On the Frontlines of the Global Refugee Crisis

Dean's Speaker Series: What's Next in Foreign Affairs (Hybrid Event)

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This event in the What's Next in Foreign Affairs Speakers Series will focus on the consequences of the forced displacement of people around the world. From Afghanistan to Ukraine to Ethiopia, growing numbers of people are seeking refuge from wars, natural disasters due to climate change, and fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. Lutheran Refugee and Immigration Service (LIRS) President and CEO, Krish O'Mara Vignarajah will join Elliott School Dean Alyssa Ayres to discuss the global refugee crisis, how current response mechanisms work, where the needs are greatest (and growing), and what communities can do to help.

About Krish O’Mara Vignarajah

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah is the President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). She previously served in the Obama White House as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama, leading the signature Let Girls Learn initiative, and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. At the State Department, Krish coordinated development and implementation of multiple programs including those concerning refugees and migration, engagement with religious communities, the legal dimensions of U.S. foreign policy, and regional issues relating to Africa and the Middle East.

Before joining the White House, Krish practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC, clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct. She holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology and an M.A. in Political Science from Yale College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University (Marshall Scholarship). Krish has been recognized as one of The Daily Record’s Top 50 Influential Marylanders, Top 100 Women, and Most Admired CEOs, as well as a Woman to Watch by the Baltimore Sun.

This is a hybrid event. Register for the in-person event or attend virtually by registering via Zoom.

This event is on the record and open to media.