July 1975: Governor Robert Ray appoints Colleen Shearer as director; creating the Governor's Task Force for Indochinese Resettlement.
November 1975: Three planeloads of Tai Dam refugees arrive in Des Moines
September 1977: The task force is reorganized and renamed the Iowa Refugee Service Center
April 1979: A plane from Malaysia delivers 196 Vietnamese "boat people" to Des Moines. Later that year, Cambodian refugees come to Iowa.
June 1980: The Lao National Musical Arts and Dance Troupe, 24 families, escape from Laos and settle in Iowa.
January 1981: Arrivals peak as the U.S. government seeks to relieve the pressure of the influx of refugees to first-asylum countries.
January 1986: The Iowa Refugee Service Center is placed under the direction of the Iowa Department of Human Services. It is renamed the Bureau of Refugee Programs.
February 1987: Several dozen Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian refugee families resettle in Iowa.
August 1988: Des Moines, Sioux City and Davenport are designated as "cluster sites" for refugee resettlement.
March 1989: The organization is renamed the Bureau of Refugee Services. Wayne Johnson is appointed Bureau Chief.
December 1991: The Bureau of Refugee Services received the top score in the nation for its refugee employment services.
October 1992: The Bureau received the highest national ranking for accomplishments in refugee employment, minimizing out-migration, affiliate monitoring, headquarters' interview reporting and assurances.
February 1993: The first Bosnian refugee families arrive.
September 1993: The first Burmese dissident arrives, settling in Sioux City.
June 1995: Iowa becomes the largest site for Sudanese refugees
August 1998 : The first Liberian refugees are resettled by the Bureau.
May 1999: The first Kosovar refugees are resettled in the state.
April 2003 : The Bureau opens the Assessment, Training and Placement Center
September 2005: The Bureau closes that last of its filed offices. The only remaining office is in Des Moines
June 2008: The first Bhutanese refugees are resettled by the Bureau.
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