Michele Perez joined Tahirih as the Chief Operations Officer in 2019. With over 22 years at the field and headquarters levels of service-driven agencies, Michele has led programs and strategically managed operations across government, non-profit and philanthropic organizations. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the execution of strategies that enable Tahirih to deliver on our core values and mission of advancing equity and social justice. She is responsible to lead local and national efforts in support of talent management, organizational development, finance, operations and risk management, and information technology.
Michele joined Tahirih from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, where she served as Vice President of Management and Administration, as well as a Senior Advisor to the President and CEO for Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. Her leadership enabled OPIC to partner with developing economies worldwide, encourage more open, democratic and stable societies and improve the quality of life for those in most need. Prior to OPIC, Michele worked at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), where she served as a key advisor and consultant to the VA Chief of Staff on human resources, strategic planning and financial management. She was also charged with execution and coordination of workforce enterprise strategies for the Veterans Health Administration, the nation’s largest integrated healthcare system. Michele launched her civil service with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development as a Community Builder in the Office of the Midwest Regional Director.
Tahirih is a force for good in honoring the indomitable dignity of women and girls. We recognize the resolute strength and power of the incredibly courageous women we serve, and we are guided by an enduring commitment to a basic human right that we are all called upon to protect- the absolute right to live free from violence. I am honored to be a part of this phenomenal team.
Michele holds a BS in Human Services from Cornell University and an MS in Management from the Catholic University of America. She attended a fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and completed an executive education program with the Brookings Institution focused on business and innovation.
Spanish, French and Kreyol
Michele grew up in a Haitian and El Salvadoran household of immigrants in Miami, FL.