January 22, 2010 NEWS RELEASE — Linda Hartke Named President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

Press Contact: Stacy Martin, Vice President for Mission Advancement
410-230-2847, lirspress@lirs.org

Linda Hartke Named President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service

BALTIMORE, January 22, 2010 — The board of directors of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) recently named Linda Hartke as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.

Outgoing LIRS Board Chair Elaine Richter Bryant offered, “The board of directors is elated to welcome Linda Hartke as our new president and CEO, and we have great faith in her leadership abilities. She has the demonstrated skills and experience to enable LIRS to build on its firm foundation and to bring new dimension to our efforts to ‘welcome the stranger.’”

Hartke comes to the LIRS with a wealth of knowledge and experience on the organization’s key issues, most recently serving as executive director of the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance. Prior to this post Hartke worked with Church World Service for many years, serving first as country director in Cambodia until she assumed the role of director of programs and operations.

“Linda Hartke’s arrival as LIRS president means that strategic planning has moved back to the top of our board’s agenda,” adds the Rev. Roy Riley, incoming board chair and bishop of the ELCA’s New Jersey Synod. “We are heading into an exciting chapter in the life and work of LIRS and Linda will help us to cast that new vision.

Hartke hails from Massachusetts and is a graduate of Smith College, where she complemented her studies in religion and biblical literature with a second major in government.

She was most recently a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva, where she served as an elected member of the congregational committee and president of the congregation. Hartke has served on national and regional boards of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and one of its predecessor bodies, the Lutheran Church in America, including appointment to the governing board of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service,” said Hartke. “I have witnessed the breadth and impact of LIRS’s service and advocacy for newcomers and feel privileged to become a part of this organization’s great mission. I look forward to working together with the LIRS board, staff, partners and friends across the country to make the United States a more welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”

Hartke begins her service as the organization’s president and chief executive officer on February 22.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is a champion for uprooted people and is one of the nation’s leading agencies serving refugees and immigrants. LIRS helps people seeking safety from persecution in their home countries and reunites families torn apart by conflict. LIRS resettles refugees and protects vulnerable children who arrive alone in the United States. LIRS advocates for compassion and justice for all migrants.

To learn more about LIRS’s work of welcome, please visit lirs.org.

 

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