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November 2, 2023

Immigrant Welcome Center leader resigns after less than 3 years on the job

Reza Jalali opening a door to the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center File Photo / Jim Neuger Reza Jalali, executive director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, has resigned from that position.

The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center is searching for a new leader, now that Reza Jalali has resigned as executive director.

Jalali, who took the helm of the Welcome Center nearly three years ago, will serve as an adviser to the nonprofit through the end of the year and will assist in the transition to new leadership, according to the nonprofit group. He did not publicly offer a reason for leaving and attempts by Mainebiz to reach him on Thursday morning were unsuccessful.

In a statement posted on social media Oct. 12, the Welcome Center said, "We appreciate all the hard work Reza has done over the past three years. His extraordinary talent for making connections and developing relationships with partners, communicating with many local immigrant communities GPIWC serves and highlighting the value of the GPIWC to potential funders will be deeply missed.

"Reza left retirement almost three years ago to take over the GPIWC and has led us to financial and organizational stability and health during his tenure, working tirelessly to strengthen and grow the board, add key personnel, develop sound policies and procedures, secure major grants and create numerous and valued community partnerships, among other efforts."

Jalali, an Iran-born writer, educator and community organizer, succeeded in 2021 the late Alain Nahimana as executive director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center. Nahimana founded the organization in 2017.


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