HIAS National Board Welcomes New Members

Mark Hetfield

HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides critical support to refugees has announced the election of Jeff Blattner as chair, and Jane Ginns as vice chair, of its board of directors, along with the appointment of five new board members: Julius Genachowski, Danny Grossman, Steven Koltai, Melody McCoy and Stephanie Mudick. Their terms begin on July 1. 


“My HIAS colleagues and I are excited to welcome new national board leadership with the appointment of Chair Jeff Blattner and Vice Chair Jane Ginns, as well as these five distinguished new members,” said Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS. “The new board leadership, and the diverse experience and skills of these new members, will be extremely helpful in guiding HIAS’ response to the war in Ukraine, which has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and our important work to assist millions more who continue to be displaced in other regions around the world.”   


“I am humbled to step into this role at such a challenging moment, and I am honored to serve with HIAS’ remarkable board and staff,” said incoming board chair Jeff Blattner. “I look forward to working with them and particularly with Vice Chair Jane Ginns and CEO Mark Hetfield to advance the organization’s mission of protecting and welcoming refugees.”    


Jeff Blattner has been a member of the HIAS board since 2014, serving as Chair of the External Affairs Committee and the Global Structure Task Force. He succeeds longtime board member Robert Aronson, who became chair in 2019 and has been associated with HIAS for more than 30 years. 

 Blattner is a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado Law School and a senior fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Institute Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship of the University of Colorado. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, Jeff was formerly deputy assistant attorney general and special counsel for information technology in the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. Jeff also previously served as a law clerk to Justice Potter Stewart and as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Senator Edward Kennedy. He also served on the presidential transitions of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as the transition of Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.  


Incoming Vice Chair, Jane Ginns is the Founder and Chair of the Central Welcome Project, the refugee resettlement program at Central Synagogue in New York City. She previously worked at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., where she assisted survivors in obtaining compensation for their suffering during the Holocaust. Jane began her career as a commercial litigation attorney with firms in New York and Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School. A former HIAS client and refugee herself, Jane is actively involved with causes involving refugees, immigration, and international affairs, including serving on the HIAS board since 2014.  


 HIAS is the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 17 countries. They advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity.