April 23, 2013 NEWS RELEASE — LIRS Seeks New Board Members to Champion Immigrant and Refugee Rights

Press Contact: Jon Pattee
202-591-5778, jpattee@lirs.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 23, 2013 — Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) seeks nominations for its 2014 board of directors and committees, the award-winning nongovernmental organization announced today.

The LIRS board sets the organization’s mission goals and ensures that it has the resources, leadership, and oversight necessary to carry them out. The 16 board members have knowledge of and commitment to refugees and immigration matters. Three Lutheran church bodies, as well as other denominations and faiths, are present on the board. There are also three former refugees and two immigrants on the board.

LIRS makes a special effort to ensure diversity among its board members. Therefore, LIRS strongly encourages the nomination of women, former refugees, immigrants and members of underrepresented groups. LIRS is seeking some specific skills and expertise, and these are outlined in the call for nominations. Information about current board members can be viewed at the LIRS Leadership page.

“LIRS has found that strength depends on diversity, and that we need the voice of refugees, immigrants, women, and young people guiding the decisions on how to best revitalize and unite our communities,” said LIRS President and CEO Linda Hartke.

“We welcome the nomination of prospective board and committee members who are committed to our mission, share our core values, and are prepared to dedicate themselves in this service,” said Hartke. “We invite Lutherans and others to consider joining us.”

Seven seats are expected to be open for a three-year term (2014-2016). Each year, usually one-third of the seats on the board are due to open as part of a pattern of rotation. This year, four of the incumbents are eligible to serve another term. In addition, there are opportunities for service on the following committees: Audit, Communications and Resource Development, Finance and Investment, and Outcomes.

Potential candidates and nominators can visit lirs.org/boardnominations to view the call for nominations, expectations of board and committee members, the nominations timeline, and the nominations form. Nominations should be submitted to nominations@lirs.org by June 1, 2013 for early review, but must be received no later than June 14, 2013.

Since its founding 74 years ago, LIRS has helped nearly 400,000 refugees rebuild their lives. The Baltimore-based organization is nationally recognized for advocating for refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for providing services to migrants through over 60 grassroots legal and social service partners nationwide. LIRS welcomes New Americans on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

LIRS has received a number of awards, including the National Leadership Award of the Vietnamese American National Gala and the Outstanding Achievement Award in Community Service of the Checago Bright Foundation. In 2012, LIRS’ accomplishments included resettling 9,933 refugees; supporting 4,198 refugees in an employment program; training over 900 resettlement professionals; providing follow-up services for 324 families and caregivers reuniting with children; identifying and assessing 318 survivors of torture for service; and placing 277 refugee and immigrant children in specialized foster care programs.