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June 14, 2021
MIRA Coalition Appoints Interim Leader as CEO Heads to DC
Eva Millona
Eva Millona

May 18, 2021 — The Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, a Boston nonprofit that is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants to life in the United States, yesterday announced that Eva Millona, its president and CEO for the last 12 years, is stepping down to join the Biden Administration in Washington, DC.

The Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) said Millona accepted the position of assistant secretary for partnership and engagement at the Department of Homeland Security.

Myran Parker-Brass

Myran Parker-Brass, who has been serving as interim deputy director since November, will become acting chief executive officer of MIRA Effective May 25 as the organization launches a search for Millona’s successor.

Citing Millona’s “outstanding leadership,” board chair John Willshire-Carrera said, ”Eva catapulted MIRA into one of the most high-profile players on the local, state and national levels, while also growing and diversifying the organization’s membership and staff.”

Millona, describing the state of MIRA as “strong,” said, “I am proud of the incredible accomplishments we have achieved together – growing the power of the leaders of this coalition, securing major policy wins at the local, state, and national levels, and building a vision of inclusion and a fabric of trusted relationships that fuel our work.”

Millona joined MIRA in 1999 as National Citizenship Program director, and successfully held positions of director of immigration policy and director of policy and advocacy/deputy director, before being named executive director in 2008. She started her career as a district judge in Tirana, Albania.

Parker-Brass, an educator, executive, and consultant with more than 30 years experience in the nonprofit sector, most recently served as executive director for the arts for the Boston Public Schools, and also earlier held positions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Longy School of Music at Bard College. A key focus of her work has involved strategic and transition planning, program development and implementation, collective impact model development, and public-private partnerships.

In 2015 Parker-Brass was appointed by Boston’s mayor to the steering committee which developed “Boston Creates”, the city’s first cultural plan in more than 20 years. For six years during the Obama Administration she worked with the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities on their national TurnAround Arts Initiative.

Parker-Brass currently is a lead member of the Statewide Arts Coalition elevating the role of arts and arts education in Massachusetts, initiating legislation and policy reform. She also serves on the boards of the American Repertory Theater, National Guild for Community Arts Education, Museum of Fine Arts, Community Music Center of Boston, EdVestors, Boston Arts Academy, and Boston Landmarks Orchestra.

She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Governors State University.

Founded in 1987, MIRA today is a coalition comprising more than 130 organizations, including grassroots community organizations, refugee resettlement agencies, providers of social, legal and health services, faith-based organizations, and civil and human rights advocates. It is a founding member of the National Partnership for New Americans, which represents the country’s 37 largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 31 states.

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