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February 28, 2001

Acting INS Commissioner Wyrsch Chosen As UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

WASHINGTON - Mary Ann Wyrsch, Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), has been appointed United Nations (UN) Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. Her selection was announced in Geneva, Switzerland today by Dr. Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"I consider her very broad and rich management experience as a particularly valuable asset," said High Commissioner Lubbers in announcing Ms. Wyrsch's appointment.

Ms. Wyrsch will retire from Federal service after a distinguished, 35-year career. She will begin her new duties in Geneva in April. She has served as Acting Commissioner of INS since November and joined INS as its Deputy Commissioner in March 1998.

"It has been a great honor to serve with INS during a period of tremendous growth and change," Ms. Wyrsch said. "This new position as Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees is a unique opportunity to use my experience in a key role with this prestigious, global organization which has a vital, important mission."

Ms. Wyrsch began her Federal career in 1966 with the Office of Economic Opportunity. She joined the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in 1971 and served in several senior positions, including DOL Director of Budget and Director of DOL's Unemployment Insurance Service before joining INS in 1998.

The Department of Justice and the Administration are actively working to select a permanent Commissioner for INS. If that process has not been completed by Ms. Wyrsch's departure, an Acting Commissioner will be named.


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