Model & Strategy

Welcoming America supports a network of governmental and non-governmental organizations in the US and globally working to create inclusive communities where immigrants and all residents can thrive and belong. Through Welcoming America’s members and partners, communities nurture a homegrown culture that helps newcomers and longtime residents alike feel at home, access opportunity, and have a seat at the table in changing communities.

With the goal of making welcoming a broad social norm, Welcoming America provides a roadmap, membership network, coaching, tools, and incentives that enable local leaders to accomplish more together. Some of the ways they achieve this are through the Certified Welcoming program, in which local governments at the city or county level develop a roadmap for immigrant and refugee participation in civic, social, and economic life. Throughout the year, Welcoming America hosts webinars and events to equip a network of organizations and movement of leaders working toward greater immigrant and refugee inclusion, fostering a community of support and expertise.

At a Glance
Founded: 2009
Founder: David Lubell
Current Executive Director: Rachel Peric
Civic Engagement
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast
Welcoming America
Decatur, GA
Building a nation of neighbors
Meet David Lubell

Welcoming America is David Lubell’s second nonprofit startup. His first venture was the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), an organization that continues to build a statewide voice for Tennessee’s growing immigrant community. While at TIRRC he saw firsthand the need for a project that could reach out to everyday Tennesseans struggling to adjust to the demographic changes taking place all around them. He helped found the Welcoming Tennessee project to achieve that vision, and later left TIRRC to replicate the work nationally through Welcoming America.

David was chosen as a 2015 Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, culminating in his presentation at their annual 2016 meeting in Davos, Switzerland where he spoke on integrating refugees. David was named as one of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “40 Under 40” for 2016 as a trailblazer in crafting innovative new approaches to entrenched problems. David is recognized as an Ashoka Fellow and one of Univision’s top ten social entrepreneurs in the Americas.

In 2018, Rachel Peric was appointed Executive Director. Inspired by her family’s refugee story, since joining the organization in 2011, she has served as the organization’s deputy director amongst other senior roles. She holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters in Public Management from the University of Maryland.




In the course of their welcoming work, Welcoming America’s members have institutionalized roughly 600 welcoming policies and programs. Currently, members support efforts in more than 500 communities across 31 states and the District of Columbia, home to one in seven Americans. A new Welcoming International program is also incorporating global partners into the Welcoming movement.

Over 200 Welcoming America members are driving community-wide change and actively building more inclusive and welcoming communities that support the full civic, economic, and social participation of new Americans and all residents.