Mazahir Salih announces transition out of executive director role at Center for Worker Justice

In a statement obtained by the DI, Salih wrote she will be stepping away from her position in the coming months so she can focus on family commitments.


Gabby Drees

Executive director of the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa and former Mayor Pro Tem Mazahir Salih speaks at an Iowa City City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

Isabelle Foland, News Reporter

Mazahir Salih, executive director of the Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, announced her plans to resign from her role as executive director in the coming months.

In a statement obtained by The Daily Iowan on Monday evening, Salih, who is also a co-founder of the CWJ, wrote she made this decision to spend more time with her family.

“It has been an honor to serve in this role, and it has also taken a toll on me and my family,” Salih wrote. “It’s time for me to step away and focus on family commitments.”

Salih served on the Iowa City City Council from January 2018 until Jan. 2, 2022. She did not seek reelection because she was offered a job at the Center for Worker Justice.

The organization recently faced issues with the IRS, having to pay $20,000 in late tax filing fees as well as dealing with miscommunication from the IRS regarding the revocation of the CWJ’s 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

Salih added she will work with the CWJ’s board of directors to assist in hiring her replacement and to make the transition as smooth as possible. According to the CWJ’s website, there are currently 16 members on the organization’s board of directors.

“My husband and children have been amazingly supportive; while it’s easy to focus on staff and leaders, our families also make extraordinary sacrifices to make our work possible,” Salih wrote. “It’s time for me to take a step back, but I will remain in my position in a part-time capacity to ensure continuity until we hire a full-time Executive Director.”

Since the organization’s founding in 2012, the CWJ has helped combat wage theft, protected and improved affordable housing in Iowa City, supported immigrant families, sponsored community education and family programs, and assisted community members during the pandemic.

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