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Karen Hira

Executive Director


KAREN is a second-generation immigrant who is born and raised on the unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ nations. 


Karen has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and a Masters in Public Administration, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Public Administration at the University of Victoria where she is also a sessional instructor. 


Karen first joined the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society seven years ago as a practicum student and was later hired on as a Case Manager. Karen has continued to support VIRCS over the past five years via funding acquisition to support its base services and also supported the Social Innovation Centre to secure funding for the trauma-informed daycare. 

Karen's employment and education centers around a deep recognition of the value of diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and equity in service provision. She has experience working with Indigenous, newcomer (immigrant and refugee), law enforcement, health, and social service organizations and hopes to leverage her multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary education and experience to amplify VIRCS's potential and reach. 

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