Eva A. Millona was appointed as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for Partnership and Engagement on 26 May 2021. In this role, she serves as the Secretary’s primary advisor on the impact of the Department’s policies, regulations, processes, and actions on state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, SLTT elected officials, non-governmental organisations, the private sector, and the academic community, ensuring a unified approach to external engagement.
Prior to joining the DHS, Ms Millona was President and Chief Executive Officer for over 12 years at the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the largest organisation in New England promoting and enhancing integration for new Americans. She held multiple leadership positions with MIRA for over 20 years. During her tenure, she led the organisation through multiple policy advancements, built a vision of inclusion and the fabric of trusted relationships. Ms Millona is co-founder of and co-chaired the Massachusetts Business Immigration Coalition in 2018. In 2010 she was co-founder of and co-chaired for 11 years the National Partnership for New Americans, a national organisation focused on immigrant integration at the local, state, and federal levels. Ms Millona also chaired the 2020 U.S. Census Statewide Complete Count Committee in Massachusetts.
A native of Albania, Ms Millona practised civil and criminal law before becoming the youngest district judge ever appointed to Tirana’s District Court, where she served from 1989 to 1992. After immigrating to the US, she directed the refugee resettlement programme in Central Massachusetts. She served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants under four governors, the Attorney General’s Council on New Americans, and the Advisory Board for the Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement. Ms Millona taught Global Policy as an adjunct professor of practice at Boston College School of Social Work.
Today, Ms Millona is recognised both nationally and internationally as an expert and a leader on immigration policy and immigrant and refugee integration. She has received numerous awards for her leadership and impact, including the prestigious U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 2009 Outstanding American by Choice Award and the 2010 Wainwright Bank Social Justice Award.
Ms Millona is a graduate of Clark University where she obtained a Master of Arts in Political Science. She also holds a law degree from the University of Tirana.