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Vanessa Wilkins

Vanessa joined Tahirih’s Atlanta office in 2021. As Executive Director, Vanessa is responsible for the management, growth and financial sustainability of the Atlanta office. She leads the Atlanta team in delivering client-centered legal and social services to immigrant women and girls fleeing violence; conducting community outreach and partnerships; oversees the local office’s financial and operational integrity; and engaging diverse stakeholders. Vanessa also works collaboratively to develop and execute a regional advocacy strategy for policies supporting the community.

Prior to joining Tahirih, Vanessa worked within the non-profit field for over eighteen years. In 2003, she joined Promise Place to expand domestic violence services in Fayette county to several new counties within the judicial circuit. With the opening of that area’s first state certified domestic violence shelter in 2007, Vanessa took on the position of Shelter Director, assisting in developing the framework for services provided to clients. She then served as Executive Director for the next ten years. As Promise Place Executive Director, Vanessa developed numerous domestic violence initiatives for the community. One of these initiatives was featured in the 11th annual Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review report. In February 2015, Vanessa was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Georgia Commission of Family Violence where she served for 3 years. She received a Pinnacle Leadership award in 2017 for outstanding community leadership and was recognized with a Phenomenal Woman award in 2021 for her 17 years of service to the community.

I am inspired by both Tahirih’s mission and inter-disciplinary approach to providing services. Having worked in the domestic violence field for many years, I have seen firsthand the complex barriers immigrant women and girls face in achieving safety – a basic right that we all too often take for granted. Legal services are a critical factor in removing these barriers and I am honored to work alongside a team that focuses on prioritizing client needs while maintaining excellence in our service delivery.

Hometown: Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.