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State Letter #06-09

Introductory Message

Published: March 17, 2006
Types:
State Letter
Tags:
director

TO: STATE REFUGEE COORDINATORS
NATIONAL VOLUNTARY AGENCIES
OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

FROM: Martha E. Newton
Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement

SUBJECT: Introductory Message

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for welcoming me as the new Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. I am looking forward to meeting you in the coming months and working together to enhance our programs that serve vulnerable refugee, unaccompanied child and victim populations.

I am aware of the challenges that all of you face at the state level. From 1995-2001, I was the Chief of the Crime Victim Services Division for the Illinois Attorney General's Office. As a victim advocate working at the state level, I have seen firsthand the importance of providing services that are culturally sensitive and appropriate and have been faced with the challenge of providing those services with limited resources.

Most recently, I was the Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Labor. I had the privilege of directing international technical assistance programs dedicated to eradicating hazardous child labor, forced labor and trafficking in persons. I'm proud of the part I played in working to design comprehensive programs that focused on providing education and economic alternatives to individuals who were withdrawn from hazardous and abusive labor around the globe.

As you already know, ORR is staffed by very dedicated and knowledgeable professionals. One of my first priorities at ORR is to ensure that our workforce is fully staffed, well trained and responsive to changing programmatic needs.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you to strengthen initiatives that will meet the needs of increasingly diverse ethnic populations. Thank you in advance for your support as we work together for this common cause.