Sebastian Fries, PhD, President & CEO
Sebastian Fries joined I-House as President and CEO in May 2021. Prior to I-House he served as the inaugural Executive Director of Corporate Partnerships at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, where he led industry relations between Columbia faculty and Fortune 500 corporations. Prior to Columbia, Fries was the Chief Giving Officer at TOMS Shoes in Los Angeles, CA, where he led the company’s social impact strategy with partnerships in more than 70 countries. Earlier, he held various international leadership positions at Pfizer, including Senior Director of Global Access and Director of Strategic Planning for the Emerging Markets Business Unit. He received a PhD in International Relations from the Free University in Berlin, spent three years as a graduate student at Harvard University as part of his doctoral studies and holds an MA from the University of Cologne. Born and raised in Germany, he and his family have enjoyed living abroad in Egypt and Italy and now reside in New York.
Larry Palfini, Sr. Vice President, Operations
Responsible for Facilities, Public Safety, and Resident and Guest Services, Larry Palfini leads a team of over 50 dedicated professionals who provide operational support services to our residential community of postgraduate students. Larry is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s annual and long term year strategic capital project plan. In this role he works very closely with the Residents, senior staff, and the Trustees through the House, Finance and Executive committees, to ensure alignment with the organization’s vision, mission, values and strategic plan. Prior to joining International House, Larry worked for the iconic luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. for 25 years. He was the Vice President of Global Facilities and Store Construction, managing over 200 capital projects per year and responsible for leading a team of over 75 professionals. Some of his most significant accomplishments included the design, construction and relocation of Tiffany’s corporate offices in New York City and the ground-up construction and site development for two distribution/ fulfillment centers in New Jersey. Larry is a graduate of the City University of New York and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Management.
Megan Amouzou, Vice President, Admissions
Megan Amouzou leads the operations of recruiting and selecting the best and brightest young professionals from across the world to build an engaged and diverse community of residents. She also is chair of the committee that awards more than $500,000 in need-based financial aid to ensure that the diversity of community extends beyond the geographic to socioeconomic diversity. Born in Missouri, Megan was a young child when her family moved to Guatemala, where her parents worked as missionaries providing health care and job training to local villagers. After three years in Guatemala, her family moved to Ossining, New York. Megan holds a BA from SUNY Oswego in Spanish and Russian and spent her entire senior year abroad, studying one semester in Moscow and one in Madrid. She came to International House as Admissions Coordinator in May 1997 and was promoted to Assistant Director of Admissions just a year later, becoming Director of Admissions in 2001.
John Doyle, CFP, CMA, CPA, EdD, Vice President, Finance
John Doyle joined the organization as Vice President of Finance in May 2022, bringing more than 30 years of experience leading financial and administrative functions for both corporate and not for profit organizations. John has held various financial leadership positions at the Archdiocese of New York, Columbia and St. John’s Universities, Franklin Resources, Edison Schools, and JPMorgan Chase. He holds a doctorate and BA from St. John’s University, an MBA from New York University, and is a graduate of the Harvard University General Management Program. Certified as a CPA, CMA and CFP, John was also an adjunct professor at St. John’s University and NYU, where he taught courses in Financial Management, Personal Financial Planning and Accounting Principles. John and his wife, Merl, are lifelong New Yorkers and currently reside in Kew Gardens with their two children and Luna (West Highland Terrier).
Kate Gorman, Vice President, Development, Alumni Relations & Communications
Kate Gorman joined International House in January 2022 and brings fifteen years of nonprofit fundraising, relationship-building, and strategic communications experience to the role. Most recently, Kate was Director of Development at Mount Sinai Health System, focusing on fundraising for cardiology and cardiovascular surgery programs. She was also a part of a team that raised over $70 million for COVID-19 relief for the hospital during the spring of 2020. Before Mount Sinai, Kate worked in individual major gifts for the National Audubon Society and in reunion giving for NYU Law. Kate began her career in development in San Francisco, working at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and as well as at UCSF. Kate lived and studied for a year at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, and she spent several months living and studying Spanish in Costa Rica after graduating college. She holds a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Anthropology from Brown University. Kate, her husband, and their dog live in Hartsdale, NY.
Vincent Melito, Vice President, Facilities & Site Operations
Vincent Melito holds a degree in Architecture from New York Institute of Technology and has completed Graduate studies at Adelphi University and Harvard Graduate School. With 29 years of experience in Design, Construction, Facilities Management and International Business, Vincent’s career includes positions at illustrious organizations such as NatWest Bank, British Airways, Tiffany & Co. and now, International House. His design and construction experience varies from residential design, luxury retail, commercial real estate, health & wellness and hospitality design, and his graduate studies focus on environmental design in the corporate workplace. He has worked on numerous LEED certified projects and energy reducing initiatives with a continued interest in driving sustainability for the global environment. In his current role, Vincent manages the day to day operations, facilities & project management for both the North and South buildings, comprising of over 340,000 square feet of dormitory and resident meeting and dining spaces. His team of over 30 dedicated and experienced staff maintain the overall appearance and functionality of the I-House facilities, as well as the management of Public Safety and Resident & Guest Services. His team also manages the vendor relationships with over 14 dedicated facility service providers, including the Resident Dining Services vendor. Vincent and his wife, Aracelis, reside on Long Island, NY and have two daughters currently attending college.
Lorraine Pirro, MA, LCSW, Director, Global Health & Wellness Services
As Director of Global Health and Wellness Services and International House’s Resident Social Worker, Lorraine Pirro oversees the counseling services available 24/7 to all I-House residents, which include guidance on cross-cultural communication and interpersonal integrity in global environments. Her responsibilities include the selection and supervision of I-House Resident Fellows, Peer Counselors, and Graduate Interns in mental health, public health, and related fields, and the development and implementation of Resident Life policies and procedures. She serves on the COVID-19 Response Team and the South Building Reopening Committee at International House. A member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, she is a Certified Grief and Loss Counselor, a licensed clinician in NY and CT, and has been a Senior Lecturer, Advanced Clinical Electives, at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Social Work since 2011.
KC Trommer, Director of Communications
KC Trommer joined I-House as the Director of Communications in 2023, bringing with her over two decades of experience in non-profit educational communications. Her most recent role was as Director of Communications for NYU Gallatin, where she worked with NYU senior leadership to build and strengthen the profile of the school as an international model for inter- and multi-disciplinary study. KC began her career as a book editor, first working at Barnes & Noble Books and Simon & Schuster before moving into educational communications in at the Buckley School, Bard High School Early College, and the CUNY Graduate Center. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA in English Literature from the University of Georgia, Athens. As a student, she did study away at the Centre Linguistic in Jonquière, Quebec, and at University College Cork in Ireland. She’s originally from Maine and now lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with her son.