Ms. Doris Meissner

Former  Senior Associate
Contact Information

This person is no longer with the Carnegie Endowment.

Doris Meissner, former commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), joined the Endowment’s Global Policy Program on February 26, 2001 as a senior associate. She will develop and direct a new research project that explores the issues and challenges nations face in implementing global policies.

Ms. Meissner served as INS commissioner at the U.S. Department of Justice from October 1993 to November 2000. Her impressive accomplishments include reforming the nation’s asylum system; creating new strategies to manage U.S. borders in the context of open trade; improving services for immigrants; managing migration and humanitarian crises firmly and compassionately; and strengthening cooperation and joint initiatives with Mexico, Canada, and other countries.

She first joined the Department of Justice in 1973 as a White House Fellow, serving as special assistant to the attorney general. Following that appointment, she became assistant director of the Office of Policy and Planning, then executive director of the Cabinet Committee on Illegal Aliens. In 1977 she was appointed deputy associate attorney general. She served as acting INS commissioner in 1981 and then as executive associate commissioner until 1986 when she left government service to join the Carnegie Endowment.

In 1989, Ms. Meissner founded the Endowment’s International Migration Policy Program, which today is one of the world’s premier sources of analysis relating to migration and refugees. She left the Endowment in 1993 when President Bill Clinton tapped her to serve as INS commissioner. Ms. Meissner is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where she earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees.


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