FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/23/2014
Council Confirms New Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director
SEATTLE – City Council this week unanimously approved Cuc T. Vu as Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA).
“Cuc’s compelling background as a refugee of the Vietnam War, immigrant upbringing and experience working on immigrant and refugee affairs issues makes her the ideal director to help the immigrant and refugee communities achieve success,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “Her previous experience in leading national and local immigrant rights groups and establishing the first national immigrant rights coalition will be invaluable as she engages with city departments to empower refugees and immigrants to advance their priorities.”
As director, Ms. Vu’s goal is to implement the City’s five-point plan:
- Expand citizenship programs and services
- Create career pathways through ESL and computer training for the most limited English-proficient immigrants and refugees
- Improve access to City programs, services and resources through ethnic media engagement
- Enhance public safety for immigrant and refugee communities through a Refugee Women’s Institute, where emerging refugee women leaders will learn to use City services to advocate for themselves, their families and their communities
- Implement a language access program to improve the City’s ability to engage its immigrant and refugee residents
Ms. Vu most recently served as the first Chief Diversity Officer for the Human Rights Campaign and has worked at SEIU, AFL-CIO and the U.S. Department of Labor. Vu earned an undergraduate degree at Pomona College and a graduate degree as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Immigrants account for nearly one-fifth of all Seattleites, and approximately one-third of children in Seattle are in immigrant families.
The Council created the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs in 2012.