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JRS at 35: Humanitarian advocate to be honored
November 02, 2015

JRS at 35: Humanitarian advocate to be honored
T. Alexander Aleinikoff, then Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, speaks at the opening in 2011 of a photographic exhibit at UN Headquarters entitled “The World’s Stateless.” (UN photo — Mark Garten)
(November 2, 2015) Washington, D.C. — Jesuit Refugee Service was founded 35 years ago this month by then Superior General Fr. Pedro Arrupe. JRS/USA will commemorate our history of service to refugees and the forcibly displaced with a dinner on Dec. 1, and present T. Alexander Aleinikoff with the JRS Advocacy Award.

Advocacy is one of the three pillars of the JRS mission: to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS advocates for just and generous policies and programs for the benefit of victims of forced displacement, so that those made vulnerable by exile can receive support and protection and durable solution to their plight can be achieved. 

Mr. T. Alexander Aleinikoff is a leading scholar in refugee, immigration and citizenship law and policy. He has served on numerous intergovernmental and international bodies on migration and human rights, and currently is a senior advisor with the UN Secretariat in New York.

Mr. Aleinikoff served as UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees from 2010 to 2015. During this time, UNHCR responded to major humanitarian emergencies due to conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, Ukraine and elsewhere. He was also instrumental in initiating the Solutions Alliance, a collaborative effort of UN agencies, hosting states, donors and NGOs to help end situations of long-term displacement.

From 1995 to 1997 Mr. Aleinikoff was executive associate commissioner for programs with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, overseeing program development. And he served as INS general counsel in 1994-95, participating in major decisions that included reforms of the nation’s asylum process.

Prior to his service with the UN, Mr. Aleinikoff was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center from 1997 to 2010, where he also served as dean from 2004 to 2010. Previously he was a law professor at the University of Michigan from 1981 to 1997.

While at Georgetown, Mr. Aleinikoff co-chaired the Immigration Policy Review Team for President Barack Obama's transition to the White House after his 2008 election.

Mr. Aleinikoff also is a former director of the Comparative Citizenship Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which focuses on issues such as the rights and obligations of citizens and aliens, dual nationality and naturalization policies. In 2013 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies.

"There are now more than 60 million people who have been forced from their homes due to violence and conflict – more than at any time since the end of World War II,” Mr. Aleinikoff said. “I have sought to be a part of the international effort to ensure their safety and dignity and their return to a normal life."

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JRS supporters and friends are invited to join us for the JRS 35th Anniversary Awards Dinner on Dec. 1, as we commemorate 35 years of service to refugees and the forcibly displaced. The dinner will be held at One West 54th Street in New York. 

 Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased on our EventBrite page, just click here. To become an underwriter of the event please email or call Pat McDermott at 202-629-5939 or Clare Bonsignore at 202-629-5948.

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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is an international Catholic non-governmental organization whose mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons.

To accompanymeans to be a companion. We are companions of Jesus, so we wish to be companions of those with whom he preferred to be associated, the poor and the outcast. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs. JRS advocatesfor just and generous policies and programs for the benefit of victims of forced displacement, so that those made vulnerable by exile can receive support and protection and durable solution to their plight can be achieved. 

JRS/USA witnesses to God’s presence in vulnerable and often forgotten people driven from their homes by conflict, natural disaster, economic injustice, or violation of their human rights. 

As one of the ten geographic regions of Jesuit Refugee Service, JRS/USA serves as the major refugee outreach arm of U.S. Jesuits and their institutional ministries, mobilizing their response to refugee situations in the U.S. and abroad. Through our advocacy and fund raising efforts, JRS/USA provides support for the work of JRS throughout the world. 

JRS/USA gives help, hope, ear and voice to vulnerable people on the move by being present to and bearing witness to their plight; by relieving their human suffering and restoring hope; by addressing the root causes of their displacement and improving international responses to refugee situations.

In addition, JRS/USA inspires the Ignatian family and others to respond together to the needs of refugees and displaced persons worldwide and forges strong partnerships with like-minded institutions and agencies devoted to the cause of refugees and displaced persons.

JRS works in more than 45 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of nearly 760,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, more than half of whom are women. JRS services are available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs.

In 2014, approximately 142,000 children, young people and adults received primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education services. JRS places the highest priority on ensuring a better future for refugees by investing heavily in education and training. Further, JRS undertakes advocacy to ensure all displaced children be provided with access to quality education. JRS services are provided to refugees regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.



Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
christian.fuchs@jrs.net
202-629-5946