Amy Pope Makes History as First Woman Director General of IOM
Geneva – Amy E. Pope of the United States of America has begun her five-year term as the eleventh Director General (DG) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The first woman to become Director General in IOM’s 72-year history, DG Pope was elected on 15 May 2023 during the Sixth Special Session of the IOM Council in Geneva.
DG Pope’s term began on Sunday, 1 October 2023. She takes over from António Vitorino of Portugal, who had served as IOM Director General since October 2018. DG Pope expressed her sincere gratitude to Mr Vitorino for his stewardship of IOM over the past five years and paid tribute to his commitment to the Organization.
Ms Pope brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in addressing migration, and her leadership will play a pivotal role in advancing IOM's mission. Regarding her election, DG Pope said, “I am honoured and privileged to serve as the Director General of this exceptional organization. Migration is a transformational force that can facilitate innovation, drive development and catalyse economic empowerment. It is one of the defining issues of our time and I look forward to working collaboratively to address challenges as well as create opportunities for all, especially the most vulnerable.”
Underlining the importance of partnerships, DG Pope noted, “During a time of unprecedented migration, IOM cannot do this work alone. I will continue to ensure all 175 Member States' voices are heard in designing, coordinating and implementing practical solutions for all. We will build partnerships with the private sector, with civil society and with other stakeholders, recognizing that society benefits when migration is well managed.”
Prior to her historic election, DG Pope was IOM’s Deputy Director General (DDG) for Management and Reform. During her tenure as DDG, Ms Pope implemented a series of budgetary, management and administrative reforms to optimize IOM’s field delivery and risk management, enhance internal justice outcomes and operational results, and strengthen coordination with the United Nations system.
Before joining IOM, DG Pope served as the Senior Advisor on Migration to US President Biden and served as the Deputy Homeland Security Advisor to President Obama. While working at the White House, DG Pope developed and implemented comprehensive strategies to address migration, in areas such as countering trafficking in persons, resettling refugees and vulnerable people, and preparing communities to respond and adapt to climate-related crises.
She has promoted dialogue on global migration challenges and opportunities through her academic writing and work with Chatham House. She has also occupied positions in the US Department of Justice and US Senate and was a Partner in the London-based law firm, Schillings.
DG 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. She is married and has two daughters.
Established in 1951, the IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM is part of the United Nations system, as a related organization.
For more information and interview requests, please contact IOM Spokesperson a.i., Itayi Viriri at Tel: +41795540443, Email: email@example.com