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Town Hall on Visa Processing Improvements

March 14, 2023

Program Overview

Please join the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) for a town hall with Indian communities in the United States on interagency efforts to improve the efficiency and reduce wait times in immigrant and non-immigrant visa processes. 

The event will include remarks from Deputy Assistant Secretary for India Nancy Jackson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services Julie Stufft, and Senior Advisor to the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Doug Rand. 

Participants are encouraged to submit questions they would like addressed in advance via the below linked form.

Submit your questions and comments here: Question and Comment Form


Nancy Izzo Jackson

Deputy Assistant Secretary for India, Bureau of South and Central Asia Affairs

Nancy Izzo Jackson is a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), where she supports the Assistant Secretary in formulating and implementing U.S.-India policy. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Izzo Jackson served as the Senior Bureau Official in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) from January 2021 to March 2022. Previous assignments included SCA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan from November 2019 to January 2021, and PRM Deputy Assistant Secretary from 2015-2019. She has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2010. Prior to becoming a member of the Senior Executive Service, Ms. Izzo Jackson was a tenured member of the U.S. Foreign Service, serving with distinction at U.S. embassies in Liberia and Sri Lanka. Domestic assignments included serving as Special Assistant to the Secretary of State’s Senior Advisor on Haiti following a coup that threatened a mass migration to U.S. shores. She is also the recipient of numerous State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.


Julie Stufft

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Julie M. Stufft assumed the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs in August 2021. Prior to assuming her current position, she served as Managing Director for Visa Services. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, Julie previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in the U.S. Embassies in Moldova and in Djibouti. Previously, she served in the National Security Council, Russia, Ethiopia, and Poland, and in the State Department Operations Center. She is a 2021-22 International Women’s Forum Fellow, and was a 2014-15 Fellow to Seminar XXI, MIT’s Center for International Studies. She is the recipient of seven Superior Honor Awards, and the American Foreign Service Association’s Award for Constructive Dissent by a Senior Officer. Julie is originally from Ohio, and holds degrees from Case Western Reserve University and Duke University. She speaks Russian, Romanian, French and Polish.


Douglas Rand

Senior Advisor to the Director of USCIS

Doug Rand began serving as Senior Advisor to the Director of USCIS on Aug. 16, 2021. Previously, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), directing the Technology and Innovation Initiative that focuses on the intersection of immigration policy and artificial intelligence (AI) in advancing the nation’s national security and economic growth. Rand served in the Executive Office of the President between 2010-2017 as Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, with a portfolio spanning inclusive high-growth entrepreneurship, access to capital, clean energy innovation, commercialization of federally funded research, and high-skill immigration. More recently, he advised the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. As an entrepreneur, Rand was the co-founder and president of Boundless, and the co-founder and CEO of Playscripts, Inc. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management, and received Master’s and undergraduate degrees from Harvard, where he studied evolutionary biology.


Richa Bhala

Chief of Staff, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA)

Richa Bhala is the Chief of Staff for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.  She will be joining the Consulate General Mumbai team in July as Political-Economic Chief. Richa most recently served Deputy Political Counselor at the Venezuela Affairs Unit (VAU) in Bogota and at U.S. Embassy Caracas (2018-2021).  Previously, as a Line Officer in the Executive Secretariat (2017-18), Richa supported execution of the Secretary of State’s global travel agenda from Baghdad to Helsinki.  She has also served as a Political Officer at U.S. Embassy Brasilia (2014-17); a Vice-Consul at U.S. Embassy Islamabad (2013-14); and a Narcotics Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Bogota (2010-2012). Richa joined the Foreign Service in 2010, following her degree in Economics from Amherst College in Massachusetts. She holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Princeton University.  She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, and Urdu. She is married to Gustavo Ardila.  They have a one-year old daughter, and enjoy cooking and travel.

Background Resources

Information on U.S. Visas Learn More
Latest News on U.S. Visas Learn More
Information on Employment Visas Learn More
Working in the United States Learn More
H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models Learn More
Green Card for Employment-Based Immigrants Learn More
Options for Nonimmigrant Workers Following Termination of Employment Learn More
Fiscal Year 2023 Employment-Based Adjustment of Status FAQs Learn More
Options for Noncitizen STEM Professionals to Work in the United States Learn More
Options for Noncitizen Entrepreneurs to Work in the United States Learn More
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – Progress Report Learn More