National Immigration Forum

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Ali Noorani To Lead National Immigration Forum: Massachusetts Advocate To Serve In Position Held By Frank Sharry

May 15, 2008

Washington, DC - The Board of Directors of the National Immigration Forum announced today that Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the Boston-based Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition will be the next Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, one of the nation's preeminent pro-immigrant advocacy organizations.


Noorani has served as the MIRA Coalition's Executive Director since 2003.  Under his leadership, MIRA has more than tripled its staff and programs, and greatly increased its capacity to advocate for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees.  He has served on the Board of the National Immigration Forum since 2006.


"This is a critical time for immigrants and for reforming our nation's immigration policies," said John Gay, Chairman of the Forum's Board of Directors, "and the Forum will be in excellent hands.  Ali will continue the outstanding leadership the Forum has had, and will lead a remarkable staff to further great accomplishments," said Gay, who is Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy at the National Restaurant Association and Co-Chair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition.


Frank Sharry, who served as the Forum's Executive Director since 1990, stepped down earlier this month to form America's Voice, which will serve as the communications and rapid response hub on the politics of immigration in the 2008 election cycle and beyond.  A formal announcement of America's Voice will come next week.


"There is a certain symmetry to Ali being selected as the Forum's new Director," Sharry said.  "When I took this job, I was a 34 year-old pro-immigrant advocate from Boston too.  I am very excited for Ali and look forward to working closely with Ali and the Forum for many years to come."


Born in California, Noorani is the son of Pakistani immigrants.  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received his Master's in Public Health from Boston University.  Recently, he received the Alfred L. Frechette Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association for exceptional leadership in promoting social justice and received the 2007 Boston University Young Alumni Award.


"From my perspective in Massachusetts, the Forum has provided critical leadership in the nationwide fight for fair, just, and rational immigration policies," Noorani said.  "While I am very proud of my work at MIRA and especially the team of colleagues I had there, I look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead and to working with the Forum's excellent staff and Board."


The Forum, based in Washington D.C., is one of the nation's premier immigration policy organizations and has been at the center of every major legislative and policy debate related to immigration over the past 25 years.


Noorani will officially begin full-time on June 2, but will work closely with the Forum during his transition.  Sharry will continue to consult to the Forum at least until Noorani relocates to Washington.

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