HIAS Welcomes Five New Members to National Board

HIAS Welcomes Five New Members to National Board

New board members bring impressive accomplishments and diverse experience to HIAS board

NEW YORK – HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, is pleased to announce the appointment of five new board members for the 2020-2021 appointment period. The new appointees, who were voted in as one of the largest new board member classes in the history of HIAS, are S. Fitzgerald (Fitz) Haney, Andrew Heinrich, Robyn Steiner Lamont, Alejandro (Ali) Mayorkas and Daniel Tavakoli and they bring diverse experiences and backgrounds to advance the mission of the organization. 

“In HIAS' 140 years of existence as the American Jewish community's refugee agency, there have never been so many forcibly displaced persons in need of welcome and safety,” said Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS. “With the diversity of skills and experience of our new class of board members, HIAS will be up for the challenge.”

“We are thrilled to have brought in five new members who we believe will do an outstanding job to create a meaningful impact during their terms,” said Robert Aronson, HIAS board chair. “I feel privileged to work with these members with their diverse skills and talents who will advance our goals of protecting refugees.”

More information on the incoming board members below:

S. Fitzgerald (Fitz) Haney

Fitz Haney is currently Group Partner and Head of Strategic Development at the Viola Group, Israel’s leading technology-focused investment group. Fitz served as the U.S. Ambassador and Chief of Mission to Costa Rica from 2015 to 2017, where he worked extensively on resettlement and refugee assistance. Fitz is also a seasoned Jewish lay leader, having served as co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Foundation of Jewish Culture, and on the board of Ayesha — a resource organization for Jews of color — and served as an appointed member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Fitz was born in Nashville, grew up outside of Chicago, and holds a B.S. in international economics and an M.S. with distinction in international business and diplomacy from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and conversational French. Fitz currently lives in Israel with his wife, Rabbi Andrea Dobrick Haney and their four children.

Andrew Heinrich

Andrew Heinrich is a newly appointed faculty member at the Yale School of Public Health, where he will research and teach in regulatory affairs, global health, and behavioral sciences. He is the founder and president of Project Rousseau and the Rousseau Foundation, which works to mentor at-risk youth in the U.S. and internationally. Andrew received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, recently earned his J.D. at Harvard Law School and has completed his coursework at the Columbia School of Physicians and Surgeons. Most recently, he served on the host committee for the 2019 HIAS Awards Dinner.

Robyn Steiner Lamont

Robyn Steiner Lamont is the former executive director and founder of RefugeeConnect, a local resettlement agency located in Cincinnati. She managed the Office of Refugee Resettlement-funded Refugee School Impact Program, created a Stories of Survival Speaker Series, co-designed a pilot health navigation research study and intervention, and began a partnership with the Jewish community sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati to train and place volunteers as individual and family mentors.

Robyn holds her Master of Social Work from The Ohio State University, B.A. from Miami University and is a licensed social worker. Robyn is a graduate of the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati’s Lead, Education, Act, Develop program, where she served on the Planning and Allocations Committee.

Alejandro (Ali) N. Mayorkas

Ali Mayorkas is a partner at the law firm WilmerHale, where he leads the firm’s COVID-19 Task Force. Prior to joining Wilmer, Mayorkas was the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, where he coordinated DHS’ response to Ebola and Zika, and was the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services where, among other things, he helped to develop and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In his 30+ year career as a litigator and public servant, he also served as the Chief of the General Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (1996-1998) and as a U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California (1998-2001).

A Cuban-American born in Havana, Ali is a former refugee himself. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Daniel Tavakoli

Daniel Tavakoli is a seventh-year associate with the firm of Covington and Burling where he specializes in corporate law and private equity. Daniel is Iranian-American, and his family was resettled by HIAS in the 1980s. In addition to a J.D. from Georgetown University, Daniel holds an MBA in Corporate Accounting and Finance from the University of Rochester in New York. Daniel is the Treasurer of the Queens College Hillel Board of Directors, and a member of the AIPAC National Council.



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