This isn’t exactly breaking news!
Lavinia Limon stepped down as head of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) last October according to a statement by the head of its board of directors. However, it may not have been a voluntary retirement. Someone recently reported to me that she was “forced” out during a period of growing “panic” among the nine federal contractors who are seeing their budgets shrink as refugee arrivals slow.
USCRI is presently being led by her longtime sidekick, Eskinder Negash.
This is a portion of the statement (about her ‘retirement’) from Board Chairman attorney Gene DeFilice:
Message from the Chairman of the Board of USCRI
Dear USCRI staff and partner agencies,
Lavinia Limon, CEO and President of USCRI has decided to retire from USCRI effective October 13, 2017. The Board appreciates Ms. Limon’s over four decades of service to refugees and immigrants, and her contribution to USCRI, thanks her, and wishes her the best in her future endeavors.
The Board of Directors has appointed Mr. Eskinder Negash as acting Chief Executive Officer. The Board is currently in the process of conducting a national search, which includes the consideration of Mr. Negash.
Mr. Negash, a refugee himself, has devoted his entire distinguished career to addressing the needs of refugees and immigrants. Mr. Negash brings nearly 40 years of experience working on behalf of refugees and immigrants and managing non-profit social service agencies. Prior to joining USCRI, 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, and the Chief Operating Officer of USCRI from 2002-2009.
As we thank Lavinia for her service, say good-bye, and wish her well, please join me in congratulating and supporting Eskinder as he assumes the position of acting Chief Executive Officer of USCRI.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of USCRI
(There was no mention of retirement party or farewell gala.)
If you are a longtime reader of RRW, you know that both Lavinia Limon and Eskinder Negash have been gracing our pages for years.
Click here for a huge archive on Limon and here for Negash. I don’t have the time (or patience) for a rundown on their whole careers.
However, just a few key bits of information on Limon.
She was Bill Clinton’s Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and I believe a key player in promoting the idea of refugee labor for BIG MEAT (and eventually BIG YOGURT) that began with Clinton admitting large numbers of Bosnian Muslims for his friends in the Iowa beef industry during her leadership of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in HHS.
It is actually a clever scheme: Bring in cheap captive labor ($$$) for your industry pals and wear the white hat of humanitarianism as you do it!
Michael Leahy at Breitbart chronicled Limon’s career here (a must read!).
As for Negash, he left his post as Director of the ORR (note both of them revolved in and out of government) under strange, never explained, circumstances, see here.
Again, I have no idea why this shakeup at USCRI, but it is more evidence that Donald Trump’s refugee policies are breaking up old alliances and power structures in the swamp.
You can imagine that they are hurting. They are one of the nine federal contractors*** that is almost completely federally funded. See a discussion of their finances here from last March. I put them (at that time) at about 94% funded by the government (you). Limon was making a largely federally funded salary/related income of over $300,000!
And then see here when I analyzed all nine contractors a few months later, I put them at 98% government funded. I was using facts provided by Charity Navigator which told me that this agency could not be evaluated because:
This organization is not eligible to be rated by Charity Navigator because, as a service for individual givers, we only rate organizations that depend on support from individual contributors and foundations. Organizations such as this, that get most of their revenue from the government or from program services, are therefore not eligible to be rated.
Go here to find an USCRI subcontractor office near you.
And, this reminds me, speaking of CEOs leaving, I wonder what is happening over at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service that was undergoing a shake-up at about the same time, see here.
Did Hartke survive?
*** These are the nine federal contractors largely funded by you. In parenthesis, after each, is the percentage of their income funded by Congress out of the US Treasury. They are paid by the head to resettle refugees, so as the Trump Administration slows the flow into the country, their budgets are being strained to the breaking point.
- Church World Service (CWS) (71%)
- Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)(93%)
- Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) (99.5%)
- Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) (57%)
- International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular) (66.5%)
- US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular) (98%)
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) (97%)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (97%)
- World Relief Corporation (WR) (72.8%)