Larry Pande comes to CALA as the agency's new Director of Strategic Growth, bringing over six years of administrative, development and direct-service experience. Since graduating from the University of Chicago's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in 2013, Larry has worked in and with immigrant and refugee communities from Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan and Vietnam, to name a few, on Chicago's Northside.
As the Executive Director of the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society (IMAS), Larry oversaw IMAS' Job Development Program--funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement--by providing direct services to newly resettled Special Immigrant Visa holders and refugees from Iraq; and he gained invaluable legal aid programming knowledge by managing IMAS' burgeoning immigration legal program, which is Recognized and Accredited by the Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
In 2015, Larry brought his strong understanding of the BIA and legal program development to the Vietnamese Association of Illinois (VAI), where, as the Director of Program Services, he successfully obtained BIA Accreditation and Recognition for the agency and its staff and built a cohesive program model.
Larry was first introduced to CALA in 2017, when he collaborated with CALA's Executive Director, Lam Ho, on a proposal to bring much-needed legal aid to the immigrants and refugees on Chicago's Northside. Larry and Lam subsequently developed a comprehensive legal program at VAI which they named, the Community Empowerment Legal Clinic. Today the Community Empowerment Legal Clinic is CALA's largest legal aid partnership and the only comprehensive legal program on Chicago's Northside, providing direct legal aid to 550 community members from over 30 different countries.