Immigration Counseling Service (ICS), a nonprofit law firm serving Oregon’s immigrant communities since 1978, announces that Barbara Babcock, Executive Director since 2005, will be retiring in July, 2017.
Under Babcock’s leadership, ICS has grown to a $1,200,000.0 organization and in addition to providing legal representation; she expanded ICS’s services to include assisting unaccompanied, undocumented minors and to providing social services for survivors of trafficking.
ICS also significantly increased its outreach to LGBTQ immigrants by providing a safe space for them to access legal assistance for themselves and their loved ones. Babcock’s latest expansion was opening a regional office last year in Hood River which provides legal assistance to clients in Oregon and Washington in the mid-Columbia region.
ICS is pleased to announce that Lisa LeSage has been named the new ICS Executive Director. Currently an international consultant and principal at Lexterra Strategies LLC, LeSage brings extensive national and international human rights experience to ICS.
A native Portlander, LeSage recently returned to Oregon after five years as a senior legal advisor and country director with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, working on human rights and rule of law projects in the Middle East and North Africa.
As a civil rights lawyer and former associate dean at Lewis & Clark Law School, she has long been active in Oregon’s immigrant, legal, and non profit communities. She began her career as a legal aid lawyer at Oregon Legal Services representing immigrants and migrant workers, and later joined the law firm of Ginsburg, Gomez Neal and LeSage, where she practiced immigration and civil rights law with her partner, Dick Ginsburg.
A co-founder of Lewis & Clark Law School’s Small Business Legal Clinic, which serves minority and low-income businesses, LeSage also has held numerous positions on non profit boards and professional organizations, including as President of the Oregon Law Foundation, Chair of the Oregon Access to Justice Conference, and co-founder of the Oregon State Bar Diversity Section.
Her prior public service includes appointments to the Oregon Wage and Hour Commission, the Labor Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Agricultural Labor, and the Oregon Health Division Ad Hoc Task Force on Migrant Health. She has authored several articles, and has received the Oregon State Bar President’s Public Service Award and Statewide Affirmative Action Award in recognition of her work.
LeSage is fluent in Spanish, proficient in French, and has been a state-certified foster parent. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Chile in 2010, and in addition to completing certificates in mediation through Portland State School of Continuing Studies and Clackamas County Family Court Services, she received her undergraduate degree from University of Portland, law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School, and a masters degree in Human Rights Law from the University of London.
She is an active member of the Oregon State Bar and Oregon Women Lawyers. Under Lisa’s leadership, ICS will continue and expand its long tradition of providing services to Oregon’s immigrant communities.