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Joanna Otero Cruz was the Deputy Managing Director at the City of Philadelphia for nearly six years. Photo: Samantha Madera/AL DÍA News.
Joanna Otero Cruz was the Deputy Managing Director at the City of Philadelphia for nearly six years. Photo: Samantha Madera/AL DÍA News.

Joanna Otero-Cruz is the new president and executive director at Women Against Abuse

The now-former Deputy Managing Director of Community Services at the City of Philadelphia will take her new post on Nov. 8.

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Women Against Abuse is Philadelphia’s largest domestic violence service provider. Over the last 45-plus years, the organization has built a system offering a plethora of support for victims of domestic abuse, such as a hotline, transitional housing, legal and public policy advocacy, and financial guidance, to name a few.

Half way through National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the nonprofit has also announced a new executive director and president in Joanna Otero Cruz.

After almost six years at the City of Philadelphia, Otero Cruz is making her jump back into the nonprofit world.

At the city, she was the Deputy Managing Director of Community Services, where she oversaw efforts like the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), Townwatch, Philly Rising, Philly 311, and at one point, the Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Recently in that role, she joined AL DÍA as a panelist for a July roundtable on the state of COVID-19 in the city and its ongoing vaccination effort alongside a number of community partners.

Before joining Philly, her previous nonprofit adventure was at Concilio for six years, where she revamped the organization with a new structure and relocated its operations.

She was also the Director of Family and Behavioral Health Services for 10 years at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, one of the longest-running Latino-centered community service organizations in Philadelphia.

Otero Cruz is also a 2007 graduate of Peirce College, where she got a degree in business administration, management and operations. 

In being named executive director and president, Otero Cruz said she was “humbled and excited” for the opportunity to lead the organization into the next chapter of its existence.

“Intimate partner violence can happen to anyone, and we stand ready to support survivors in Philadelphia,” she said.

Otero Cruz will officially take the post on Nov. 8, 2021.

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