23rd Annual National Conference

Strengthening Communities for Refugees in a Changing Environment



Conference Speakers


Keynote Speaker: Kathleen Newland is a Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of the Migration Policy Institute. Her focus is on the relationship between migration and development, the governance of international migration, and refugee protection. Previously, at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she was a Senior Associate and then Co-Director of the International Migration Policy Program (1994-01). She sits on the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee and the boards of directors of USA for UNHCR, the Stimson Center, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and the Foundation for The Hague Process on Migrants and Refugees. Ms. Newland is a graduate of Harvard University and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.
Mark C. Storella, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, has a longstanding commitment to humanitarian affairs and human rights. He joined the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in June 2016 with responsibility for admission of refugees to the United States and refugee programming in the Near East and Asia regions.
Prior to his current assignment, Ambassador Storella served as Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy Brussels where he was deeply involved in counterterrorism and countering violent extremism efforts. As U.S. Ambassador to Zambia 2010-2013, he oversaw $450 million in development assistance, with a focus on innovative health and governance programs. Ambassador Storella was the Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Baghdad from 2009-2010 and served as Counselor for Refugee and Migration Affairs and subsequently as Deputy Permanent Representative at the U.S. Mission in Geneva from 2006-2009. In that capacity, he engaged with over 50 UN agencies and international organizations, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration and the International Federation of the Red Cross. From 2001-2003, Ambassador Storella was adjunct professor at Georgetown University where he taught graduate and undergraduate courses on humanitarian action.
Ambassador Storella was Deputy Chief of Mission in Cambodia and Executive Assistant to the Counselor of the State Department; he also served on the Japan and NATO desks and was posted in Bangkok, Paris and Rome.
Scott Lloyd is the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Mr. Lloyd joins ORR from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal and charitable organization, where he served as an attorney in the Public Policy office. In that capacity, he helped shape the organization’s humanitarian response and led its policy advocacy on behalf of the ethnic and religious minorities who are victims of ISIS.
Before joining the Knights, he worked in private practice, at the Department of Health and Human Services (IOS/OGC), and on Capitol Hill (Government Reform Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources). Scott was an elementary English and Social Studies teacher before attending law school.
Mr. Lloyd received his undergraduate education at James Madison University and earned his J.D. at Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. He is licensed in Virginia, where he resides with his wife, Ann, and their six children.
Bob Carey Ken Tota is the Deputy Director for the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He has served as ORR Deputy Director since 2008, and also served as Acting ORR Director in 2006, 2015, and 2017.
Prior to joining ORR, Ken served as Senior Program Specialist at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, where he provided oversight to the Unaccompanied Children’s Program and the program transfer from the U.S. Department of Justice to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since coming to ORR, he has worked to significantly increase capacity and enhance care and services for unaccompanied children.
While at ORR, Ken has worked to enhance funding and services for refugees by focusing on the most vulnerable populations, technical assistance and expanding intensive case management. He has also been instrumental in the creation of an ORR division to focus on refugee health-related issues and developing partnerships in support of services for refugees.
Before entering civil service, Ken was the Cuban/Haitian Program Coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C., and Miami, Fla.
He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from American University in Washington, DC.
  Barbara Strack joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as Chief of the Refugee Affairs Division in November 2005. Her responsibilities include managing the Refugee Corps and Headquarters staff to support the U.S. refugee admissions program by conducting overseas adjudications and through related policy, training, quality assurance, anti-fraud, and national security efforts. Her previous experience includes both the public and private sectors: she directed a project on immigrant integration at the National Immigration Forum; served in the policy office at the former Immigration and Naturalization Service; worked as counsel to a U.S. Senate subcommittee; and practiced law in Washington, DC, at O’Melveny & Myers. In 2010, she received a Presidential Rank Award for excellence in public service, and in 2013 she received a USCIS Director’s Award. Ms. Strack has been a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, the American University Washington College of Law, and the Center for Forced Migration Studies Summer Institute at Northwestern University. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and Brown University, and she has attended the International Summer School in Forced Migration at the University of Oxford.
  Bill Frelick, director of Human Rights Watch's refugee program, monitors, investigates, and documents human rights abuses against refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons, and advocates for the rights and humanitarian needs of all categories of forcibly displaced persons around the world. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Frelick directed Amnesty International USA's refugee program and the US Committee for Refugees (USCR), which he served for 18 years. He was the editor of USCR's annual World Refugee Survey and monthly Refugee Reports. Frelick has traveled to refugee sites throughout the world and is widely published. He taught in the Middle East from 1979-1983 and was co-coordinator of the Asian Center of Clergy and Laity Concerned from 1976-1979. Frelick has a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from Columbia University.
  Jenny Yang is Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Policy at World Relief, where she provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions. She has worked in the Resettlement section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer, where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, serves as Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.
  Lauren Carruth is a professor at American University specializing in humanitarian assistance, global health, food security, refugees, and the Horn of Africa. Most of her continuing ethnographic work focuses on the lasting social and health system effects of episodic humanitarian interventions in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. She focuses on four research areas: (1) the lives and livelihoods of persons who form the local staffs and research subjects of health and humanitarian relief programs, (2) global health diplomacy and the social and political work of clinical care in emergencies (3) the relationship between food insecurity, medical insecurity, and chronic diseases among displaced populations in Ethiopia, and (4) emerging zoonotic diseases in the Horn of Africa. Prior to arriving at American University, Prof. Carruth was a postdoctoral scholar at Princeton University in the Global Health and Health Policy Program, and at George Washington University in the Elliott School of International Affairs. Between 2002 and 2007 she worked for the UN World Food Program in Ethiopia, UNICEF in Ethiopia, and the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.