Washington D.C., 16 May 2023 (TDI): Deputy Secretary of the United States (US) Wendy Sherman issued a statement congratulating Amy Pope on her historic win to serve as the next Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

As IOM’s largest bilateral donor, the US extends its warmest congratulations to Pope on this momentous achievement, marking the first time in the organization’s more than 70-year-old history that a woman will assume this leadership position.

In her statement, Deputy Secretary Sherman expressed appreciation for outgoing Director General Vitorino’s exemplary service and leadership over the past five years. Under his guidance, the IOM has made significant strides in addressing the complex challenges of migration, and his contributions are commendable.

Deputy Secretary Sherman highlighted the broad endorsement by member states of Amy Pope’s vision, which places people at the heart of IOM’s mission while emphasizing the importance of implementing key governance and budget reforms. This resounding support demonstrates the international community’s confidence in her ability to steer the organization in the face of evolving global migration challenges.

“The United States firmly stands behind Pope’s vision for the IOM and eagerly anticipates working closely with her to implement crucial reforms that will enhance the organization’s effectiveness and inclusivity,” Deputy Secretary added.

Thus, Deputy Secretary Sherman reiterated the US commitment to supporting the IOM’s mission and expressed confidence in Amy Pope’s ability to lead the organization to new heights. The US is determined to collaborate with the IOM and its member states to address the multifaceted aspects of migration, including the protection of migrants’ rights, combating human trafficking, and fostering cooperation among nations.

About her appointment

On May 15, 2023, the Member States of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) elected Amy E. Pope as the organization’s next Director General during the 6th Special Session of the IOM Council. Pope, nominated by the United States of America, will be the first woman to lead the IOM since its establishment in 1951. Her five-year term as Director General will commence on October 1, 2023.

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The IOM, an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of migrants and society, is part of the United Nations system. Pope, who assumed the role of IOM’s Deputy Director General for Management and Reform in September 2021, was instrumental in implementing significant budgetary, management, and administrative reforms during her tenure.

These reforms aimed to enhance IOM’s field delivery and risk management, strengthen coordination with the United Nations system, and improve internal justice outcomes and operational results.

Biography of Pope

Before joining the IOM, Amy Pope held various notable positions. In 2021, she served as the Senior Advisor on Migration to President Biden. From 2015 to 2017, she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor, and from 2013 to 2015, she served as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on Transborder Security.

During her time at the White House, Pope played a crucial role in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to manage migration surges, combat human trafficking, respond to health crises such as the Zika and Ebola outbreaks, and prepare communities for climate-related emergencies.

Moreover, she has continued to contribute to the discourse on global migration challenges through her academic writing and work with organizations like Chatham House. Pope has also held positions at the US Department of Justice and the US Senate, and she worked as a Partner at the London-based law firm Schillings.

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Throughout her career, Amy Pope has demonstrated expertise in guiding government entities and private sector organizations through organizational change, fostering strategic thinking, innovation, and risk management.

She is recognized for her ability to develop and empower diverse teams, as well as for her talent in building partnerships and promoting collaboration with multilateral organizations, governments, and community stakeholders. Her extensive experience encompasses the development and implementation of policies related to migration, refugee resettlement, and countering violent extremism.

Furthermore, Amy Pope obtained a Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the Duke University School of Law, and she holds a BA in Political Science with Honors from Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

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With her appointment as Director General, Pope will bring her expertise, vision, and dedication to lead the IOM and address the challenges and opportunities presented by migration in the coming years. The US and the international community eagerly anticipate working with Pope to create a more humane and efficient global migration system that benefits migrants and societies alike.