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New Director of Refugee Services

Nov. 1, 2023 | We are thrilled to announce the addition of Michelle Eberhard to the Refugee Services team at the International Institute of Minnesota.

As our new Director of Refugee Services, Michelle’s primary responsibility is to oversee a team of 26 people to ensure high-quality services to newly arrived families and individuals. She brings several years of refugee resettlement experience from her previous work as a Reception and Placement program director at another local resettlement agency. Most recently, Michelle has worked in employment immigration and as a consultant.

Guided by the personal belief of “do with, not for,” Michelle is humbled, grateful and excited for the opportunity to return to the incredibly important work of welcoming New Americans to Minnesota.

“I have always appreciated the Institute’s recognition that in order to serve people well, we must consider not just the initial arrival period, but also the reality of how our families’ needs and goals evolve over time,” Michelle says.

“I am so happy to be part of an organization that prioritizes offering a wide range of meaningful programs and opportunities, all with a view towards empowering and encouraging our families as they continue along their journeys in Minnesota.”

Michelle will work with our Refugee Services managers to support and guide implementation of our Reception & Placement, Matching Grant, Preferred Communities, Refugee Cash Assistance, EARN (employment services), and FGM/C programs. She also looks forward to partnering with organizations and individuals in our communities to lead this work with dignity and thoughtfulness.

Michelle earned an M.A. in Human Rights Studies with a concentration in genocide and atrocity prevention from Columbia University in the City of New York. Prior to that, she received a B.A. in each French and Peace Studies from the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University.

Please join us in welcoming Michelle Eberhard to the International Institute of Minnesota.

Since 1919, the International Institute of Minnesota has delivered critical services and resources to help New Americans transition to their new lives in Minnesota. From language learning and job training to immigration and refugee services, the Institute offers New Americans a pathway for a strong start to a new life. Once stability is achieved, we’re there for next steps, too: from college preparation and career advancement to citizenship support and financial coaching toward home ownership.