Our Team


Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to the culture and values of PIRS. They are the foundation of our strength as an organization. We are committed to inclusive leadership, equal opportunities, and creating a supportive and adaptable work environment that honors unique perspectives and contributions while reducing barriers. 

We are proud that many of our program graduates went on to become leaders within PIRS and beyond. Our diverse staff members, program participants and volunteers are the backbone of PIRS.

Meet our Leadership Team

PIRS’ leadership team is a diverse and experienced group of leaders who are committed to the organization’s mandates of building a society that honours the strengths of diverse women and empowers their contributions. This team provides organization-wide direction and oversight in advancing our vision, mission and strategic goals.


Mariam Bouchoutrouch, Executive Director

Mariam volunteered with PIRS in the 90’s and returned as Executive Director in 2014. She has more than 30 years of experience working in the community, with immigrant and refugee women and children. Starting her career as a frontline worker within women’s shelters and neighbourhood houses, Mariam founded two programs for families with young children in Vancouver.

Mariam is fascinated with language and culture and how they intersect in our world. She believes that diversity is a strength that can lead to growth and a better world. A graduate of the Leadership Fellows led by Steve Patty, Mariam is working on building a deliberately developmental organization that encourages the potential of immigrant women to grow into their leadership potential.

Anastasia, Program Coordinator

Anastasia Gaisenok, Director of Programs

A first-generation immigrant from Belarus, Anastasia has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 17 years focusing on social and economic justice, leadership, and empowerment for women and youth. Her background is in community-based education, capacity building and advocacy. She is passionate about system change, social innovation, and believes that understanding and attending to the impacts of trauma lies at the heart of the transformation we are all part of.


Maliha Mayeed, Executive Coordinator 

Maliha moved to Canada from Bangladesh; she migrated 25 years back and now settled in Vancouver. Maliha has a double Masters in Geography (Bangladesh and USA) and had a career in research and teaching. In Canada, she started working with nonprofits right from the beginning; she has also taught in Africa as the Canadian Government’s overseas development support. Maliha loves working with people from different cultures, learning and sharing experiences, and supporting the empowerment of immigrant women. She enjoys gardening, painting, writing, reading, travelling and spending time with her family.

Valerie Lai, Program Manager, Outreach, Family and Children Programs

Valerie is a certified Early Childhood Educator, as well as a family program facilitator for Parent-Child Mother Goose, Nobody’s Perfect, My Tween and Me and Healthy Together. As a Program Manager, Valerie works with her team to make sure that the programs support the needs of newcomer women. As an immigrant and mother of two herself, Valerie loves working with families with young children and she can relate to the needs of the family. 


Pacific Immigrant Resources Society

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Women and children served

Since 1975, PIRS served 16,277 women and 8,595 children and counting.

Newcomer Support

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Women trained

75 women completed training programs in 2022 to become more effective leaders in their communities.

Women Leadership & Training

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Food hampers distributed

448 people continue to be served weekly through the emergency Food Hub.

Social Innovation & System Change

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We need donors like you to help newcomer women and their children thrive in Canada.