My Brother's Keeper

Refugees and Migrants - A Test of Civilization


 key words: refugees, humanitarian action, U.S. leadership, Syria, Indochina, asylum nations, resettlement

Dear readers, James (Jim) N. Purcell, Jr.'s professional experience led to writing this book (manuscript - U.S. history, refugees, public policy, memoir/report). 

In Washington, DC, May 2011, D. Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College, interviewed Jim Purcell for Dr. Lindsay's book about successful leadership. View from the Top: An inside look at how people in power see and shape the world by D. Michael Lindsay, Ph.D. with M.G. Hager was published by John Wiley & Sons, 2014 (Purcell ref. note: page 195, appendix).  

Jim Purcell served as Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs in Washington, DC, before his election as Director-General of the International Organization for Migration for two terms based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has devoted most of his professional life in government to humanitarian missions and programs. He is the father and architect of America's refugee organization, headquartered in the Department of State. 

1979-1998 Refugee and Migration Experience

International Organization for Migration, Director General, Geneva, Switzerland, 1988-1998 

Bureau for Refugee Programs, Director, acting and appointed; Deputy, U. S. Department of State, 1979-1986

1962 to 1986--Other U.S. Government Service

Department of State, Senior Seminar, 1987 

Department of State, Management - 1978

Department of State, Cultural Affairs  (CA)- 1973

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) - 1968

Agency for International Development (USAID) - 1965

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Oak Ridge, TN - 1962; Germantown, MD - 1964
 Awards and Honors - Refugees and Migration
-Immigration and Refugee Policy Award (USA), Center for Migration Studies (CMS)  1998
-Special Commendation of The Institute for International Humanitarian Law, San Remo, Italy, 1998
-Armenian Presidential Appreciation Award, conferred by the President of the Republic of Armenia,1994
-The Golden Medal of the President of the Hungarian Republic, the first-time award of this honor to an American citizen, 1995
-The Order of the Phoenix, presented by the foreign minister of Greece, the highest honor bestowed by the Greek Government on foreign citizens, 1993
-The Wings of Hope Award, the U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM), 1992
-The Helping Hands Award, World Relief International 
-Save Cambodia Appreciation Award, Save Cambodia, Inc., 1986

Government Service Awards
-The U.S. Department of State Distinguished Honor Award, conferred by Secretary of State George P. Shultz, 1986 
-The Senior Executive Service Meritorious Executive Award, conferred by President Ronald Reagan, 1985
-U. S. Senior Executive Service of the U.S. Government, Charter member, signed by President Jimmy Carter

Furman University Honors and Awards
-Blue Key, Quaternion, and Political Science awards; Publications Board, and other honors and awards,1957-1961
-Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, selected by Furman University, 1961; Who's Who in the World, to the present

From the Achievement Award presentation by the U.S. Department of State

Achievement Award of the U.S. Department of State
Conferred by Secretary of State George P. Shultz
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC, 1985
Recipient, James N. Purcell, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs

Award Requirements*
“The level of achievement upon which nominations for the Distinguished Honor Award are based should be comparable to the following:

“(1) Exceptionally outstanding service to the agencies or the U.S. Government resulting in achievements of marked national or international significance;

“(2) Exceptionally outstanding service and/or leadership in the administration of one or more agency programs that results in the highly successful accomplishment of mission, or in a major attainment of objectives or specific accomplishment to meet unique or emergency situations; and

“(3) Outstanding accomplishments over a prolonged period that involve the exercise of authority or judgment in the public interest.

*U. S. State Department Foreign Affairs Manual FAM 4826.1 Description (TL:PER-436; 01-16-2002); (Uniform State and USAID) (Foreign Service, Civil Service, and Foreign Service Nationals Employees); Award Nominating Procedure at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/85275.pdf

Chair, U.S. Association for International Migration (USAIM) - present
Member, Council for a Community of Democracies (CDC) - present


The Maxwell School of Public Administration, Syracuse University, MPA, 1962
Furman University, BA-Political Science, 1961  
Fort Lauderdale High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Graduation Diploma, 1957 

Jim Purcell, of Nashville, TN, married Jean Primm, from Sanford, North Carolina, in 1961. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and three grandsons. The couple lives in Columbia, Maryland with their dog, Lucie, and enjoys the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's eastern shore seafood at every opportunity. Caring for their trees, shrubs, and flowers is a continuing challenge, rewarded every spring.

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