FBI Richmond
Public Affairs Specialist Dennette Rybiski
(804) 261-1044
February 6, 2017

FBI Richmond Recognizes State Refugee Coordinator for Community Service

Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Richmond Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced this morning that Mr. Seyoum Berhe is the Richmond FBI’s 2016 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) recipient.

Mr. Berhe is currently employed as the State Refugee Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Social Services, Office of Newcomer Services (VDSS-ONS) in Richmond, Virginia.  The VDSS-ONS administers Virginia’s Refugee Resettlement Program, whose mission is to “help refugees and their families gain economic self-sufficiency and social integration into their communities."1

Since joining the VDSS-ONS in 2015, Mr. Berhe has worked tirelessly to advance cooperation between law enforcement and ethnic and minority groups.  Mr. Berhe has met with representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Richmond field office and the Virginia State Police’s Fusion Center for the purpose of discussing immigrant and refugee matters.  This dialogue prompted the Community Capacity Initiative (CCI) wherein local, state, and federal law enforcement are involved in the orientation training provided to arriving immigrants and refugees.  During this orientation, law enforcement at all levels are introduced to newly arrived immigrants and refugees in an effort to make them feel comfortable with contacting and speaking with them without fear or hesitation during routine interactions or during times of crisis.  Mr. Berhe has been invaluable to the Richmond FBI by providing situational awareness briefings regarding the CCI and discussing ways the field office can better engage with the immigrants and refugees residing within the field office’s territory.

Mr. Berhe is also a graduate of the FBI Richmond Division’s 2016 Citizens’ Academy.

A formal award ceremony will be held at FBI Headquarters on April 28th, 2017 at which time Mr. Berhe will be presented the DCLA by Director Comey.

1 Virginia Department of Social Services, Office of Newcomer Services official website:  http://dss.virginia.gov/family/ons/index.cgi

Pictured: SAC Adam Lee and Seyoum Berhe

Pictured: SAC Adam Lee and Seyoum Berhe