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Susan Weishar

Migration Specialist/Fellow


Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Research, Louisiana State University, 1997

M.Ed., Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1982

B.S., Liberal Arts, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1977



  • Jesuit Social Research Institute


Dr. Susan Mary Weishar, Ph.D., of New Orleans became Migration Specialist/Fellow, effective August 2, 2010. Dr. Weishar brings almost thirty years of experience in education and human services to JSRI, including fourteen years as Director of Immigration and Refugee Services with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (1991-2005). Earlier, she worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samoa and as a teacher in Guatemala. Most recently, in the years since Katrina, Dr. Weishar served as project manager for the Louisiana Refugee Services Collaborative to implement a new state-wide refugee services collaborative, administrator for the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA), Gulf Coast Coordinator for the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits, and Director of Development for UNITY of Greater New Orleans. Dr. Weishar and programs which she directed have been honored by Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (for Alternatives to Detention), the National Crime Prevention Council (for the Asian Youth Services Program), and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (for the Immigrant Domestic Violence Services Program). Her doctoral dissertation in Educational Leadership and Research from LSU focused on the use of computer technology in teaching English as a second language to adult refugees from Vietnam.

Areas of Expertise

  • Alternatives to detention
  • Privatization of U.S. prisons and immigration detention centers
  • U.S. immigration policies
  • Criminal justice reform 
  • Teach-ins on Migration
  • Catholic Teach-ins on Mass Incarceration