In October of 2018, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Dallas announced that it would soon launch its Academic Coaching Program to narrow the gap in academic services for high school age refugee youths. An organization founded to provide emergency aid and long-term assistance services to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster, the International Rescue Committee aims to resettle refugees by supplying them with the skills and resources they need to be successful, independent, and empowered.
The International Rescue Committee is the result of merging two refugee aid organizations. In 1933, Albert Einstein immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee fleeing the Nazi regime in Germany. Einstein, a well-known scientist, used his academic circles to bring together a coalition of leaders to form the International Relief Association with the goal of assisting Germans fleeing the Nazi regime. The International Relief Association focused on making visa applications and vouching for refugees to enter the United States, and in its first 13 months, it rescued 2,000 people. When Paris fell to the Nazis in 1941, the Emergency Rescue Committee formed to aid European refugees trapped in Vichy France. Emergency Rescue Committee’s Varian Fry spent 13 months in France between 1940-1941 where he helped 1,500 people flee France to safety.  In 1942 the two organizations merged to form the International Relief and Rescue Committee, which is today shortened to the International Rescue Committee. The organization expanded to provide assistance to refugees from Italy and Spain. At the time, there were few other international refugee programs and aid agencies to ensure the safety of refugees, such as the U.S. Committee for the Care of European Children, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. IRC volunteers were among the first civilians to offer aid to Europe’s displaced peoples after Germany’s surrender and the official end of World War II in 1945, and today, they currently work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity, and hope in those forced far from home.
On its website, the IRC proudly displays its efficiency wheel, showing that 89% of all funds goes into program services — this means 89 cents of every dollar the IRC spends worldwide goes directly to help refugees and others in need. Seven percent goes into management and general expenses, and 4% is spent on fundraising. From 2013 to 2016, the IRC’s spending on programming services went up from $417 million to $666 million, revealing a significant increase in organizational dedication to aid programs. According to Charity Navigator, an independent organization that evaluates and provides financial ratings for charitable organizations in the United States, the IRC has a 4-star rating and overall score of 91.16 out of 100. In its “Accountability & Transparency” score, the IRC earned a perfect 100, referring to the accessibility and completeness of their public data. This includes disclosure of voting board members and everything listed on the IRC’s public Form 990s, such as publicly available audited financial reports.
The Dallas branch of the International Rescue Committee was formed in response to the Vietnamese refugee crisis of the 1970s, providing critical relief to the huge influx of refugees coming to resettle in Texas. To support a refugee population so large, the U.S. needed national networks to support whole families fleeing Vietnam, and the International Rescue Committee had the resources and global reach to provide assistance.
Today, the Dallas IRC focuses on five program areas: health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power, with the goal being long-term recovery for displaced peoples, and helping refugees to recover and regain agency and control of their futures. In addition to its reception and resettlement services, the IRC also engages in advocacy work and policy research, embodying its mission to lead refugees from harm to home. In September 2018, the IRC welcomed Suzy Cop as the new executive director for the IRC Texas offices in Dallas and Abilene. Cop spent over 20 years with IRC, the latter 12 as the head of the Miami team.
 “Refugee youth benefit from new Academic Coaching program,” International Rescue Committee, https://www.rescue.org/announcement/refugee-youth-benefit-new-academic-coaching-program
 “Albert Einstein’s legacy as a refugee,” International Rescue Committee, https://www.rescue.org/article/albert-einsteins-legacy-refugee
 “History of the International Rescue Committee,” International Rescue Committee, https://www.rescue.org/page/history-international-rescue-committee
 “Emergency Rescue Committee collection.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives. https://collections.ushmm.org/findingaids/1991.242_01_fnd_en.pdf
 “Message of Welcome,” International Rescue Committee, https://help.rescue.org/secure/refugees-welcome
 International Rescue Committee, https://www.rescue.org/
 “International Rescue Committee,” Charity Navigator. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3898 Overall score of 91.16 published December 1, 2018.
 West, Richard, “The New Immigrants,” D Magazine. https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/1986/march/the-new-immigrants/
 “IRC in Dallas welcomes a new Executive Director!” https://www.rescue.org/announcement/irc-dallas-welcomes-new-executive-director