Refuge House is led by a Board of Directors who determines the strategic direction of the agency and provides oversight to the executive director. The executive director is responsible for the operations and programs of the agency, and the functions of the administrative, fiscal and program teams. Program services are led by a team of program directors and managers, who supervise direct service and community education staff members. Three programs operate on a 24-hour basis: our Leon County Emergency Shelter, our Taylor County Emergency Shelter and our Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis team. Our entire staff team of over 50 people are passionate advocates dedicated to the needs of survivors and our community.
Emily Mitchem is the Executive Director of Refuge House, the domestic and sexual violence center serving the eight county Big Bend area. She has served in this role since January 1, 2021. Prior to her role as Executive Director, she served as the Assistant Director for twelve years and was responsible for all programmatic activities, contract management, and quality assurance practices throughout all eight counties we serve. Before her time at Refuge House, she worked for several years with men who were adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse as an addictions counselor, and as a counselor for domestic violence, adult sexual assault and prostitution survivors within the Department of Corrections.
Refuge House is led by our dedicated Board of Directors, representing our community and our mission with pride:
Chief Assistant State Attorney, Second Judicial Circuit, Vice President, Resource Development Co-Chair
McV Tax & Advisory Services, Treasurer
Florida State University, Resource Development Co-Chair
ELIZABETH DESLOGE ELLIS
Attorney, Nabors Giblin & Nickerson, P.A.,
CAPTAIN BRICE GOOGLE
Leon County Sheriff’s Office
CELESTE HART, M.D.
Endocrinologist, The Thyroid Center
The Motivating Factor
FSU Faculty and Dean, Retired
Lady Links Golf
DEPUTY CHIEF TONJA BRYANT SMITH
Tallahassee Police Department
Chief, Fraud Division of the Florida Office of the Attorney General