April 12, 2022
Welcome.US CEO Council Launches with New Commitments by 35 CEOs to Support Resettlement, Upskilling, and Hiring of Newcomers from Ukraine and Afghanistan
Council is co-chaired by Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai
New effort comes as 100,000 Ukrainians expected to seek refuge in the United States
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Welcome.US and 35 CEOs are launching the Welcome.US CEO Council, a new effort to accelerate and scale private sector support for those seeking refuge and galvanize a culture of welcoming. Co-chaired by Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the Welcome.US CEO Council has members from many of America’s largest and most iconic companies. Together, the Welcome.US CEO Council has pledged more than $75 million in new financial and in-kind donations, bringing the total contributions of Welcome.US private sector partners to more than $159 million to support Welcome.US, resettlement organizations and non-profits assisting Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers.
The launch of the Welcome.US CEO Council comes amid one of the largest refugee crises of this century, with over 4.5 million Ukrainians fleeing for safety across Europe—a number the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees expects will increase as the conflict continues. The United States recently announced that more than 100,000 Ukrainians will be allowed to seek refuge in the country, which follows more than 75,000 Afghan newcomers already being resettled in American communities—seven times the number of refugees resettled in the United States in 2020.
Inaugural members of the Welcome.US CEO Council include:
- Julie Sweet, Accenture (Co-Chair)
- Sundar Pichai, Google and Alphabet (Co-Chair)
- Shantanu Narayen, Adobe
- David Mussafer, Advent International
- Peter Zaffino, AIG
- Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, Airbnb and Airbnb.org
- Andy Jassy, Amazon
- Paul Abbott, American Express Global Business Travel
- Tim Cook, Apple
- Brian Moynihan, Bank of America
- Kathleen McCarthy, Blackstone
- Joshua Bolten, Business Roundtable
- Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani and Tent Partnership for Refugees
- Brian Roberts, Comcast
- Ed Bastian, Delta Air Lines
- Sonia Syngal, Gap Inc.
- Barbara Becker, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- David Solomon, Goldman Sachs
- Enrique Lores, HP Inc.
- John Zimmer and Logan Green, Lyft
- Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup
- Anthony Capuano, Marriott International
- Sheryl Sandberg, Meta
- Brad Smith, Microsoft
- Albert Bourla, Pfizer
- Evan Spiegel, Snap Inc.
- Howard Schultz, Starbucks
- Wade Davis, TelevisaUnivision
- Mike Sievert, T-Mobile
- Stephen Kaufer, Tripadvisor
- Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber
- Scott Kirby, United Airlines
- Suzanne Clark, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Rosalind Brewer, Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Doug McMillon, Walmart
“One of this country’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our people. We may come from different backgrounds, but we come together in times of need to welcome those seeking refuge,” said Nazanin Ash, CEO of Welcome.US. “I proudly welcome our new CEO Council and their commitment to support our new Afghan and Ukrainian neighbors. Their commitment will also make it possible for us to answer the call to support other newcomers in the future. This unprecedented collaboration is a testament to our country’s expansive capacity and willingness to welcome those seeking safety here in the United States.”
Building on the collective efforts of resettlement agencies, frontline organizations, faith-based institutions, and Americans across the country, the Welcome.US CEO Council will help marshal resources from the private sector to provide newcomers with access to critical goods and services, quality jobs, and mentorship opportunities. The Welcome.US CEO Council is calling on other businesses to join us by visiting Welcome.US
“The humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and recent evacuations from Afghanistan have turned the eyes of the world to the urgent needs of refugees,” said Julie Sweet, Chair and CEO of Accenture. “I am deeply grateful to all of the CEOs who have committed the resources of their companies to expand the impact of Welcome.US. We invite businesses of all sizes to join us in support of our new neighbors as they rebuild their lives in our communities.”
Already, the private sector has stepped up to help meet the significant challenges faced by this community of newcomers, including by:
- Partnering with Miles4Migrants to ensure every Afghan refugee has access to a free flight to their new home through the Billion Mile Challenge.
- Creating the Welcome Exchange, a first-of-its kind online portal for matching businesses that are willing and able to give support and resources with the specific local needs of newcomers identified by nonprofits and resettlement groups.
- Deploying the Welcome Employment Exchange, an online portal powered by ManpowerGroup with 53,000 open positions from more than 200 employers available for newcomers.
- Providing free, temporary housing for more than 24,000 Afghan refugees through an initiative led by Airbnb.org, an independent 501c3.
The Welcome.US CEO Council will initially focus on three key areas of impact: meeting the initial resettlement needs of the individuals and families who fled Afghanistan and Ukraine; supporting the employment of newcomers through new training and hiring initiatives; and mobilizing their employees, customer bases, and peers in the business community to join the welcome movement.
MEETING INITIAL RESETTLEMENT NEEDS
The Welcome.US CEO Council is focused on ways it can provide goods and services needed by newcomers in their first few months. From diapers to refrigerators matched on the Welcome Exchange, to pro bono legal services sourced on the Welcome Legal Alliance, companies are meeting urgent needs already.
Cell phones and laptops are vital tools that can help newcomers secure a job, access services, and communicate with family members. The Welcome.US CEO Council is helping meet these critical needs by providing phone plans and other hardware, including:
- 10,000 Google Pixel phones contributed by Google
- 20,000 lines of service, including 1-year of free unlimited talk, text and data provided by T-Mobile
- 5,000 Chromebook laptops and 10,000+ HP Turn to Learn printed learning materials donated by HP Inc.
- 1,000 laptops and digital skills training and digital navigator support via Comcast’s Lift Zones in key markets.
“When I was in Warsaw, Poland last month, I was humbled to see everyone’s willingness to help Ukrainian refugees, from opening their homes to helping them find employment,” said Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. “I look forward to working with this group of deeply committed CEOs to provide that kind of help to Afghans and Ukrainians resettling in the U.S., including good jobs, access to technology, and the support they’ll need to rebuild their lives.”
HIRING, TRAINING, AND EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
The Welcome.US CEO Council will also focus on hiring and building training and mentorship programs, and helping newcomers find jobs to support their families as they build their new lives here.
The Welcome.US CEO Council is partnering with the Tent Partnership for Refugees to help companies develop hiring, training, and mentorship programs for newcomers and to galvanize tangible commitments from the business community. This undertaking will make it possible for those seeking refuge in the U.S. to be hired at scale and at their skill level, empowering newcomers to find jobs commensurate with their professional experience and putting them on a long-term career pathway.
The Welcome.US CEO Council is also identifying and creating efforts to mobilize employees to help welcome newcomers.
Welcome.US was founded to unite, inspire, and empower Americans to support those seeking refuge here, beginning with Afghan refugees evacuated to the United States after the fall of Kabul in August 2021.
Welcome.US has one overarching goal: to grow that outpouring of public support into building durable capacity and codifying commitments to welcome all newcomers. In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, community organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is a single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States.
To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit welcome.us