasi was assigned as instructor of Systematic Philosophy and History at St. Charles Seminary in Staten Island, New York.  In 1967, Father Tomasi served as Parochial Vicar at the Church of St. Michael in New Haven, Connecticut.  He subsequently served for four years as Pastor of the Church of St. Joseph located in Lower Manhattan in the heart of New York City Chinatown, where he had an opportunity to test theories of immigrant incorporation, multicultural congregations, and the institutional role of churches in the adjustment process of immigrants.

On January 15, 2006, Father Tomasi was appointed Pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Washington D.C. by his Provincial Superior of the Missionaries of St. Charles-Scalabrinians and by His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington. He served in that position through June 2013.

In 1985, the President of the Republic of Italy bestowed on Father Tomasi the title of Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.  In 1991, the Rotary Club made Father Tomasi a Paul Harris Fellow. In 1993, the Order Sons of Italy in America bestowed on Father Tomasi the Children of Columbus Award. In 1996, Father Tomasi was the recipient of the prestigious International Prize “Guido Durso”, sponsored by the journal Politica Meridionalista of the University of Naples.

Kevin Appleby
Senior Director of International Migration Policy

FINAL IMG_0065sKevin Appleby is the senior director of international migration policy for the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) and the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN). Prior to joining CMS and SIMN, Mr. Appleby served as the director of migration policy and public affairs of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for more than 16 years. Mr. Appleby has also worked as Deputy Director of the Maryland Catholic Conference in Annapolis, Maryland. He has testified before Congress on immigration issues and represented the US Catholic bishops on these issues at public events and with the media. He is co-editor of the volume, On Strangers No Longer:  Perspectives on the US-Mexican Catholic Bishop’s Pastoral Letter on Migration.

Mr. Appleby worked for Senator Russell Long of Louisiana and select committees of the US Senate, including the Senate Select Committee on the Iran-Contra Affair. He received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, a M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and a law degree from the University of Maryland.

Mr. Appleby comes from a family of six siblings and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

J. Rachel Reyes
Director of Communications

IMG_0107sw_ppJ. Rachel Reyes is director of communications for the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), and has been with the agency since January 2012. Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Reyes’ migration and refugee work included: drafting motions and organizing high-level conferences with the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population at the Council of Europe; advocating for protections for refugee and internally displaced women at the 53rd Session on the Commission on the Status of Women with Human Rights Advocates; spearheading fundraising campaigns to fund legal aid programs in Thailand and Ecuador for Asylum Access; and assisting in the rebuild of the PeaceWomen Project website to better provide news, resources and events surrounding issues of women, peace and security. She also worked with Global Justice Center to help develop legal arguments regarding the deliberate transmission of HIV in armed conflict.

Ms. Reyes authored, “Deliver Us from our Protectors: Accountability for Violations Committed by Humanitarian Aid Staff against Refugee Women and Children,” which was published in the summer 2009 edition of the University of San Francisco Law Review. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in rhetoric and classical civilizations from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Arts in international affairs (concentrating on conflict and security and governance and rights) from The New School, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Ms. Reyes is licensed to practice law in the State of California.

Daniela Alulema
Administrative Coordinator

FINAL IMG_0100sw_ppDaniela Alulema is the administrative coordinator for the Center for Migration Studies (CMS). In 2015, Ms. Alulema received her Master of Arts in the Urban Policy Analysis and Management Program at The New School. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Baruch College, CUNY in 2007. Ms. Alulema currently serves as a board member in the New York State Youth Leadership Council, where she also served as media and budgeting coordinator from 2009 to 2011. Originally from Quito, Ecuador, Ms. Alulema is fluent in Spanish and enjoys to travel.


