February 20, 2013 (Washington DC) - The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeanne Atkinson to the position of Executive Director, effective March 18, 2013.
Ms. Atkinson currently serves as the Director of Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services program for the Archdiocese of Washington. She has worked for Catholic Charities since 1992, directing their highly active and successful legal services program – which operates out of four locations – in 1997 to 1998 and from 2000 to the present. Ms. Atkinson also directs Catholic Charities’ Refugee Center. From 1989 to 1991, she worked as the Legalization Appeals Project Coordinator for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
“CLINIC’s Board of Directors is extremely gratified to have attracted somebody of Jeanne
Atkinson’s expertise, passion for serving immigrants, and long commitment to the Catholic Church’s work in this area,” said the Most Reverend Richard J. Garcia, Bishop of the Diocese of Monterey and Chair of CLINIC’s Board of Directors. “We are particularly excited that Jeanne will be joining CLINIC as it intensifies its planning and preparation – and its leadership in the Catholic community -- for what we hope will be a large-scale legalization program, leading to the full incorporation of these newcomers into our nation’s life.”
Ms. Atkinson will bring the highly valued skills of program management, advocacy, and service provision to her new role. Donald Kerwin, CLINIC’s Interim Executive Director, said that “as CLINIC approaches its 25th anniversary, Ms. Atkinson is uniquely qualified to lead the agency into its next quarter century.” He continued: “Jeanne has a rare combination of expertise, experience, and compassion. She is a well-respected and experienced program manager; a leader in creating programs to serve low-income and vulnerable immigrants; a central player in CLINIC’s network; and a highly respected attorney, with long experience in representing asylum-seekers, as well as handling family reunification, naturalization and other cases.”
CLINIC, a subsidiary of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), supports the nation’s largest network of charitable legal programs for immigrants. Its network consists of nearly 220 agencies, operating in 350 offices in 47 states. Collectively, this network serves 700,000 low-income immigrants each year. CLINIC will celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year.