James N. Purcell, Jr. was our speaker this morning.  Mr. Purcell  served as Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs in Washington, DC, in the 1980s, before his election to two five-year terms as Director-General of the International Organization for Migration, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. He has devoted most of his professional life to solutions for refugees and migrants. He is known as “the architect of America's refugee organization,” in reference to his work begun in 1979 to create the U. S. Refugee Program based in the Department of State. Mr. Purcell has spoken often before the UN and other multilateral organizations on refugee and migration issues.
Mr. Purcell has had  a long , distinguished career working in every presidential administration from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan.  He has received many awards, including the following:
-Immigration and Refugee Policy Award (USA), Center for Migration Studies (CMS), 1998
-Special Commendation of the Institute for International Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy, 1998
-Armenian Presidential Appreciation Award, conferred by the President of the Republic of Armenia, 1994
-Golden Medal of the President of the Hungarian Republic, the first-time award of this honor to an American citizen, 1995
-Order of the Phoenix, presented by the foreign minister of Greece, the highest honor bestowed by the Greek Government on foreign citizens, 1993
-Wings of Hope Award, the U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM), 1992
-Helping Hands Award, World Relief International 
-Save Cambodia Appreciation Award, Save Cambodia, Inc., 1986
-Who's Who in the World, to the present
It was a great pleasure to have Mr. Purcell and his wife , Jean, with us this morning!