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Deval Patrick aide to lead state’s immigration office

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An aide to Gov. Deval Patrick who has been in charge of the governor’s ethnic media outreach will be the new executive director of the state’s Office for Refugees and Immigrants, Patrick announced last week.

Josiane Martinez, a well-known Latina activist in the Boston area, will lead the office in charge of helping the state’s immigrant population adjust to life in the state. She replaces Richard Chacon, who left in July to become MIT’s senior associate director for campaign planning.

“Josiane has worked diligently to make our government more accessible and open to all people of Massachusetts, and she will serve our diverse immigrant and refugee communities well in this new position,” Patrick said.

The Puerto Rican-born Martinez said she was excited about the new position and looked forward to working with the state’s diverse immigrant population. “I am fortunate to follow Richard Chacon, and will benefit from his mentorship in taking on this responsibility,” said Martinez.

Before the appointment, Martinez served as the governor’s director of specialized media, where she served as Patrick’s ethnic media outreach. The former reporter also had served as director of marketing and public relations from 2004 to 2010 for La Alianza Hispana, a Latino advocacy group in Boston.

Frank Soults, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, an immigrant advocacy organization, said the group welcomed the appointment of someone who is known to the immigrant advocates. “We are pleased that the governor has appointed someone has been working in the immigrant community for some time. She’s been visible,” said Soults.

Martinez has a bachelor of arts in political science and public communication and a graduate degree in communications from the University of Puerto Rico.