On behalf of PAIR's board of directors, I am pleased and excited to announce that, after an extensive search, we have selected Miriam Velez O'Quinn as the organization's new executive director. From a very large and distinguished field of candidates, Miriam stood out as a strong leader with the knowledge, skills, and passion for serving youth. Her leadership will allow PAIR to continue to deliver effective programs for refugee youth during its second decade.
Miriam has significant experience in both the for-profit and non-profit fields. She began her career at
J.P. Morgan Chase
where she worked for nine years, as an intern, an analyst and a senior associate across the bank, ending her tenure in the Investment Bank's finance and business management group.
There she built her analytical skills and learned to communicate complex financial information in readily understandable ways.
Miriam then began to focus on her real passion: serving underserved communities. She became national director of alumni relations and external affairs at
a national non-profit that works to prepare talented underserved youth for corporate and community leadership and to develop and place them in business and industry.
In her role at INROADS, Miriam led a team that revitalized alumni relations, established partnerships with other non-profits to advance their interconnected missions, and built a fundraising program for the organization.
Since relocating to Houston from New York, she has been development manager of
part of a national non-profit that helps schools and community organizations create play activities in which every child feels included and builds social and emotional skills.
At Playworks, Miriam led all development activities, including grants, individual donors, and events. She also created and strengthened relations with other youth-serving organizations.
Miriam grew up in New York City, "a child of the inner city." She notes,
"I know firsthand both the raw talent and the lack of access and opportunity faced by those in our immigrant and underserved communities."
She is thrilled to begin her work at PAIR and looks forward to leveraging her skills to "empower refugee youth to navigate American society, reach their academic potential, and become community leaders!"
Please join PAIR's staff and board in welcoming her.
PAIR Board of Directors