Making Germany more Welcoming and Economically Stronger: The Role of Refugees and Migration Policy

08 Oct 2020


In 2015 and 2016, European Countries received more than 1 million refugees. Germany adopted an open border policy welcoming refugees and implementing strategies to integrate them into society by providing access to healthcare, education, and jobs. Lessons learned from Germany are relevant to the U.S., which has recently adopted a different approach regarding immigration.

Consul General David Gill will provide welcoming remarks. Regina Omlor, Senior Program Officer for Africa at Relief International, will moderate the conversation with guest speakers Victoria Rietig, Head of the Migration Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations, and David Lubell, Founding Director of the Welcoming International program based in Berlin.

This program is hosted in partnership with Wunderbar Together, the World Affairs Councils of America, the American Council on Germany, and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.


Victoria Rietig

Head, Migration Program @German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP)

Rietig began her professional career at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in New York, working on migration and development. She later worked at various think tanks in Washington, DC, including as a policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a senior migration fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins University. Rietig also served as an independent expert for migration, asylum, and refugee issues, advising government offices and foundations, including the German development agency GIZ, US Department of State, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Swiss Foreign Ministry (EDA), and Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

David Lubell

Founder @Welcoming America

David Lubell is the Founder of Welcoming America, and recently shifted his full-time focus to the organization's international efforts as the Founding Director of the Welcoming International program. An accomplished social entrepreneur, David inspires people to build a different kind of world -- one that embraces immigrants and refugees, and fosters opportunity for all. Welcoming America, established in 2009, works with over 200 cities and towns across the U.S., supporting NGO's and local governments to transform their communities into inclusive places where everyone thrives.

Regina Omlor

Senior Program Officer for Africa @Relief International

Regina Omlor is the Senior Program Officer for Africa at Relief International, a global nonprofit that provides humanitarian and development assistance to vulnerable communities in fragile contexts across Africa, Middle East, and Asia. Since joining Relief International in 2017 in Washington DC, Regina has completed short term assignments in Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Jordan and Philippines. Prior to Relief International, Regina worked with Partner4Work, the workforce development organization for the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and volunteered in the Office of Mayor Peduto. She's gained experience across the public, private and nonprofit sectors in Europe and the US. Originally from Kenya, Regina grew up in Germany and has lived in France, Belgium, and the United States.

Event Date: 
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 11:00am