Public Liaison, White House Office of (Ethnic Groups, Roman Catholics, Defense and Foreign Policy)
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Linas Kojelis (1955- ) is the son of Lithuanian parents who immigrated to the United States after the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania during World War II. He joined the Office of Public Liaison shortly after Faith Whittlesey became head of that office in May 1983. Kojelis initially handled the ethnic portfolio, dealing with issues and organizations pertaining to Americans of eastern and southern European heritage (primarily), Armenian Americans, Arab Americans, and Asian Americans. When the Public Liaison office was reorganized in late 1985, Kojelis was promoted to a new position in which he focused on raising support for the Administration’s defense and foreign policies. Additionally, Kojelis was involved throughout his Public Liaison tenure with Roman Catholic and anti-Communist issues and groups. In April 1988, Kojelis left the White House to become the State Department’s United States Coordinator for Refugee Affairs.