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Catawba Alumnus is U.S. Nominee for Director General of the International Organization for Migration

July 11, 2007

Category: Alumni


The Government of the United States is pleased to nominate Ambassador William Lacy Swing for the position of Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM member states will elect a new Director General in June 2008 for a five-year term.

Ambassador Swing brings to his candidacy a breadth of international experience, a proven track record in managing complex multilateral operations, and a demonstrated ability to collaborate productively with foreign governments, United Nations (UN) agencies and other inter-governmental institutions.

As UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2003, Ambassador Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. From 2001 to 2003, Ambassador Swing served as the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

During a long diplomatic career at the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Swing was six times an ambassador, managing some of the largest diplomatic missions and foreign development and humanitarian aid programs in two hemispheres, with a record of strengthening bilateral relationships. Through his diplomatic assignments in countries facing significant migration movements, Ambassador Swing has a deep understanding of the multiple factors affecting international migration.

Ambassador Swing served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1998-2001), Haiti (1993-1998), Nigeria (1992-1993), South Africa (1989-1992), Liberia (1981-1985), and the Republic of the Congo (1979-1981). He graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina (Bachelor of Arts) and Yale University (Bachelor of Divinity), and did post-graduate studies at Tubingen University in Germany and at Harvard University. He speaks fluent French and German.