The Refugee Crisis in the Americas
July 18, 2023 | 2 PM ET
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Cynthia Juárez Lange (Moderator)

Cynthia Juárez Lange is a daughter of immigrants who is passionate about our future. Cynthia
has over 30 years of experience in leadership, strategic growth and advising international
organizations on global mobility programs. She began her career at the U.S. Department of
Justice as an INS trial attorney in the Attorney General Honors Program. Cynthia was also a
longtime Adjunct Professor at Southwestern University School of Law, where she taught for 18
years. She is a thought leader in the industry and dedicates much of her time to pro bono work
and is a long-time board member of non-profit organizations dedicated to help the lives low-
income immigrants and others in need.

For more information see:

Juan Carlos Murillo González
Head of Bureau External Engagement Service for the Americas
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Mr. Murillo has an Advanced Degree in Law and a degree as a Notary Public from the University of Costa Rica.

Mr. Murillo has been working with UNHCR for more than 30 years. He was appointed as Head of Bureau External Engagement Service for the Americas Bureau in September 2022. From December 2018 – August 2022 he served UNHCR as Regional Representative for Southern Latin America based in Buenos Aires, Argentina covering refugee issues in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Prior to assuming these responsibilities, Mr. Murillo served as Regional Legal Advisor and Head of the Regional Legal Unit for the Americas based in San José, Costa Rica for 18 years. From March to September 2018, he was Deputy Director a.i. of the Regional Bureau for the Americas at Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Throughout his career at UNHCR Mr. Murillo held several positions related to refugee protection and legal advice in Turkey, Guatemala, and Venezuela.

Mr. Murillo has written various articles on international refugee protection, human rights, and migration issues in specialized publications. He has been a guest professor on International Refugee Law at the United Nations University for Peace, University of Santa Clara, California, USA, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden, the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, and the OAS Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Juan Carlos Murillo, national from Costa Rica, speaks Spanish, English and French.

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian

Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian (Venezuelan-American) is Director of the Department of Social Inclusion of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity at the Organization of American States (OAS), where she is responsible for directing the work of the OAS in matters of social inclusion and access to human rights with special consideration to populations in vulnerable situations. She has edited, published and co-authored several articles and volumes on issues of Latin American reality. Some of her recent contributions include the articles “The Summit is a Great Chance for Better Cooperation on Migration” (2022) and “One Year Later: Slow Progress on a Key Migration Initiative” (2023), both published by Americas Quarterly, and the book chapter “How to achieve more representation of indigenous and Afro-descendant people in Latin America and the Caribbean” (UNAM 2022).

She is also a founding member and coordinator of the Network of Latin American Female Political Scientists #NoSinMujeres,” a project that seeks to promote, make visible and empower the work of women dedicated to Latin American Political Science. She is a regular columnist for the Venezuelan daily El Nacional, and for the Web portal Caracas Chronicles, as well as a guest columnist in various regional media. She is also a 2021 Fellow of the Draper Hills Fellowship on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at Stanford University, a member of the Advisory Board of the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University (GMU), and a Senior Associate (Non-Resident) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

In 2008, in 2016, 2019 and again in 2020, she won the Outstanding Performance Award granted by the Secretary General of the OAS, in recognition of her extraordinary work and contribution to the American organization. Betilde Muñoz-Pogossian has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Florida International University.

Raphael Marcus

Raphael Marcus joined HIAS in 2018 as SVP of its Programs Division in charge of International Programs, US Programs, Emergency Response and Humanitarian Partnership, Policy, and Practice. Before HIAS, he served as the Director of International Operations and the Chief Security Officer and Desk Officer for East Africa at Humedica International, a Germany-based humanitarian organization focusing on medical rapid-response aid mechanisms and complex emergencies. Over the years, Raphael led emergency humanitarian operations in disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the 2015 Nepal Earthquake, the 2014 Liberia Ebola Outbreak, the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, and in protracted crises such as the famine in the Horn of Africa, the civil unrest in the Central African Republic and the Syrian refugee crisis. “more recently, Raphael has provided leadership over HIAS’ response to the war in Ukraine and the unfolding crisis on the Chadian – Sudanese border.” Raphael is an expert in humanitarian emergency response and has an MPH in Emergency and Disaster Management from Tel Aviv University.

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