IRIS-Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services

Embarking on a New Journey

Exactly 18 years ago, I started the most rewarding job I have ever had, Executive Director of IRIS. (Back then we were called the Interfaith Refugee Ministry).

Later this year, I will be stepping down from my position at IRIS.

I love this work, and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my dedicated colleagues, our amazing clients from all over the world, and our incredible family of friends and donors. Very few refugee and immigrant service organizations enjoy such generous, sustained, and energetic support.

Welcoming refugees and immigrants is our most noble national tradition. And it’s a demanding job.

At this point in my life, I’d like to spend more time with friends and family. My two daughters live overseas, and, I would like to visit them more often. One is about to have her first child, my second grandchild. And I love babysitting for my first grandchild, who lives in Brooklyn.

I am not leaving anytime soon. As soon as I informed the board, they began preparing for this transition. They hired a search firm to help find excellent candidates and to ensure a smooth transition. I will not leave until we have a new ED in place.

IRIS has always embraced change and has never been afraid of doing new things. Changing leadership is a healthy process. It will bring new ideas and new perspectives.

While I’ll be leaving my position at IRIS, I will continue to stay involved in this work. I hope to work part-time on Welcome Corps – our country’s new national private sponsorship program. I’m looking forward to strengthening our democracy by working on voter registration and voter turnout. I might even work on a political campaign next year.

And here is a secret: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon, but could never find the time to train. Next year, at the young age of 70, I will run my first marathon!

Thank you all for your support and amazing commitment to this mission,

Photo © The New Journal & New Haven Register

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