Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Announces New Office of Immigrant Affairs
Lorena Rivera To Serve As Director
ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives today announced the establishment of the Office of Immigrant Affairs to better promote English language programs, strengthen access to career options, and assist with paths to U.S. citizenship. The new office is statutorily required by SB 85, which passed in the 2021 legislative session.
“This new office is especially timely as Maryland continues to welcome more of our Afghan allies,” said Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Director Steven McAdams. “We will be standing up service centers around the state, a multi-lingual hotline, and a website to provide greater access and combat hate crimes.”
Lorena Rivera, the current director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Commission on Hispanic Affairs, will serve as director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs. Rivera oversaw the 2020 U.S. Census effort in Maryland, including four state Area Census Offices in Hanover, Hagerstown, Baltimore City, and Towson. She has more than a decade of experience in community outreach and multicultural media and marketing outreach.
“I am honored to be appointed as director for this new office, where we will work to increase access to resources that support transitioning immigrants into American society,” said Rivera. “We will connect state agencies, coordinate with our ethnic commissions, and fight for fair treatment of those who choose to call Maryland home.”
The new Office of Immigrant Affairs has the following responsibilities:
- Establish a network of neighborhood-based opportunity centers
- Increase access to programs that teach the English language
- Connect immigrants with job training and employment referral services
- Decrease exploitation of immigrant communities, including support of the Asian American Hate Crimes Workgroup established by Governor Hogan
- Establish a toll-free, multilingual hotline and website
- Coordinate with state agencies that provide services to immigrants
About the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives
The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives is Governor Larry Hogan’s office to enhance and improve opportunities for Maryland residents. It oversees the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Volunteer Maryland, community affairs and engagement within the executive branch of Maryland government, faith-based outreach, and the governor’s eight ethnic and cultural commissions.