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Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Appoints National Director
May 29, 2013

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Appoints National Director
Armando Borja, right, and Fr. Ken Gavin, S.J., during a visit to Jesuit Refugee Service projects in South Sudan in February 2009. Borja was named National Director of JRS/USA today. Fr. Gavin, JRS/USA Director at the time of this photo, is now the JRS International Assistant Director. (Jesuit Refugee Service)
"During his long tenure with JRS, Armando Borja has been an extremely effective leader and a tireless champion for millions of refugees determined to build a better future for their families. As Armando takes the helm of JRS/USA, we are confident that this vitally important Jesuit ministry is in very capable hands." — Richard Kelly, chair of the JRS/USA Board of Directors

(Washington, D.C.) May 29, 2013  — The Jesuit Refugee Service/USA Board of Directors announced today that longtime staff member Armando Borja has been named National Director of the organization, effective immediately. Since its founding in 1980, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced people around the world. Its work in the United States includes chaplaincies for immigration detainees, advocacy on worldwide refugee issues, and financial support for international projects. 

Borja, who began his career with JRS in 2001, has been the organization’s interim national director since last fall. He served previously as JRS/USA’s director for management and programs, human resources and financial management and in the communications and development departments. Borja is currently in Rome attending a meeting of the 10 JRS Regional Directors.

"During his long tenure with JRS, Armando Borja has been an extremely effective leader and a tireless champion for millions of refugees determined to build a better future for their families," said Richard Kelly, chair of the JRS/USA Board of Directors. "As Armando takes the helm of JRS/USA, we are confident that this vitally important Jesuit ministry is in very capable hands."

JRS is the primary refugee outreach ministry of the Society of Jesus, the largest order of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church. The organization works in more than 50 countries worldwide to meet the educational, health, social and other needs of approximately 700,000 refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, more than half of whom are women. JRS services are made available to refugees and displaced persons regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or religious beliefs. 

Borja received his undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and Information Science from Fordham University and earned a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Environmental Politics from The George Washington University. He was awarded a second master’s degree from the University of Virginia (Falls Church) in International Development. 

JRS/USA collaborates with the organization’s 10 international regions on advocacy, programming, fundraising, communications, strategic planning, policy development and volunteer recruitment. In addition, JRS/USA represents the international organization at the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States.  


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. 

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 also 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.

Approximately 280,000 children, young people and adults receive primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education services each year. 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. 

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

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