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T. Alexander Aleinikoff becomes UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

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T. Alexander Aleinikoff becomes UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

1 February 2010

GENEVA - T. Alexander Aleinikoff, previously dean of the law school at Georgetown University in the United States, on Monday assumed the duties of United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.

"I am delighted to welcome Mr. Aleinikoff to UNHCR," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "His proven leadership and rich combination of skills will significantly assist the organization in achieving its objectives."

Aleinikoff had been Executive Vice President of Georgetown University and dean of the Georgetown University Law Centre since 2005 and has been a professor of law at Georgetown since 1997. He is an expert in refugee, immigration and citizenship law and policy.

Previously, Aleinikoff was General Counsel for the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1994-95, participating in major decisions that included reform of the US asylum process. From 1995 to 1997 he was Executive Associate Commissioner for Programmes at the INS, overseeing programme development.

While at Georgetown, Aleinikoff co-chaired the Immigration Policy Review Team for President Barak Obama's transition. He was also a consultant to UNHCR for its Global Consultations on international protection and is well-known to many UNHCR staff.

"The work of UNHCR around the world plays a crucial role in the lives of millions of people," he says. "And I am delighted to be joining the organization."

Aleinikoff, whose appointment was announced in November, succeeds L. Craig Johnstone.