CENTRAL FALLS — Central Falls Mayor James Diossa has appointed long-time city resident and community leader Sonia Grace as his chief of staff.
The new post, which will help oversee department operations in the city, replaces the position of administrative assistant to the mayor at no additional cost to taxpayers, thanks to cost-saving measures implemented by Diossa, including his taking a 10-percent pay cut, removing the mayor's car allowance and finding 25 percent savings in portions of the legal budget.
Grace brings extensive management and policy experience to the post, having served most recently as a program planner for the Rhode Island Higher Education Authority and previously as executive director of Project Health Rhode Island. While at Project Health Rhode Island, she managed the organization’s Providence site and was responsible for fiscal and staff management in addition to fundraising. Grace also served as a policy analyst for Rhode Island Kids Count.
Her background also includes a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University and a current seven-year stint on the Central Falls School Committee, most recently serving as vice-chair.
She is fluent in Portuguese, Cape Verdean Creole and Spanish. She lives in Central Falls with her husband and 5 children.
“At this critical moment in our city's history, I am proud to welcome Sonia to my administration. As we transition back to home rule, I know that her professional and personal experience as an active Central Falls leader, parent, resident and taxpayer will help us move this city forward, activate local economic development and improve our residents’ quality of life,” Mayor Diossa said.
“I am honored to serve the people of Central Falls in this new role and help Mayor Diossa’s administration build upon our city’s great potential and human capital,” Grace said. “I share the Mayor’s vision for a brighter future in Central Falls and know that we will achieve it by working together.”
Grace will start at Central Falls City Hall on Monday, March 18th.