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MPI Celebrates its 10th Anniversary and Honors Chief Sponsors of IRCA, former Prime Minister, Foundation President and Young Diaspora Leaders
Press Release
Thursday, April 19, 2012

MPI Celebrates its 10th Anniversary and Honors Chief Sponsors of IRCA, former Prime Minister, Foundation President and Young Diaspora Leaders

WASHINGTON — The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) tonight will mark its 10th Anniversary with a gala reception in Washington, D.C., paying tribute to several visionaries in the U.S. and international migration arenas.

Initially a project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, MPI became the first-ever, stand-alone, independent think tank dedicated solely to the study of U.S. and global migration policy and trends a bit more than a decade ago. Co-founded by Demetrios G. Papademetriou and Kathleen Newland, the Institute is recognized as the world’s pre-eminent think tank researching migration and immigrant integration issues.

In the decade since its founding, MPI has played an influential role in the immigration policy discussions that have taken place in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe and beyond – providing an evidence-based, pragmatic, non-ideological approach to sound migration management and immigrant integration policymaking designed to benefit all stakeholders. The Institute’s work has been advanced through the publication of more than 300 reports and books; testimony before the U.S. Congress, national parliaments and blue-ribbon commissions; hundreds of public briefings; and countless private meetings and convenings with key government and civil-society leaders around the world.

Headquartered in Washington, MPI has established presences in Bangkok, Brussels, London and New York and can leverage the expertise of affiliated fellows and partners elsewhere around the world. In 2011, Migration Policy Institute Europe was established in Brussels as a non-profit, independent research institute focusing on European migration analysis and policy design.

At its 10th anniversary celebration tonight, held at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center, MPI will present the following awards:

  • Leadership in Public Policy: To former Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-WY) and former Congressman Romano L. “Ron” Mazzoli (D-KY), lead sponsors of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which was the first legislative effort to comprehensively address the issue of illegal immigration (through increased border enforcement, creation of employer sanctions for hiring unauthorized workers and two legalization programs). MPI is giving recognition to the two legislators for their leadership and bipartisanship in working across the aisle to enact a major immigration reform measure with the interests of the country squarely in mind. The awards also serve as reminder of a time when Congress was able to set aside its divisions to accomplish big things in the immigration arena.
  • Global Visionary: To Open Society Foundations (OSF) President Aryeh Neier for his career-long dedication to the protection and advancement of rights for the most vulnerable populations throughout the world, including refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. In the mid-1990s, the foundation created a $50 million fund in the United States to provide naturalization and other services to immigrants and to build capacity among immigrant rights organizations. And with the creation of OSF’s International Migration Initiative, the foundation is making a major commitment to protecting migrants around the world. Neier, who became OSF president in 1993, is stepping down from the helm of the organization in July.
  • Leadership in International Migration Policy: To former Prime Minister of Italy and Vice President of the Convention on the Future of Europe, Giuliano Amato, who has been a leading voice for a more common European Union approach with respect to immigration and immigrant integration policies and was an architect in the pursuit of that vision.
  • Young Innovators: To OneVietnam Network Co-Founders Uyen Nguyen and James Huy Bao, who are using online and social media platforms to engage the Vietnamese diaspora in action for good through the use of new media, arts, culture and social entrepreneurship.

“We are honored to give recognition to these individuals, who whether at the beginning or near the end of their careers, have demonstrated in deeply effective and pragmatic ways a commitment to the importance of making immigration work, protection of the vulnerable and harnessing the energy and creativity that immigrants bring to their country of settlement,” said Papademetriou, who is MPI’s president.

“Today, migration finds itself at the center of political and policy debates in dozens of countries,” Papademetriou added. “As economic competition intensifies and recession-weary publics become more skeptical – even negative – about immigration, it is more important than ever that MPI’s thoughtful, pragmatic, nonpartisan voice be heard to keep the discourse grounded in well-considered solutions that can work well for all constituent elements of society.”

More on MPI’s 10th Anniversary, accomplishments and honorees is available here


The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit 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.