World Refugee Day with UNHCR: The Power of Inclusion in Developing Durable Solutions for Refugees

Mandi Lindner

Mandi Lindner joined UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in August 2021 to focus on communications and public engagement within the United States. Her goal is to create awareness of, and support for, UNHCR’s mission through outreach and partnerships with mayors, state governors, community groups, foundations, corporations, veterans, teachers, student organizations, and more.

Before joining the United Nations, Mandi worked in international development with World Learning, supporting education and cultural exchange programs for the U.S. Department of State and USAID. She also served a tour of duty with the United State Digital Service at the White House, where the team helped build efficiencies in the asylum application process and create better access to benefits for veterans. In her free time Mandi serves on the board of directors for Story District, a storytelling arts and culture program in DC. Mandi holds a master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University where she focused on identity and intercultural communication and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Minnesota. Mandi is a member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians and grew up in rural Wisconsin.

Aseel Elborno Headshot

Aseel Elborno

Aseel Elborno serves as IRUSA’s Advocacy Campaign Specialist and has been in the field of civic and community engagement for over 15 years. She did her graduate studies in Political Communication at Johns Hopkins University and earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science from North Carolina State University. She spent a year in Egypt working with students from underserved communities who have aspirations of studying in the United States. Aseel also ran several programs for low-income residents that resided in affordable housing developments, including workforce solutions, food distributions and voter registration. Aseel was recognized as one of the 40 under 40 emerging leaders of Virginia by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce for her work in community organizing. Aseel has been a long-time advocate for civil rights, refugees, affordable housing, food security, and voter empowerment. Aseel did her graduate research study at JHU on the best methods for engaging the Arab and Muslim communities in the United States in civic engagement.


Ahmed Ahmed

Ahmed Ahmed is a former refugee from Chad, Africa who resettled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his family in 1997. Ahmed was born in a crowded refugee camp fleeing political persecution after his father’s uncle Hissien Habre, former president of Chad, was overthrown in a coup.

Ahmed is a community organizer, speaker, and is also a City Councilman who is the first former refugee to serve on Lancaster City Council. He describes his life’s work as the advancement of the immigrant and refugee cause, through advocacy, storytelling, and dedicated public service.

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