Rebuilding America’s Tradition of Welcoming Refugees
December 1, 2020
Welcoming refugees to our country has been, and should be again, a great American tradition. On this episode of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s Capitol Conversations podcast, Jeff Pickering and Travis Wussow welcome John Cusey to the roundtable to talk about one of his career passions, caring for refugees. John is currently the Vice President of Communications at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He has a rich career of government service throughout Washington across multiple administrations and in Congress. Most recently John served in the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services.
America’s refugee resettlement program has fallen short of our ideals in recent years by turning inward due to a rising trend of nationalism in our politics. Jeff, Travis, and John believe that Christians can lead the revitalization of America’s commitment to be a beacon of freedom and safe harbor for the endangered and persecuted.
John Cusey is the Vice President of Communications at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He has a long record of government service including working for multiple presidential administrations and members of Congress. In 2019, John served in the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services. In his time on Capitol Hill, he served as the Executive Director of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus for five years with Congressman Chris Smith and as the Legislative Director and Press Secretary for Congressman Gary Miller for two years. Prior to working in DC, John worked for three different Members of the California State Legislature where he focused on budget issues.
Jeff Pickering serves as Policy Communications Director in the Washington, D.C., office. In this role, he hosts the weekly Capitol Conversations podcast, develops communications strategy, and connects journalists with the organization’s policy work. He also serves as the mentor and director of the D.C. internship program. Jeff previously served in both local church ministry and government affairs in his home state of Texas, where he graduated from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Chelsea have a son.
Travis Wussow serves as the Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel. Travis led the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East prior to joining the Washington DC office. He received a B.B.A. in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. He and his wife, Katie, have two daughters.