WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A former White House administrator and international diplomat, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, spoke about immigration and human trafficking Wednesday April 6, 2016 at a Purdue Institute for Civic Communication event."Human Immigration and Trafficking" was 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Krannert Auditorium. A reception also took place at 5:30 p.m. in the library on the second floor of Krannert. Both events were free and open to the public.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Lomellin the U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), which holds the rank of ambassador. The OAS includes 35 member states through the hemisphere whose representatives set agendas for regional policy development. The OAS focuses exclusively on issues pertaining to the nations in the Western Hemisphere. Much of Lomellin's work has been centered on women's rights issues, including international human trafficking. From 1998 to 2009, she served as the executive secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women for the OAS.
"Trafficking of persons is the most egregious violation of human rights. It strips away all vestiges of humanity and it tears away not only at our social fabric, but also strips the person of any dignity," Lomellin said. "There is not one country, including ours, that is immune. It is an outrage. It is slavery."
Before serving at the OAS, Lomellin held positions in the White House Office of Personnel, and as White House liaison for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in the Clinton Administration. In addition, she was an adviser on Hispanic affairs to the White House Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach. For two years, Lomellin also worked for Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago as the director of the Private Industry Council.
"Ambassador Lomellin is a respected voice on hemispheric issues," said Ambassador Carolyn Curiel, PICC executive director and clinical professor in the Brian Lamb School of Communication, who worked with Lomellin in the Clinton Administration. "Our students will learn a great deal from her on a timely and important topic."
Sutton Roach, a PICC student and anti-trafficking volunteer with the International Justice Mission, said she was excited by the Lomellin visit and the awareness it could prompt on campus about human trafficking.
"Combating human slavery is taxing, but the results are incredibly rewarding," she said. "We are not only working to rescue the estimated 35.8 million enslaved in our world, but we are also helping to restore broken justice systems to prevent violence against the poor before it begins."
The PICC is a university-wide, nonpartisan initiative for applied and experiential undergraduate learning in the fields of issues policy, citizenship and communication at Purdue University, made possible by the Daniels Fund of Denver and a partnership with C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network. Curiel is a former Clinton presidential speechwriter and U.S. ambassador who teaches in the Brian Lamb School of Communication. Students in any major are eligible to participate in the PICC.