Essey Workie is the President and CEO of Silver Lining, a human services consulting firm. She specializes in U.S. policies related to health and human services. Her work focuses on refugee resettlement, human trafficking, and unaccompanied children and youth.
Ms. Workie previously worked as the Director of Refugee Health and the Director of Planning and Development at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, where she established the national refugee medical assistance and medical screening programs in multiple states. She also secured funding that doubled the agency’s operational budget for domestic and international programming.
Earlier, Ms. Workie served as the Regional Administrator for the Administration for Children and Families, examining the relationships between early childhood development, economic security, and immigrant integration programs. Prior to that, Ms. Workie contributed to the Office of Refugee Resettlement as a senior advisor and policymaker. She established the division of refugee health, overseeing several programs and initiatives including the survivors of torture programs, refugee medical assistance and health-care reform, medical screening, health education, and professional recertification. She also partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a rapid health assessment of Congolese refugees in Rwanda.
Ms. Workie began her career in nonprofit organizations and local government as a social worker, specializing in child and adolescent mental health. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Madison University and a master’s degree in social work from Temple University. She serves as the Chair of the WISER Board of Directors and is an executive leadership coach.
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At a time when the U.S. refugee resettlement system is facing unprecedented challenges, innovative and cost-effective tools for supporting refugee integration are in demand. This report explores how a two-generation approach to service provision could help all members of refugee families—from young children to working-age adults and the elderly—find their footing.