Government Matters: Hila Hanif and Holly Herrera

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Once it became clear last summer that the Afghan government would fall, the highest priority became the quick and safe evacuation of Americans, eligible Afghans and other allies. After that, the Defense and State Departments were responsible for providing them housing and services. Those teams included Hila Hanif, director of Afghanistan strategy and policy at DoD, and Holly Herrera, chief of domestic resettlement at the State Department.

  • Herrera said her office has been running a refugee resettlement program for decades but the Afghanistan operation was “unprecedented.”
  • Hanif said she and her colleagues had been preparing for months for a possible evacuation scenario, thinking through logistics, immigration issues and military bases that could be used as temporary housing for refugees.
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