Tuesday, August 03, 2010

FYI: Humanitarian Leader Michel Gabaudan Named As Next President of Refugees International

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Email: peter.lopez51@yahoo.com 
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make violent revolution inevitable."
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----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Refugees International <ri@refugeesinternational.org>
To: peter.lopez51@yahoo.com
Sent: Tue, August 3, 2010 10:38:35 AM
Subject: Humanitarian Leader Michel Gabaudan Named As Next President of Refugees International



For Immediate Release: August 3, 2010

Contact: Refugees International, Gabrielle Menezes

P: 202-828-0110 x225



Humanitarian Leader Michel Gabaudan

Named As Next President of Refugees International


Washington, D.C. -- Refugees International (RI), the leading advocacy organization on refugee crises worldwide, today announced the appointment of Michel Gabaudan as its new president. Mr. Gabaudan brings to RI a dedicated history of service to refugees, most recently as Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


"In my twenty-five year career with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees I have seen first-hand the incredible challenges humanitarian actors face trying to serve families forced from their homes by conflict or crisis," said Mr. Gabaudan. "Refugees International has played a tremendously important role in advocating for more effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection, which has made a real difference on the ground to some of the world's most vulnerable people. I am very proud to have the opportunity to help RI continue with its vital and life changing work."


Mr. Gabaudan arrives at a pivotal moment as the organization works to promote solutions to a growing number of refugee crises around the world. More than forty million people are currently displaced by conflict in countries as varied as Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Colombia and the D.R. Congo. In addition, tens of millions of people could be displaced by climate change over the next 50 years.


"I share our entire board's enthusiasm in welcoming Michel to Refugees International," said Eileen Shields-West, Chair of Refugees International's Board of Directors. "Michel's experience on the ground as a physician and UNHCR field officer and his subsequent leadership in the UN's refugee agency, position him to propel Refugees International forward in its mission to bring attention and action to refugees and displaced persons worldwide."


Michel Gabaudan's career with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spans more than 25 years and includes service in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. Prior to his most recent role, he served as the Regional Representative for UNHCR in Beijing.


Mr. Gabaudan's UN career took him to field operations in Cameroon and Pakistan where he witnessed thousands of people displaced without access to health care, water and food. He spent several years at the agency's headquarters in Geneva, where he served as the first public health advisor to the organization and later oversaw the agency's donor relations service.  Prior to joining UNHCR, he utilized medical and tropical public health training to serve vulnerable populations in Guyana, Zambia, Brazil, London and Yemen.


"The board was particularly impressed by Michel's mix of deep personal compassion and dedication to refugee issues, and his breadth of experience and skills," added Shields-West.


"Michel has spent his career delivering critical assistance on the ground, leading wide-reaching humanitarian programs and negotiating politically sensitive agreements to secure refuge for families uprooted by crisis. We couldn't have found a more qualified or dedicated leader for RI."


Mr. Gabaudan will start at Refugees International on September 7.  António Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in statement to UNHCR staff regarding Mr. Gabaudan's retirement from the agency, "Michel represents the very best of UNHCR: multilingual, exceptionally politically and diplomatically able, a natural leader and excellent team builder. He has served our organization on every continent, heading offices in several of the world's most politically challenging and exacting environments.  Betraying his training as a medical doctor, Michel has combined an insistence on precision in diagnosis with a deeply humanitarian commitment to relief."


Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. Started in 1979 as a citizens' movement to protect Indochinese refugees, the organization has since expanded to become the leading advocacy organization that provokes action from global leaders to resolve refugee crises. The organization accepts no government or UN funding.


For a full biography, please go to: www.refugeesinternational.org/president .


Refugees International is a Washington, DC-based organization that advocates to end refugee crises and receives no government or UN funding. www.refugeesinternational.org


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