Meet our new Executive Director

August 28, 2020

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Dear HILSC Community:

We have a very exciting announcement!

Earlier this year, with the help of an amazing search committee, we began the process of looking for a new executive director to lead the Collaborative. Throughout this process, we were fortunate enough to engage with so many dynamic changemakers from Houston and around the country. At the end, one individual had the strategic vision and experience to herald a new era in our Collaborative’s future.

It is with great excitement that we announce Zenobia Lai as the new Executive Director of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative.

In a period of great uncertainty for our community and our country, we welcome Zenobia’s leadership. She brings incredible lived experience as both an immigrant and an immigrant rights’ attorney and advocate. From covering human rights issues as a journalist in Hong Kong, to providing legal counsel and support to grassroots organizations in Boston, and most recently, leading the St. Frances Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance as the Vice President of Immigration Legal Services at Catholic Charities in Houston, Zenobia has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to immigrants’ rights.

“The HILSC Board and Executive Committee are proud to have Zenobia as the next Executive Director because she understands complex challenges, including legal issues, that immigrant families face, and is willing to challenge restrictive policy and practice. Zenobia is ready to listen and work with partners in a collaborative manner to meet the goals of HILSC. She understands the history of the movement and has stayed committed and resilient through even the hardest times. She sees the intersections and barriers marginalized and vulnerable populations face and understands the work supporting these communities as part of a larger movement for racial justice. Her views are coupled with strong experience in partnerships and community-based interventions” said Dalia Castillo-Granados, HILSC Executive Committee Chair.

Zenobia brings a fierce and focused energy to our mission to advocate for immigrant inclusion, equity, and justice by uniting and strengthening diverse allies, developing holistic immigration legal services, and supporting creative initiatives through principled, values-based collaboration.

HILSC comprises more than 80 partners, members and stakeholders across the greater Houston metro area. Our city is home to more than 1.6 million immigrants and we envision a region that respects and advances their rights, irrespective of documentation or national origin. With Zenobia at the helm, HILSC will continue to fight for the dignity, safety and wellbeing of Houston’s immigrant community.


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