This is a story we missed earlier this month, but Chris Coen at Friends of Refugees blog spotted the news and reported on it here. (Hat tip: Joanne)
Eskinder Negash, who has served as the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement for the last six years, tendered his resignation on December 9th, see it here, calling himself not a “political man.” Of course the implication is that the job is a meat-grinder.
Check out Coen’s critical commentary of the Director’s time in his leadership role.
We don’t know what was going on behind the scenes that would push Negash out without having a plan for his future (as he indicates in his letter), but my big problem with his position there is that he himself was a federal contractor at the supposedly charitable US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), now on the federal payroll for 99% of its funds, before he came to the ORR. By the way, the present head honcho at USCRI (Negash’s former boss) was also Bill Clinton’s Director of the ORR!
His partner over at the US State Department, Anne Richard, is also a former contractor. And, I will bet that Negash is replaced by yet another high ranking executive from one of the nine federal contractors.***
The incestuous nature of the relationship between grantor and grantee must be investigated by Congress! You can be sure the present system does not bode well for the US taxpayer being assured that waste, fraud and abuse is being monitored closely. Heck, if there was an effort to seriously watch the contractors, the federal manager (Richard or Negash) would never get a job on the outside in the refugee industry again.
*** These are the nine VOLAGs (contractors) which monopolize the refugee resettlement program. Let’s see which one sends a top level staffer to replace Negash!
- Church World Service (CWS)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
- World Relief Corporation (WR)