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CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot today announced the appointment of Nubia Willman to serve as director of the City of Chicago’s Office of New Americans. Willman brings extensive experience providing direct legal services to Chicago's immigrant and refugee communities and supervising Legal Aid Chicago's Immigration Project. As head of the City’s conduit to immigrant and refugee communities, she will work to engage hard-to-reach populations and assist in the city’s coordinated efforts in preparing for the 2020 Census.
“Chicago proudly stands as a safe haven to our immigrant and refugee communities,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Nubia’s extensive experience and unique perspective brings immeasurable value to her new role of leading the critical work of ensuring our newest residents have the legal protection and support services they need to find success for their families and pursue the American Dream.”
Willman will lead the effort in supporting and strengthening Chicago's immigrant and refugee families and households. She will convene The New Americans Council and “Chicago Is With You” Task Force to address issues important to Chicago's immigrant and refugee communities. Current areas of focus under her leadership will include ensuring a complete count for the 2020 Census on behalf of the Mayor’s Office and expanding language access through vital city services.
“I have dedicated my career to serving immigrants, refugees and those negatively impacted by discriminatory practices,” said Nubia Willman. “I am honored to work under Mayor Lightfoot’s leadership to continue this critically-important work and look forward to partnering with community groups and residents citywide to ensure all perspectives are considered as we work to build a stronger and more inclusive Chicago.”
Willman joins the City’s Office of New Americans, a key component of Mayor Lightfoot’s Community Engagement team, as it works to improve outcomes of all Chicago’s communities by connecting with them on a deeper level, building stronger relationships with neighborhoods and removing barriers to government and city agency services and assistance.
The Office of New Americans is focused on engaging Chicago’s diverse immigrant and refugee populations through enhanced collaboration with community organizations, academic institutions and the private sector.
“Mayor Lightfoot raises the bar for mayors across the country on her commitment to defending Chicago’s vulnerable and resilient immigrant community” said Rebecca Shi, executive director of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and a naturalized citizen from China whose mother was undocumented for 19 years. “From ending the collaboration between CPD and ICE, to visiting businesses on 26th Street for Know Your Rights trainings, Mayor Lightfoot leads, listens and collaborates with people directly affected to create a beacon of hope for Chicago’s vibrant immigrant community.”
Willman holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Valparaiso University. She began her role on July 22, 2019.