Deputy Secretary William Corr Announces Appointment of Eskinder Negash as Director of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 29, 2009

Contact: ACF Press Office
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U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary William Corr today announced the appointment of Eskinder Negash, currently Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), to be Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Administration for Children and Families. 

"Mr. Negash brings nearly thirty years of experience working on behalf of refugees and immigrants.  He will greatly strengthen our efforts to help them adapt to a new culture and become employed, self-sufficient and contributing members of our society as soon as possible," said HHS Deputy Secretary William Corr. "He is well respected for his lifelong dedication of service in non-profit organizations, working to address the needs and rights of persons in forced or voluntary migration.  He has consistently advocated fair and humane policies for refugees and immigrants to encourage their full participation in community life."

Prior to his leadership role at USCRI, Mr. Negash was the Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for fifteen years of the International Institute of Los Angeles, an organization founded in 1914.  At the Institute, he implemented diverse programs including Child Care, Senior Services programs, Immigration and Citizenship Programs.  He also served as Chair of the California State Refugee Advisory Council; served for two years as Chair of the Joint Voluntary Agency Committee of California, and on the board of several non-profit organizations including the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

A graduate of California State University, Mr. Negash has a proven record of accomplishment of serving refugees and immigrants for nearly three decades, both in the United States and with the International Rescue Committee. He has extensive expertise with program development and the management of foundation, Federal and State government funded programs.

“The call to serve others, especially the most vulnerable, is the most meaningful and rewarding work I have ever done,” Mr. Negash said.  “As a former refugee, I am acutely aware of the plight of those who are languishing in refugee camps, often without hope or vision for the future. I am particularly concerned about the newly arriving refugees during this severe economic downturn."

In addition to its work with refugees and immigrants, the Office of Refugee Resettlement comes to the aid of victims of human trafficking and is responsible for the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children, providing a safe and appropriate environment until they are reunified with family members or sponsors in the U.S. or returned to their home country.

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