Meet Amy Pope: First ever female Director General of IOM elect

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By Alhaji Haruna

On Monday 15 May 2023, the Member States of the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Migration Agency, elected Ms. Amy E. Pope as its next Director General during the 6th Special Session of the IOM Council.

The Director General-elect, Pope began her appointment as IOM’s Deputy Director General for Management and Reform in September 2021. She was nominated by the United States of America, and the incumbent Director General Mr. António Vitorino was also a candidate in the election. 

The first woman to lead IOM, Ms. Pope will assume the duties of Director General for a five-year term beginning on 1 October 2023.

During her tenure as Deputy Director General, Ms. Pope implemented a series of budgetary, management and administrative reforms to optimize IOM’s field delivery and risk management, enhanced internal justice outcomes and operational results, and strengthen coordination with the United Nations system. 

Prior to joining IOM, Ms. Pope served as the Senior Advisor on Migration to President Biden in 2021, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor from 2015-2017, and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on Trans-border Security from 2013-2015. 

At the White House, she developed and implemented comprehensive strategies to manage migration surges, address trafficking in persons, respond to the Zika and Ebola outbreaks, and prepare communities to react to climate crises. Since then, she has continued to promote dialogue on global migration challenges through her academic writing and work with Chatham House. She has also occupied positions at the US Department of Justice and US Senate and was a Partner in the London-based law firm Schillings.

Ms. Pope has guided government entities and private sector organizations through organizational change, working with them to better strategize, innovate, and manage risk. She has a strong record of developing staff and building empowered and diverse teams to achieve change. In addition, she has exceptional experience building partnerships and promoting collaboration, working with multilateral organizations, governments, and community stakeholders to develop and execute policies on migration, refugee resettlement, and countering violent extremism.

Ms. Pope graduated magna cum laude from the Duke University School of Law with a Juris Doctor and has a BA in Political Science (with Honors) from the Haverford College in Pennsylvania.

International Organization for Migration signed a cooperation agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone in April 2001and has been operating in the country ever since.

The organization has been supporting the government and people of Sierra Leone through human capital development and had reintegrated thousands of illegal Sierra Leoneans migrants from the Middle-East and from other African nations.

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