Longtime Leader Austin Fragomen to Become Chairman Emeritus in January
Fragomen, the world’s leading provider of immigration services, announced today that Lance Kaplan and Enrique Gonzalez, both members of the firm’s Executive Committee, will succeed the firm’s Chairman, Austin Fragomen, as worldwide Co-Chairs of the firm beginning January 1, 2023. Austin Fragomen will assume the role of Chairman Emeritus following the transition.
“Fragomen was founded on a strong belief that the most successful immigration policies result from a partnership between government and business, enabling countries to harness the full potential of a global workforce,” said Austin Fragomen. “When I look at our global firm today, I am proud of what we have achieved and excited for what the future holds under Lance and Enrique’s able and expert leadership.”
“Fragomen continues to transform the immigration landscape using innovation, offering unparalleled capabilities and an unmatched ability to execute on our knowledge of immigration laws around the world,” said Kaplan. “We are uniquely positioned to help companies navigate increasingly complex global mobility challenges and change people’s lives on a daily basis. We are honored to take on this new role during a dynamic time in the firm’s history. I look forward to building on Austin’s vision to deliver best-in-class service for our clients and to accelerate the firm through its technology journey.”
“Looking at the world around us, it’s clear that the pace of change is accelerating at an exponential rate. It is an immense privilege to have the opportunity to lead an organization that plays a critical role in helping businesses adapt to this change and stay competitive by ensuring the rapid movement of their people,” said Gonzalez. “As we at Fragomen collectively emerge on the other side of this once-in-a-lifetime event in our firm’s history, our talented and passionate professionals stand ready to continue to meet our clients’ needs at every turn.”
Kaplan, who began his career as an immigration lawyer in the U.S., has been the Managing Partner of Fragomen’s International Practice Group since joining the firm in 2002. Serving alongside Austin Fragomen, Kaplan developed and executed the firm’s international expansion strategy, significantly growing the global footprint – a strategy he will continue to build on in his new role. Kaplan’s entrepreneurial background was key in the creation of new technology solutions as well as acquisitions. As a result of his deep knowledge of global immigration, Kaplan was instrumental in developing Fragomen’s COVID-19 response for clients around the world. Kaplan is known for his rich and extensive experience formulating and implementing global programs for some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, as well as providing counsel on extremely complex and highly sensitive country-specific matters, across a wide range of industries.
Gonzalez is known for creating customized immigration compliance programs for companies and institutions across a wide range of industries, and counseling entrepreneurs and those driving foreign investment in the U.S. economy. He is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and has served as the Managing Partner of the Miami office for 15 years, providing strategic advice to many longstanding, loyal clients and fostering a culture of effectiveness, efficiency, and teamwork. Gonzalez also helped to drive the firm’s growth in Latin America and established Fragomen’s higher education practice. In 2013, Gonzalez served as Special Counsel on Immigration and principal advisor to the U.S. Senate on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act – the only comprehensive immigration legislation approved by the U.S. Senate in the past 30 years. At the start of his career, Gonzalez served as the Vice-Mayor of the City of West Miami for nearly 10 years, during which time he led the restructuring of the city’s finances during a period of financial difficulty.
“I have served with Enrique and Lance on the firm’s Executive Committee and couldn’t be happier to see them elected to these roles. Their commitment to people, immigration law, innovation and client service are exceptional. I have also worked with them on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and know they will continue to shepherd these important values as our new leaders,” added Carmita Alonso, Managing Partner of the firm’s New York office, member of the Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Fragomen consistently ranks among the most diverse firms in the legal industry, with women making up 70% of its worldwide workforce and more than 50% of its U.S. employees self-identifying as people of color. Additionally, the firm has a long history of giving back to its communities through pro bono services and partnerships with nonprofit organizations focused on immigration. In order to more holistically build on its core values, the firm recently launched a Responsible Business Practices department which will focus on key pillars of environmental, social and governance, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, diversity, equity & inclusion, pro bono and well-being.