About us

Our mission, vision and history

Our Mission

Communities free and healed from the trauma of human trafficking, slavery, and abuse.

Our Vision

For those affected by trauma and those who support them, Hagar is an expert in care and recovery.

When healing happens, the cycle of trauma stops.

Our Values

Respect: We believe in the right of all people to be heard and treated with respect and dignity.
Integrity: We commit to act ethically and honestly, striving to do the right thing in all times and in all circumstances.
Compassion: We want compassion and kindness to be evident in our attitude, communication and in active, practical ways.
Excellence: We hold ourselves to high standards, listening and learning from those we support, our partners and each other, to continuously improve all that we do.

Our History

Hagar was founded in 1994 in response to the prevalence of extreme domestic and community violence affecting women and children in post-civil war Cambodia. In 2008, Hagar began operations in Afghanistan to support women and children facing the worst forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking. The following year, HAGAR established an office in Vietnam to care for women who were affected by the growing magnitude of exploitation and abuse. More recently, Hagar began delivering programmes for women through our support office in Singapore, and we are partnering with organisations in Myanmar to increase their capacity to provide Trauma-Informed Care .

With 25 years of experience, HAGAR has transformed into an internationally renowned leader in recovery services for survivors of human trafficking, slavery and abuse.

The HAGAR Story

The Hebrew name Hagar means “one who flees” or “one who seeks refuge.” The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is the story of millions of exploited, abused, and trafficked women and children.

In around 2000 BC, Hagar worked in a foreign land as a domestic servant for a rich man called Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Sarah was unable to bear children and, following a common practice of the time, Sarah offered her servant to Abraham. When Hagar became pregnant, Sarah grew jealous and threw her out of their home. An angel found Hagar alone in the desert. He promised a blessing on her child, naming him Ishmael, which means “God hears.” In response Hagar declared: “You are the One who sees me.” The story of Hagar is known to many faiths including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

HAGAR is committed to providing sanctuary and hope to women and children like Hagar and Ishmael, walking the whole journey with each one.

OUR STAFF

Mike Nowlin

Executive Director

Mike Nowlin brings a wealth of sector expertise and experience to the role after serving as Executive Director, Hagar Cambodia since the beginning of 2016. He has two decades’ experience in child and family protection including three years in senior leadership roles with Hagar Cambodia, based in Phnom Penh. He has completed certificate programs in Global Mental Health and Recovery from Harvard University, Human Services Management from the Ohio State University, and Leadership and Biblical Studies from Vineyard Leadership Institute. “I am honored that the Board has given me the opportunity to lead the US operations. It is a critical time for Hagar to secure new donors and funding partnerships that will allow an expansion of Hagar’s work rebuilding broken lives. Hagar has a new 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and I want to ensure that we can deliver on those ambitious plans to support more survivors of abuse and exploitation,” says Nowlin.

Mike Nowlin

Executive Director
Mike Nowlin brings a wealth of sector expertise and experience to the role after serving as Executive Director, Hagar Cambodia since the beginning of 2016. He has two decades’ experience in child and family protection including three years in senior leadership roles with Hagar Cambodia, based in Phnom Penh. He has completed certificate programs in Global Mental Health and Recovery from Harvard University, Human Services Management from the Ohio State University, and Leadership and Biblical Studies from Vineyard Leadership Institute. “I am honored that the Board has given me the opportunity to lead the US operations. It is a critical time for Hagar to secure new donors and funding partnerships that will allow an expansion of Hagar’s work rebuilding broken lives. Hagar has a new 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and I want to ensure that we can deliver on those ambitious plans to support more survivors of abuse and exploitation,” says Nowlin.

Jennifer Valliant

Communications Specialist

Jennifer is a graduate of Montreat College’s Bible and Religion department. Her studies focused on youth ministry and business administration. She comes to the organization with two years-experience of living with women and mentoring those around her. Jennifer came to Hagar in August of 2016 as the part-time Communications Specialist. She has long desired to work alongside and participate with an organization that is passionate about helping people who have been used, abused and those who feel forgotten. Jennifer is eager to be a part of bringing wholeness and healing to people who are hurting.

