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April 26, 2018

USA for UNHCR Presents Inaugural Gene Dewey Refugee Award

WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2018) – USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, awarded the inaugural Gene Dewey Refugee Award to Arthur “Gene” Dewey, for whom the award is named, in recognition of his leadership and lifetime commitment to serving and protecting refugees.

“Gene’s selfless work throughout his career – from his first humanitarian mission in Nigeria as a White House Fellow, to his service in several positions at the State Department, to his service as UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees – continues to impact the lives of refugees around the world,” said Anne-Marie Grey, Executive Director and CEO of USA for UNHCR.

Each year, the Gene Dewey Refugee Award will recognize an individual who has demonstrated visionary leadership and extraordinary dedication to help people forcibly displaced from their homes.

Future award recipients will exemplify values of excellence in leadership, compassion, courage and conviction in service to refugees, just as Gene Dewey has done throughout his remarkable career.

Speaking at the award celebration, Michael Gerson, nationally syndicated columnist and co-host of PBS’s In Principle, reflected on his experience meeting Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the deep impact it had on him. “The Syrian refugee crisis is a generational test,” said Gerson as he recognized the importance of Dewey’s work in the context of the tradition of American leadership on humanitarian issues.

Gene Dewey is a co-founder of USA for UNHCR and a former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. In the 1980s, Dewey served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau for Refugee Programs and was subsequently named a United Nations Assistant Secretary-General.

Dewey graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and served in the Army for 25 years. He is a Vietnam War veteran and received the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.

In addition to the award, the Gene Dewey Refugee Award Fund has been established to allow individuals to honor award recipients and the values they represent in a tangible way. During the year of their award, awardees will designate gifts donated in their honor to a specific UNHCR program or USA for UNHCR project.

About USA for UNHCR

USA for UNHCR helps and protects refugees and people displaced by violence, conflict and persecution. Supporting UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – and its partners, we provide lifesaving essentials including shelter, water, food, safety and protection. Around the world, we help refugees survive, recover and build a better future. Together, we give refugees the hope they deserve, restore their dignity and help them rebuild their lives.

Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit


CONTACT: For more information or interviews, contact Junia Geisler, Director of Communications, at