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Lori Scialabba, Deputy Director U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Experience and Achievements

Lori Scialabba resumed her duties as the deputy director of USCIS, a position she was appointed to in May 2011. She served as acting director of USCIS from December 2013 to July 2014.

From 2006 to 2011, Scialabba was associate director of USCIS Refugee, Asylum and International Operations. She concurrently served from 2007 to 2009 as a senior advisor to former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on issues affecting Iraqi refugees.

In 2009, Scialabba received a Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award for sustained accomplishments; this award is among the highest offered to federal employees.

Scialabba worked for the Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2003 to 2006 as the chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in the Executive Office for Immigration Review. She served as vice chairman from 1999 to 2003.

In 1998, Scialabba was selected as a member of the BIA, where she oversaw day-to-day operations. She also managed the board’s reorganization and the streamlining of more than 120,000 cases.

In 1994, Scialabba joined the Senior Executive Service as deputy general counsel for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In 1989, she joined the Civil Division in DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation, where she defended immigration cases in federal courts.

Scialabba served as assistant general counsel for INS headquarters from 1986 to 1989. Her career began in October 1985 with DOJ through the Attorney General’s Honors Program. There, she litigated deportation cases as a trial attorney for INS in Chicago.


Scialabba received her bachelor’s degree in 1982 from the University of Maryland and her Juris Doctorate in 1985 from Memphis State University. She also attended the Senior Managers in Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/22/2014