Monday, October 15, 2007

Eric Cohen Named ILRC Executive Director

On behalf of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, I am thrilled to announce that Eric Cohen has been named the ILRC’s new Executive Director.  Eric has been with the ILRC since 1988, serving first at as a staff attorney then as the Legal Director.  After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1986, Eric worked as a staff attorney with the Labor Immigrant Assistance Project of the AFL-CIO in Los Angeles.

Over the course of Eric’s career, he has accomplished so much on behalf of immigrants.  During legalization, he pioneered group processing efforts for amnesty applicants; he has become the go-to expert on citizenship and naturalization; and he has helped to lead the effort to build capacity for accredited representatives, based on the knowledge that clients and communities can learn to help themselves given the right tools.  He has also developed a curriculum on immigrant leadership development and civic participation, helped initiate regular community liaison meetings with immigration officials in San Francisco, Fresno, and Sacramento, and works tirelessly to give community-based organizations real access and a voice for those responsible for helping folks in the community. 

What drives all this is Eric’s respect for the communities that the ILRC serves.  He rightfully insists that we, and the government, must listen to immigrants and their families.  As you may know, ILRC is proud of our collaboration and partnerships with the immigrants and the community-based organizations who are most effective in telling the stories of their lives.  Eric leads us all in providing the platform for these clients to show that they are smart, resourceful individuals who have much to bring to the table if given the opportunity and respect.

We look forward to the successful continuance of all of ILRC’s programs under Eric’s leadership, in addition to new directions that are developed with Eric at the helm.  I am sure that those of you who know Eric are pleased with this decision.  Those of you who have yet to work with him will find Eric responsive, accessible, and open to new ideas.  Please join us in extending congratulations to Eric when you have the opportunity.

The interim assistant director of the ILRC is Rene Perez. The staff attorneys include Kathy Brady, Mark Silverman, Sally Kinoshita, Angie Junck, and Nora Privitera. Donald Ungar is volunteer Of Counsel to the ILRC, and Bill Hing volunteers as its General Counsel.

Sincerely,

Lisa Spiegel
ILRC Board Chair

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