Jennifer Valliant

Communications Specialist
Jennifer is a graduate of Montreat College’s Bible and Religion department. Her studies focused on youth ministry and business administration. She comes to the organization with two years-experience of living with women and mentoring those around her. Jennifer came to Hagar in August of 2016 as the part-time Communications Specialist. She has long desired to work alongside and participate with an organization that is passionate about helping people who have been used, abused and those who feel forgotten. Jennifer is eager to be a part of bringing wholeness and healing to people who are hurting.

OUR BOARD

Jeff Buterbaugh, Ph.D.

Chair

Jeff became Hagar USA’s Vice-Chair in 2017 and has now assumed the role of Board Chair for 2018. He is an account manager for National Instruments, where he has served in various roles in the Midwest since 1998. Jeff was introduced to Hagar by Jennifer Fleming, a Hagar International board member and long-time friend from the University of Virginia. He has over 20 years of church leadership experience and has been involved with refugee resettlement in the Columbus, Ohio area. This and other experiences have helped Jeff develop an awareness for both the challenges faced by children internationally, and the tangible opportunity to love and serve them in a globally connected world.

Jeff Buterbaugh, Ph.D.

Chair
Jeff became Hagar USA’s Vice-Chair in 2017 and has now assumed the role of Board Chair for 2018. He is an account manager for National Instruments, where he has served in various roles in the Midwest since 1998. Jeff was introduced to Hagar by Jennifer Fleming, a Hagar International board member and long-time friend from the University of Virginia. He has over 20 years of church leadership experience and has been involved with refugee resettlement in the Columbus, Ohio area. This and other experiences have helped Jeff develop an awareness for both the challenges faced by children internationally, and the tangible opportunity to love and serve them in a globally connected world.

Deborah Manzanares

Vice Chair/Secretary

Deborah Manzanares began as the Secretary for the Hagar USA Board in late 2015. She has now added the role of Vice-Chair for 2018. Debbie has been involved in anti-trafficking efforts in Southern Colorado since 2008. Her background includes more than 5 years working in both private and public sector environments. Debbie currently works for Hewlett Packard in eBusiness Operations and also serves in the Colorado Army National Guard. She graduated from Colorado Christian University.

Deborah Manzanares

Vice Chair/Secretary
Deborah Manzanares began as the Secretary for the Hagar USA Board in late 2015. She has now added the role of Vice-Chair for 2018. Debbie has been involved in anti-trafficking efforts in Southern Colorado since 2008. Her background includes more than 5 years working in both private and public sector environments. Debbie currently works for Hewlett Packard in eBusiness Operations and also serves in the Colorado Army National Guard. She graduated from Colorado Christian University.

Bruce N Messenger cpa.citp, PMP, PSM

Treasurer

Bruce began as Treasurer of Hagar USA and the chair of our Financial Committee in January of 2017. Bruce has over thirty years of experience in accounting, business management, and information technology. Mr. Messenger is currently a Director and Utility Sector Lead for the Florida and East Ohio region of Sogeti USA (part of Capgemini America). Bruce and his wife Karen have been part of Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus, Ohio, since 1990. They are co-leaders of a home church and have been actively involved in international student ministries and global missions support for over two decades. Having traveled in the past to Cambodia and the resulting appreciation of the people, culture, and challenges of that country were some of the things that drew Mr. Messenger to Hagar.

Bruce N Messenger cpa.citp, PMP, PSM

Treasurer
Bruce began as Treasurer of Hagar USA and the chair of our Financial Committee in January of 2017. Bruce has over thirty years of experience in accounting, business management, and information technology. Mr. Messenger is currently a Director and Utility Sector Lead for the Florida and East Ohio region of Sogeti USA (part of Capgemini America). Bruce and his wife Karen have been part of Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus, Ohio, since 1990. They are co-leaders of a home church and have been actively involved in international student ministries and global missions support for over two decades. Having traveled in the past to Cambodia and the resulting appreciation of the people, culture, and challenges of that country were some of the things that drew Mr. Messenger to Hagar.

