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Executive Director, MA Office of Refugees and Immigrants, Mary Truong

Mary Truong, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and Immigrants (ORI), was among a list of a dozen of Boston’s most influential minority leaders who were chosen for the Get Konnected! Founder’s Choice Award which recognizes citizen activists.

Get Konnected!, started by African American public relations entrepreneur, Colette Phillips, is a networking series that brings together business and social innovation leaders to encourage diversity in the business world. Get Konnected! is also on a mission to raise awareness about people of color in positions of power and released a list of Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color. In addition to the list and the Founder’s Choice Award there are two other lists honoring trailblazers and emerging leaders.

During her 10 months leading ORI, Truong has made it easier for refugee newcomers to integrate into the Commonwealth by developing informative programming to increase accessibility.

Truong developed Welcome Kits for refugee individuals receive upon arriving in Massachusetts which includes useful information in everyday terms with the purpose of informing newcomers about who to contact, and what to do in certain, often critical, situations. They have been translated into high-need refugee languages.  She also developed a Provider Directory featuring all the programs funded by the ORI statewide. The directory, and enables the user to have rapid access to information, be able to search for help by region or program need, and highlights the languages spoken of each partner organization.

As a refugee herself who is familiar with the challenges of resettlement, Truong has understandably focused her efforts and energy on easing the transition for newcomers and immigrants.

“Much is given to us, much is expected of us”, is a quote from the New Testament that reminds me to continue to do more for those in need– especially as a former refugee,” said Truong. “Having achieved the American dream myself, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to reach out and help others less fortunate. I have made it my life’s mission to build networks of support for refugees and immigrants.  And it is truly my privilege to be able to do so now in my role as Executive Director of ORI.”

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