Monica Grewal and Two Other Immigrant Women to be Honored on International Women’s Day Celebration

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Monica Grewal (Photo: WilmerHale)

BOSTON – The International Institute of New England (IINE), a provider of refugee resettlement and immigrant services, will celebrate the achievements of immigrant women at the 15th annual International Women’s Day lunch.

The event, which will be held on March 8 at Westin Copley Place, honors three Boston-based women and is expected to bring together hundreds of people who are united in their support for immigrants living and working in the area.

“This year, the International Institute will honor three extraordinary women – Pardis Sabeti, Monica Grewal, and Christina Qi, in recognition of their professional and personal achievements,” IINE CEO Jeff Thielman said.  “Through this event, we are highlighting the important contributions of working immigrant women everywhere.”

The lunch celebration will feature a panel discussion with the honorees about their remarkable success in industries – science, law, and finance – that have traditionally been dominated by men.

The Honorees

Dr. Pardis Sabeti is a computational geneticist and Professor at Harvard University. A refugee who moved to America before the Iranian Revolution of 1979, she was named a TIME Person of the Year in 2014 for her work on the west-African Ebola virus outbreak. Dr. Sabeti has served on the MIT Board of Trustees and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Women in Science, Medicine, and Engineering.

Monica Grewal, Esq. became intellectual property partner at WilmerHale in 2004. She is director of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board Bar Association, and President of the Board of Governors of the Boston Patent Law Association. She co-chairs the Diversity Committee at WilmerHale.  In her past life as an engineer, she worked on U.S. space programs, including the advanced testing of the NASA spacesuit and shuttle environmental control systems. She received honors for exemplary contribution to the NASA JSC Crew in 1995 and the 1994 STS 61 Hubble Telescope Repair Mission. Ms. Grewal is a first-generation Indian-American.

Christina Qi is the longest standing female founder in high frequency trading, and the co-founder of Domeyard, LP. Her hedge fund has been featured on the front page of Forbes, Nikkei, and other publications. A Chinese immigrant who moved to America with her parents after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, she said was often “the only woman in the room” and so created a community to foster advancement and diversity in the fintech industry.  Christina and her team have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 and Boston Business Journal 40 Under 40 lists. She holds an S.B. in Management Science from MIT and is a CAIA Charterholder.

IINE’s International Women’s Day celebration enables the community to highlight the significant positive impact refugees and immigrants have on the economy: they give energy to our region, comprise a reliable and stable workforce, and are critical to the growth of innovation in all fields.

Statistics show that immigrants are driving components of New England’s vibrant workforce, comprising 29% of the adult working age population in the Boston area. Fifty percent of IINE program participants are women enrolled in refugee resettlement, job training and placement, English language classes, and legal services. The future of the New England economy is intricately bound to the success of women arriving to the U.S. today, and IINE is committed to raising up immigrant voices like those of our honorees in order to show the many paths that have been forged for immigrant women and their families.

At 101 years old, the International Institute of New England (IINE) is one of the oldest and largest social service organizations for new Americans in the region. Each year, the non-profit organization serves nearly 2,000 refugee, asylee, and immigrant clients across in Boston and Lowell, MA, and Manchester, NH. International Women’s Day has been a cornerstone of IINE’s community calendar since 2003.

IINE’s International Women’s Day celebration is led by volunteers from the community, including members of the event host committee:

  • Boitshoko Phalatse, Suffolk University
  • Catherine Karatzas, Wells Fargo
  • Christina Bai, CollegeFindMe
  • Debbie Hsu, Wells Fargo
  • Ellen McLaughlin
  • Hillary Brown, Fairlane Properties, Inc.
  • Jane Berman
  • Nazda K. Alam, Nazda Alam Foundation
  • Pamela Chang, Welch & Forbes, LLC
  • Shiva Damghany
  • Tabetha McCartney, Two Life Communities.

 

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