HIAS Ecuador Director Sabrina Lustgarten Named Global Executive Vice President

SILVER SPRING, Md. — HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization, announced that Sabrina Lustgarten, previously the head of HIAS Ecuador, is now serving in the newly established position of executive vice president at the organization’s headquarters. In her new role Lustgarten will work to strengthen collaboration between headquarters and the field, and among all international offices, but always with the refugee in mind.

“I look forward to fostering new channels of communication across HIAS’ operations as a way of fostering teamwork at a global scale,” said Lustgarten. “At a time when the number of refugees continues to grow and those of us doing the work of supporting refugees can feel overwhelmed, having someone in leadership who has built an operation in the field ensures that we can work well together to put refugees, their rights and safety first.”

Lustgarten is from a family of refugees herself. Lustgarten’s grandparents fled World War II and HIAS stepped in to ensure they got to rebuild their lives in Colombia. It was an intervention that the family never forgot. And so it was with a sense of history and gratitude that Lustgarten began her career at HIAS in 2003 when she opened the office in Ecuador to respond to the Colombian refugee crisis.

Under Sabrina's leadership, the program in Ecuador has grown to over 420 staff across 16 offices, assisting asylum seekers and refugees from Colombia and Venezuela with legal services and protection, economic empowerment, community-based mental health services, the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as humanitarian assistance in emergencies. Lustgarten also helped HIAS start operations in Venezuela; in 2010, in Panama; and in Peru in 2019.

“Sabrina's presence at headquarters brings us closer to the field and the refugees we serve,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “Sabrina is the very personification of HIAS, and is already responsible for much of our growth and success.”

To speak with Lustgarten about her new role, please contact Meredith MacKenzie, HIAS@westendstrategy.com. Lustgarten speaks English and Spanish.


HIAS is an international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 16 countries. We advocate for the rights of refugees to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity. Learn more at hias.org

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