Julia V. Taft
In November 1997, the Senate confirmed Julia Fandala Taft as the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. In this capacity she is responsible for overseeing United States Government policies regarding population, refugee, and international migration issues. She also manages $700 million in annual allocations for refugee protection and humanitarian assistance programs. Subsequently, in January 1999, Taft was also appointed to serve as Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues. In this role her main objectives are to promote a substantive dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government and to help preserve the unique linguistic, religious, and cultural heritage of the Tibetan people. For the 4 years preceding her confirmation as Assistant Secretary of State, Taft was the President and Chief Executive Officer of InterAction, (the American Council for Voluntary International Action, a coalition of over 150 U.S.-based NGO's working on international relief and development). She has served as the Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance with USAID, the Director of Refugee Programs and Acting U.S. Refugee Coordinator at the Department of State, and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1975, she was selected by President Ford to direct the Indochinese refugee reception and resettlement program in the United States. In addition, she has been a consultant on refugee/migration affairs and humanitarian aid to the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and various U.S. government agencies.