Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center announces the selection of Shima Kabirigi as Interim Executive Director


The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC), a non-profit organization focused on strengthening the immigrant community in Maine through language acquisition, economic integration, and civic engagement, has announced the selection of founding member Shima Kabirigi to fill the role of Interim Executive Director. The role became vacant last month, after the unexpected passing of Executive Director Alain Jean Claude Nahimana.

While the search for a permanent Executive Director continues, Board Co-Chair Mary Allen Lindemann, said, “Our selection committee did an exceptional job. We are remarkably fortunate and very excited to have Shima agree to provide interim leadership to the IWC. Her familiarity with immigrant issues and passion and commitment to community development is visible in her professional track. As a founding member, and more recently Board Co-Chair of the IWC, Shima’s selection allows the IWC to seamlessly continue its important work while continuing the search for a permanent Executive Director.”

Shima Kabirigi, currently a Program Officer at Maine Initiatives, and an AmeriCorps Vista alumna, has established a reputation for building bridges and successfully leading programs aimed at strengthening communities.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to help carry forward the legacy and shared vision of our dear friend Alain. I look forward to working with the IWC and supporting Maine’s thriving immigrant community”, Kabirigi said.

Kabirigi attended Pennsylvania State University, and most recently the University of Southern Maine, where she obtained a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. In addition to the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, she has served on the Board of The Community Development Block Grant, and the New England Arab American Organization.

The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center is a Portland-based, not for profit organization, that serves as a hub for organizations and individuals to collaborate and help Maine’s thriving immigrant community fully reach its civic, economic, and social potential. For more information, visit