Krish O'Mara Vignarajah: From Refugee To CEO | LIRS
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My America… From Refugee to CEO

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My America...

From Refugee to CEO

— Krish O'Mara Vignarajah

My name is Krish Vignarajah and I’m honored to join the LIRS family as its new CEO.

Like so many, my family’s American story is the story of refugees who “yearned to breathe free.” Four decades ago, my parents fled a civil war in Sri Lanka. I was 9 months old.  

This country welcomed us with open arms. It gave my parents the opportunity to become educators and to send their daughter to Yale, Oxford and eventually the White House.

I thank God we were able to seek sanctuary in an America that welcomed families forced to flee, that welcomed the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. 

The question we must ask ourselves today is whether we remain that great nation. Whether we will be defined by walls and cages or by bridges and opportunity. Whether we will continue to “lift our lamp beside the golden door” and recognize that this nation of immigrants is stronger because of the work we do — together — to welcome immigrants into the community we call America. Join us!

My America

In January of 2019, LIRS launched the My America campaign to lift up the voices of refugees, migrants, faith leaders, and Americans wishing to express an experience or vision that inspires hope. In a time where our newsfeeds are flooded with discouraging headlines about immigrants, this campaign seeks to offer an alternative vision for an America that embraces all those seeking protection. Submit your own story today, or check out more stories like this one!

8 thoughts on “My America… From Refugee to CEO”

  1. Best wishes on bridge building. Many are dilapidated and need shoring up; others need total replacement. May God grant you wisdom and prosperity to meet the goals that will be set.

    E J Curry

  2. As the universe is borderless so equitable and fair justice needs to be borderless so that all people can have access to freedom and opportunity for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” with education, and healthcare. Thanks for taking on this responsibility for justice’s sake.

  3. Hello Krish,

    Congratulations on your appointment, welcome to America, and all the best as you serve refugees and immigrants!

    I look forward to your efforts at LIRS and pledge to be supportive in what ever way I am able, both of your agency and of you individually!

    Blessings always!

  4. Congratulations and many blessings! I was immensely blessed by serving on the LIRS Board from 2004-2012.
    Your powerful story, experience and commitment will be blessed!

  5. As an immigrant myself I could relate your story , my parents struggled to raise kids and send us to the best schools and colleges, Congratulations on your appointment, keep up the good work.

  6. Hi Krish,
    LIRS is contributing greatly along with many other organizations, directly and indirectly, to make this country a better place with respect, care, and inclusion.
    Congratulation on your new role.


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