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Duggan announces immigrant affairs dept., names head

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday he has appointed a Dearborn native as the city’s Director of Immigrant Affairs.

Duggan said the department will serve as a gateway for immigrant communities and promote economic development. As its head, Fayrouz Saad will help immigrants connect to government and nonprofit resources to settle in Detroit as well as start and run small businesses in the city.

“(Saad) will help immigrant communities in the city thrive, both personally and entrepreneurially, and will help to attract more immigrants to our great city,” the mayor said in a statement.

Saad joins Duggan’s staff from Washington, D.C.-based Cambridge Global Advisors, where she was vice president. She worked with the federal government on national security and international issues, including immigration reform and economic development in the Arab world.

Prior to Cambridge Global Advisors, she was a presidential appointee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the Office for Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA). Saad served as a liaison between elected officials.

She also worked for the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services’ National Network for Arab American Communities.

“I’ve been looking for a reason to come back to Detroit and this position is really my dream job in a lot of ways,” Saad said. “It’s exciting to work on such an innovative initiative for the city and to work with such important communities.”

Detroit councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez said she welcomes the new department and Saad’s appointment.

“As part of the city’s commitment to being a welcoming city, the Immigration Task Force has worked to make this position a reality,” she said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Director Saad to advance the task force’s mission of creating a more diverse, inclusive, global city.”

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