Reece Garrett Johnson
Editorial Assistant

FINAL IMG_0041sReece Johnson is the editorial assistant for the Center for Migration Studies (CMS). Prior to joining CMS, Mr. Johnson spent time working with the Tibetan exile community in northern India, where he researched refugee issues and helped develop a training and orientation program in international relations for the Tibetan government-in-exile. He has also worked for the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Columbia University’s Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and has completed internships with the US Department of State, US Senate, and US Department of Justice. He recently received his Master of Arts from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, focusing on the intersection of security, migration, and human rights in South and East Asia. At Columbia, Mr. Johnson studied the future of refugee and migration flows on the Tibetan plateau and the broader Himalayan region. Mr. Johnson also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Catalina Morales

FINAL IMG_0087sw_ppCatalina Morales received her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at Lehman College of the City University of New York. She also studied Italian Literature at Bologna University in Italy. A native of Cuba, Ms. Morales migrated to Venezuela then Puerto Rico and finally arrived in the United States in 1967. Her experience extends over 26 years in various industries as an accountant. Her area of expertise is financial analysis.



Robert Warren
Senior Visiting Fellow

Robert Warren served as a demographer for 34 years with the United States Census Bureau and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Mr. Warren served as Director of the INS’s Statistics Division from 1986 to 1995. One of his accomplishments at INS was to project accurate ranges of the number of unauthorized immigrants that would apply in each state under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). During his service, he also worked for three years with the staff of the Panel on Immigration Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences, which published the report, “Immigration Statistics: A Story of Neglect” co-edited with Daniel B. Levine and Kenneth Hill (National Academy Press, 1985). Mr. Warren retired from INS in January 2002.

Mr. Warren released “Unauthorized Immigration to the United States: Annual Estimates and Components of Change, by State, 1990 to 2010,” with John Robert Warren in the International Migration Review, Vol. 47, No. 2, Summer 2013.  His other signature publications include: “Annual Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States, by State: 1990 to 2000,” (Department of Homeland Security, 2003); “Estimates of the Undocumented Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: October 1996,” (INS, 1997); “Determinants of Unauthorized Migration to the United States,” with Linda S. Peterson (Center for International Research (CIR), US Bureau of the Census, 1990); and “A Count of the Uncountable: Estimates of Undocumented Aliens Counted in the 1980 United States Census,” with Jeffrey S. Passel, Demography, Vol. 24, No. 3, August 1987.

Mr. Warren has testified before Congress concerning the estimation of undocumented immigration and served as an expert witness for the Department of Justice on the issue of educating undocumented children. He was the US representative at United Nations meetings on immigration statistics in Geneva in May 1986 and February 1991, and an advisor to the US Commission on Agricultural Workers in 1992.  For three years, Mr. Warren also played professional baseball in the Chicago White Sox organization. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Education from Indiana State University.



Douglas T. Gurak
Editor of the International Migration Review

FINAL IMG_0022swDouglas T. Gurak is professor emeritus of development sociology at Cornell University. Prior to joining Cornell, he spent 15 years researching and teaching in New York City at the Center for Policy Research and Fordham University’s Hispanic Research Center and Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He received a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. At Cornell, Dr. Gurak served as the director of the Population and Development Program, the Polson Institute for Global Development, and the Graduate Field of Development Sociology. Since 2010, he has been a team member of the Institute for the Social Sciences’ interdisciplinary theme project, “Immigration: Settlement, Integration, and Membership.” Dr. Gurak’s research focuses on the process of human migration, and he is currently involved in the investigation of processes shaping the internal migration of foreign-born persons in the United States to non-traditional immigration destinations. This research is supported by the Russell Sage Foundation and involves working with confidential census data at the New York Census Research Data Center. Dr. Gurak was appointed editor for the International Migration Review starting November 2014.

John J. Hoeffner
Co-Managing Editor of the Journal on Migration and Human Security

FINAL IMG_0054swJohn J. Hoeffner was appointed co-editor of the Journal on Migration and Human Security in 2015. Mr. Hoeffner is an attorney, and his varied law career has included stints at several law firms and at the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. He also clerked for Judge Lawrence W. Pierce on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has taught at Villanova University, Georgetown University Law Center, and American University Washington College of Law. He received his professional law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, and holds a master’s degree in law from Georgetown University Law Center. At St. John’s, he was editor-in-chief of the St. John’s Law Review and The Catholic Lawyer. He has written numerous articles on immigration and other topics. He is also the author of one book, Stepping Out of the Brain Drain: Applying Catholic Social Teaching in a New Era of Migration, which he wrote with his wife and fellow JMHS editor, Michele Pistone. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Hoeffner served as a military policeman in the US Army.

