Irena Omelaniuk was a migration policy consultant who for 20 years (1994-2014) and worked with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as Chief of Technical Cooperation and Development, Chief of Mission in Germany, Director of the Migration Management Services Department, and senior policy adviser. She was a migration adviser to the World Bank in 2005-2006 and subsequently served as senior policy adviser to the Governments of Belgium, Philippines, Greece, Mexico, Switzerland and Mauritius, the first six successive Chairs of the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) established at the UN High Level Dialogue on Migration and Development in 2006.
As an IOM official, Dr. Omelaniuk provided technical and advisory support on migration policy, law, procedures and partnerships to many governments, including as coordinator of the “Cluster Process” to foster cooperation on migration management between South Caucasus and EU partners in 2001-2002. As Chief of Mission in Germany in 1999-2000, she managed some of IOM's largest voluntary return and reintegration programs at that time. In 2002, she coordinated a major review of migration legislation and practice for the Irish Government in support of Ireland's efforts to update its immigration regime by drawing on the lessons of other countries.
Dr. Omelaniuk has presented and led discussions at many global meetings on migration. She has published articles and reports and edited several volumes in the areas of: migration and development; migration, gender and development; costs and benefits of migration; labor mobility; global migration institutions and processes; and diaspora and development. She has edited several books on migration, most recently with Springer and IOM on Global Perspectives on Migration and Development: GFMD Puerto Vallarta and Beyond, in 2012; and for the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination, the volume International Migration and Development: Contributions and Recommendations of the International System, in 2013.