James Hall

Board Member

James R. Hall is currently a member of the Department of Defense. He has worked in various command echelons, multi-national partnerships and other U.S inter agencies. His work has involved significant travel across the United States and abroad. His civilian education includes: B.A. Political Science, Oral Roberts University (Magnum Cum Laude); M.A. Communications and M.A. Public Policy, Regent University. He and his wife Kim are owners of a shabby chic furniture store and have two daughters.

James Hall

Board Member
James R. Hall is currently a member of the Department of Defense. He has worked in various command echelons, multi-national partnerships and other U.S inter agencies. His work has involved significant travel across the United States and abroad. His civilian education includes: B.A. Political Science, Oral Roberts University (Magnum Cum Laude); M.A. Communications and M.A. Public Policy, Regent University. He and his wife Kim are owners of a shabby chic furniture store and have two daughters.

Alex Brown

Board Member

With the separation of Hewlett-Packard Company Mr. Brown has recently moved to the position of Director, Americas End User Customer Operations. He has responsibility for Account Operation Managers in the United States and Canada, and Latin America as well as the Customer Support Center, the Manage Print and Supplies Pricing Team and the Customer Sales Support Managers all based in Guadalajara, Mexico. In his six and a half years at Hewlett-Packard he has served as Director, PPS US Corporate Inside Sales since September 2013. Mr. Brown attended Wake Forest University where he majored in History. Alex is also a recent graduate of the HP/Stanford Accelerated Development for Managers Program.

Alex Brown

Board Member
With the separation of Hewlett-Packard Company Mr. Brown has recently moved to the position of Director, Americas End User Customer Operations. He has responsibility for Account Operation Managers in the United States and Canada, and Latin America as well as the Customer Support Center, the Manage Print and Supplies Pricing Team and the Customer Sales Support Managers all based in Guadalajara, Mexico. In his six and a half years at Hewlett-Packard he has served as Director, PPS US Corporate Inside Sales since September 2013. Mr. Brown attended Wake Forest University where he majored in History. Alex is also a recent graduate of the HP/Stanford Accelerated Development for Managers Program.

Bahiyyah A. Walker

Board Member

Ms. Walker is currently the Vice President for Legal Compliance for Southern Energy, USA, an international brokerage firm specializing in the acquisition and trade of raw materials, forestry resources and commodities. Previous to this position, Bahiyyah served as Director of the Critical Legal Skills Department and Professor of Advanced Criminal Law at The Charlotte School of Law. Ms. Walker is a former Magistrate Judge, and faithfully served the people within the 14th Judicial District of North Carolina for several years. Within her personal interests, Bahiyyah is deeply committed to examining how specific social, economic, legal, and cultural frameworks develop and support criminal advocacy efforts in undeserved populations.

Bahiyyah A. Walker

Board Member
Ms. Walker is currently the Vice President for Legal Compliance for Southern Energy, USA, an international brokerage firm specializing in the acquisition and trade of raw materials, forestry resources and commodities. Previous to this position, Bahiyyah served as Director of the Critical Legal Skills Department and Professor of Advanced Criminal Law at The Charlotte School of Law. Ms. Walker is a former Magistrate Judge, and faithfully served the people within the 14th Judicial District of North Carolina for several years. Within her personal interests, Bahiyyah is deeply committed to examining how specific social, economic, legal, and cultural frameworks develop and support criminal advocacy efforts in undeserved populations.

For more information about our global team members please refer to our other country sites.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

Help us transform lives

Donate now

By partnering with Hagar, you’re supporting survivors to heal from the trauma of severe abuse. Our work is dependent on charitable giving by people like you.

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