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This article was originally published on December 11, 2008.

Layli Miller-Muro, Tahirih’s Founder and Executive Director, was honored as one of three “outstanding nonprofit leaders in the Washington metropolitan area for outstanding nonprofit chief executive leadership.”

The 2008 Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award program, administered by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, recognized Miller-Muro’s innovation, integrity, and leadership.

Miller-Muro founded Tahirih in 1997 following her involvement as a student attorney in a high-profile case that set national precedent and established female genital mutilation as a basis for asylum in the United States.

Following the publicity in the case, Miller-Muro received numerous requests for assistance that led her to investigate the legal resources available to immigrant and refugee women in Washington, DC. Her search revealed few organizations able to offer legal assistance to women seeking asylum or refugee status. She established Tahirih in response.