Lyster to be Named National Immigration Forum Interim CEO; Noorani to Join Hewlett Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the departure of President and CEO Ali Noorani in mid-May, the National Immigration Forum’s board of directors has announced that Chief Operating Officer Don Lyster will take over as interim CEO.  

As interim CEO, Lyster will continue the Forum’s critical work engaging moderate and conservative voices in promoting a modernized approach to immigration rooted in dignity. 

Earlier today, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced that Noorani will be stepping into the role of Program Director, U.S. Democracy Program, in July. Hewlett’s U.S. Democracy program supports essential pillars of democracy – governing institutions and trustworthy elections – at a time when U.S. democracy is fragile, and provides over $20 million in grants to a diverse array of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations.

The Forum has retained executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in identifying a new president and CEO who aligns with the Forum’s values and vision. The search process began in February, with the position to be formally posted soon.  

“Don brings a deep understanding of what makes the Forum special, from its culture to its priorities to its trusted partner,” said Rebecca Tallent, Forum Board Chair. “As we continue our search for Ali’s replacement, Don will successfully lead the organization through this transition period and set the new CEO up for success. 

“For nearly 14 years, Ali has carved out a unique, trusted space for the Forum and we cannot wait to see the leadership and creativity he’ll bring to the important work of the Hewlett Foundation’s Democracy program. We’re excited to build on that foundation as we continue expanding and refining our approach at a critical time for our nation’s immigration debate.” 

On May 26, the Forum will host an event in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary and its commitment to continue working across the political spectrum to convene different perspectives, bring new allies into the conversation, and advance constructive and compassionate immigration policies that serve the nation’s interests. 

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