Current and exiting CLINIC leadership express full confidence in incoming executive director

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — ­­Anna Marie Gallagher, an experienced litigator and immigration law expert, will join the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., as executive director, effective Feb. 1, 2019, announced Bishop Kevin J. Vann Nov. 27. Bishop Vann is chairman of CLINIC’s board of directors and head of the Diocese of Orange in California.

Gallagher will step into the position being vacated by Jeanne Atkinson, who has headed CLINIC since March 2013. Atkinson previously announced her plans to move to Italy to accompany her husband to his new position there. She will remain with CLINIC through the transition.

Bishop Vann, who headed the hiring committee that selected Gallagher, said he is “grateful to the process which resulted in the appointment of Anna as the new executive director. Her experience, enthusiasm and commitment to the mission of CLINIC is something that all of us on the selection committee noticed during the hiring process. I know that she is looking forward to continuing to build on the history and heritage of CLINIC, especially in these challenging days.”

Gallagher said she is “so pleased to have been chosen to lead CLINIC, especially given the increased distress and uncertainty faced by so many of our migrant and refugee brothers and sisters. I am looking forward to working with the excellent CLINIC staff to strengthen our support for our affiliates during these challenging times.” 

Atkinson was eager to welcome Gallagher to CLINIC, saying: “I have the utmost confidence in Anna’s ability to lead CLINIC. Her skills, knowledge, and leadership are exactly what CLINIC needs at this time and I am excited to see what the future holds under her direction.”

Gallagher comes to CLINIC from her current post as a shareholder and head of litigation practice at Maggio, Kattar, Nahajzer + Alexander, a Washington, D.C.-based firm focused on immigration and nationality law.

A statement from Maggio + Kattar said Gallagher’s new position “is a great opportunity for Anna and for CLINIC. She has been a zealous advocate for our clients for many years and we know that her dedication to immigrants and refugees will continue in this new and exciting endeavor. We are grateful for Anna’s hard work on behalf of our clients and her role within the firm." 

Over the course of her career, Gallagher has practiced in the field of immigration and refugee law in the United States, Central America and Europe. She has worked in private practice, the nonprofit sector and academia. Gallagher has authored numerous books and articles on migration and refugee practice and policy. 

Bishop Vann also took the occasion to express his thanks to Atkinson. “I am personally grateful to Jeanne for her leadership and friendship during her tenure as Executive Director for CLINIC. We both began our work for CLINIC at about the same time. These years have been a time of blessing for me, and growing into the knowledge of the vast ministry and mission of CLINIC and its affiliates.”