Nao Kabashima is the co-founder and Executive Director of Karen Organization of San Diego (KOSD), a community based organization serving refugees from Burma resettled in San Diego. She is originally from Fukuoka, Japan and first came to the U.S. as a graduate student. After she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education and her Master’s degree in Political Science, she moved to San Diego in 2008 and began volunteering for the Refugee Resettlement Program at Jewish Family Service of San Diego. In August 2009, she co-founded KOSD with Karen community leaders to meet the urgent needs of refugees from Burma. She also served as the Chair of the San Diego Refugee Forum in 2012-2013.
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She especially loves the beautiful culture, languages, and personalities that people from Burma have. One of her favorite parts about working at KOSD is that the office resounds with “lots of laughter all the time.”