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Eskinder Negash, Weissberg Chair in International Studies, 2016/17

Eskinder Negash

International Migration

April 3-8, 2017

A refugee himself from Ethiopia, Eskinder Negash has devoted his career to addressing the needs of refugees and immigrants. He currently serves as Senior Vice President for Global Engagement for the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). Mr. Negash brings over 35 years of experience working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and managing non-profit social service agencies. Prior to joining USCRI, appointed by the Obama administration, Mr. Negash served as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), within the Administration of Children and Families, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2009-2015. With a budget of over 1.5 billion, the ORR is the largest government-funded refugee resettlement organization in the world.  During Mr. Negash's tenure, the ORR provided essential services to more than 850,000 vulnerable people through its Resettlement Program, Rescue & Restore anti-trafficking campaign, and the Unaccompanied Children’s Program.

Additionally, Mr. Negash served as Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the International Institute of Los Angeles for 15 years. Mr. Negash has also served as a board member with several non-profit organizations, including two years as chair of the Joint Voluntary Agencies Committee of California, chair of the California State Refugee Advisory Council, and board member of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). Mr. Negash received an Outstanding American by Choice award from DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which recognizes naturalized U.S. citizens who have made significant contributions to both their community and their adopted country. In 2010, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) honored Mr. Negash as one of ten distinguished men and women whose stories of hope and transformation epitomize the refugee journey.

Events during Mr. Negash's residency include

Monday,  April 3: Faculty Forum:  Mr. Negash's Career Pathway. For Beloit College faculty and staff.  Mathers, 12:00-1:20.

Migration and Refugees:  Perspectives from Beloit College Faculty Members.  Richardson Auditorium, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

  • Beth Dougherty, International Relations:  U.S. Refugee Policy
  • Michelle Bumatay, French:   Mythologies - Frenchness and Migrants
  • Jennifer Esperanza, Anthropology: Perspectives on Migration from Anthropology
  • Ed Muston, German: German Legal Definitions, Policies, and Debates
  • Pablo Toral, International Relations:  Climate Refugees

Wednesday, April 5:  Lecture: “The International Migration Crisis."  Eaton Chapel, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 6: Preparing for Human Rights Advocacy.  Advice for Students.  WAC North Lounge, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Friday, April 7:  Stateline Area Immigrants and Refugees: Perspectives from Local Organizations and Institutions.  Richardson Auditorium:  4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

  • Neddy Astudillo, Pastor, Parroquia San José
  • Crusita Barrios, Director, Immigrant Outreach Program, YWCA Rock County
  • Janet Biljeskovic, Refugee Resettlement Program, Catholic Charities,Archdiocese of Rockford
  • Danielle Clifton, Bilingual Instructor (French), Lincoln Middle School, Rockford

Saturday, April 8:  Panel discussion.  Asylum Policies in and beyond the U.S.  Richardson Auditorium, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

  • Steve Meili, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Minnesota:  Detention of Asylum seekers in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Uzoamaka Nzelibe, Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern University:  Unaccompanied Alien Children
  • Stephen Poellet, Legal Director, International Refugee Assistance Project: Iraqi Refugees and Responsibility to Solve Protected Refugee Situations
  • Andrew Schoenholtz, Director, Human Rights Institute and Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law:  U.S. asylum process
  • Eskinder Negash, Weissberg Chair, Respondent.