Michele R. Pistone
Co-Managing Editor of the Journal on Migration and Human Security

FINAL IMG_0036sw_ppMichele R. Pistone is a professor of law at Villanova University School of Law, where she has taught since 1999. At Villanova, she founded the school’s in-house clinical program, which she directed for nine years, as well as the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES). Through CARES, Professor Pistone works with law students to provide free legal representation to asylum seekers and others fleeing persecution and violence. Professor Pistone has served on the University’s Partnership Committee with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) since its inception in 2004, and through the Partnership has organized conferences on human trafficking, Iraqi refugees, and the migration of unaccompanied children in collaboration with CRS.

Professor Pistone has written extensively on immigration and refugee protection, including on issues related to detention of asylum seekers, the one-year deadline for asylum applications, expedited removal, overseas refugee resettlement, as well as on the migration of skilled and educated migrants. Her book, Stepping Out of the Brain Drain: Applying Catholic Social Thought in a New Era of Migration (Lexington Books), which she co-authored with JMHS co-editor, John J. Hoeffner, as well as other articles and book chapters, looks at migration through the lens of Catholic Social Thought.

Professor Pistone has taught at American University Washington College of Law, Georgetown Law, and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Malta. Before becoming a professor, she served as the acting legal director of Human Rights First, where she coordinated a Congressional campaign to defeat certain legislative initiatives that would have imposed stricter restrictions on asylum protection.

Professor Pistone is interested in social media and its role in creating networks and facilitating movements. She blogs on Best Practices in Legal Education and the Legal Technology Blog.  She is also a TEDx Licensee and has organized two TEDxVillanovaU conferences at Villanova University.

Thomas Shea
Editor, Migration Update

Thomas SheaThomas J. Shea is the editor of CMS’ Migration Update, a weekly digest of news and other information related to national and international migration. In addition, Mr. Shea is a Senior Staff Attorney with CUNY Citizenship Now! in New York City. He was formerly the Director of Training & Technical Assistance at the New York Immigration Coalition and a staff attorney with  the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). While at CLINIC, Mr. Shea represented naturalization cases and coordinated group naturalization application processing events. With CUNY Citizenship Now!, Mr. Shea oversees a legal staff of 36 who work on free group application assistance events as well as provide immigration legal services throughout the five boroughs of New York City.



Kyle Barron

FINAL IMG_0074sw_ppKyle Barron runs the accompaniment program for the New Sanctuary Coalition NYC to support families facing deportation. Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Barron received her master’s in politics at New York University. In addition, she earned her bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish at Arizona State University where she spent years working for border justice with the humanitarian group, No More Deaths. Ms. Barron is currently a PhD candidate in politics at The New School.



Mary Brown

IMG_0126swMary Brown first came to the Center for Migration Studies (CMS) in 1979 to work on a dissertation on the intersection of Italian immigration and New York City Catholicism, which eventually resulted in the CMS publication Churches, Communities and Children. Dr. Brown has been associated with CMS since then, first as a researcher writing parish community studies and editing book-length memoirs for publication, and since 1995 as an archivist processing collections and answering researchers’ questions. She also serves as the archivist and as an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College.


Siqi Tu
Data Analyst

FINAL IMG_0130sw_ppSiqi Tu is a doctoral student in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She received a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and a master’s degree in sociology from Columbia University. Her work is primarily within the areas of urban sociology, immigration, education and inequality. She was born and raised in Shanghai and moved to New York City in 2012. She developed her interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as a keen observer of diverse communities in different metropolitan areas. Since Fall 2014, Ms. Tu has been teaching undergraduate-level sociology courses at Brooklyn College.