THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release August 14, 2009
Statement by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
on the Appointment of Two Senior Officials
Responsible for Iraqi Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
President Obama has long made clear that the United States is committed to working closely with the Iraqi government to aid Iraqis who have been displaced or are otherwise vulnerable as a result of the violence in Iraq. Since April, the United States has made available approximately $196 million in additional support for these populations for a total of $346 million to date in FY 2009.
Further to discussions that took place during Prime Minister Maliki’s recent meetings in Washington, President Obama is pleased to announce that Samantha Power, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council in the White House, will coordinate the efforts of the many parts of the U.S. government on Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), including the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Defense.
We are also pleased to announce that Mark Storella, a Senior Foreign Service officer who recently served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Geneva, has arrived in Baghdad to take up the post of Senior Coordinator for Iraqi Refugees and Displaced Persons. Storella will coordinate our government’s work in Iraq on refugees and IDPs, and will represent the United States in its dealings with the Iraqi Government, the international community, and non-governmental organizations on these issues.