Project Citizen Appoints Mitra Shavarini as Executive Director
January 12, 2021 — Project Citizen, a Boston-based nonprofit that works with immigrants seeking to become U.S. citizens, today announced that Mitra Shavarini has been appointed executive director.
Shavarini succeeds Veronica Serrato, who served as executive director of Project Citizen for six years until she stepped down early last year. Melanie Torres, now deputy director, served as interim executive director.
Brenda Diana, board chair of Project Citizen, said, “Not only does Mitra have an impressive background in nonprofit leadership and higher education, but as a naturalized U.S. citizen, she also has a personal connection with and passion for our mission that made her the natural choice to be our next leader.
“Her competence, intelligence, and kindness shine through, and we look forward to her guidance and leadership as Project Citizenship continues to grow.”
Shavarini previously served as executive director of WorldTeach, which provides international education volunteer programs, leading the organization through a period of mission recalibration and fiscal stabilization.
“The work that is done at Project Citizenship is at the heart of this nation,” Shavarini noted in an emailed message. “By expanding citizenship, we elevate not only immigrants’ economic well-being but also our own. Citizenship builds our democracy because we hear new voices and perspectives that will inevitably challenge us.”
Shavarini said she plans to expand collaborations with other nonprofits, businesses, educational and health care institutions, elected officials, and local and state agencies.
Shavarini earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College, a master’s degree in administration, planning, and social policy in education from Harvard University, and Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and administration from Harvard University. She also served as a lecturer at Brandeis University.
Though it officially launched in 2014, Project Citizenship’s roots date back to 2011 when six community partners offering comprehensive social services for immigrants, called the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative, came together with the support of the Fish Family Foundation. With support from more than 1,000 trained volunteers, Project Citizenship helped 6,000 immigrants become U.S. citizens.
For the year ending Dec. 31, 2019,, Project Citizenship reported $918,000 in revenue, of which $912,000 came from contributions and grants, and $884,000 in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.