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MPI Board of Trustees Selects New Chair and Officers
Press Release
Thursday, February 4, 2021

MPI Board of Trustees Selects New Chair and Officers

WASHINGTON — The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Board of Trustees has selected new officers, with Lidia Soto-Harmon and Warren Leiden elected Chair and Vice Chair respectively.

Soto-Harmon, who is CEO of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital (GSCNC) and served previously as the Deputy Director of the President’s Interagency Council on Women at the State Department, assumes the position of Chair from James W. Ziglar, former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Ziglar, who chaired the board for three years, remains a trustee.

Leiden, a long-time board member and partner emeritus with Berry Appleman and Leiden LLP, was selected as Vice Chair during the board’s January 27 meeting. Elisa Massimino, the Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair of Human Rights at Georgetown University Law Center, was tapped as Treasurer. And Gustavo Mohar Betancourt, a private consultant at Grupo Atalaya and former Mexican Undersecretary for Migration, Population and Religious Affairs, was re-elected Secretary.

“I am delighted to become the chair of this dynamic organization that is doing important, essential work on immigration policy in the United States and around the world at such a critical moment in history,” said Soto-Harmon. “On behalf of my fellow trustees, I thank Jim Ziglar for his exemplary leadership during a key period in MPI’s growth and on immigration issues more broadly. And I look forward to working with the board and MPI President Andrew Selee and the whole MPI team to help the institute build a vibrant future as it enters its 20th year.”

Three new members joined the board at the January 27 meeting:

  • Cecilia Malmström, who served as European Commissioner for Home Affairs (2010-14) and later as European Commissioner for Trade (2014-19). She is the Assar Gabrielsson Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg’s School of Business, Economics and Law.
  • Jose Luis Prado, who is Chairman of Tropicale Foods, a leading manufacturer of frozen novelty products under the Helados Mexico brand, and former Chairman and CEO of Evans Food Group Ltd and former President of Quaker Foods North America.
  • Cristina Rodríguez, who is the Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor of Law at Yale Law School and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice.

A fourth new trustee, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, deferred the start of her term as a trustee. She recently became Southwest Border Coordinator on the National Security Council.

For more on the Board of Trustees, visit: www.migrationpolicy.org/about/trustees.


The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, please visit www.migrationpolicy.org.