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Sybille Damas, chief operations officer at Congreso, is leaving the organization at the end of the month. Photo: Congreso.
Sybille Damas, chief operations officer at Congreso, is leaving the organization at the end of the month. Photo: Congreso.

Sybille Damas to leave Congreso after nearly two decades

She served in a number of different roles with the agency, most recently as chief operations officer for over seven years.

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Sybille Damas, one of the longest-tenured executive leaders for Congreso de Latinos Unidos, is leaving the organization at the end of the month. 

Since joining the organization in 2003, Damas has served in a variety of roles — starting out as division director of neighborhood and family development to more recently, chief operations officer for nearly eight years. 

Throughout her time with the organization, she has been a steady and constant presence in maintaining and advancing the mission of ensuring predominantly Latino neighborhoods can achieve economic self-sufficiency and well-being. 

Her time with Congreso has seen the development of the innovative Primary Client Management (PCM) model, which allows for measured, holistic service delivery across systems. Damas has also led the agency’s relationship with the National Council of La Raza and the National Housing Network, which has allowed Congreso to grow its mortgage counseling assistance and foreclosure prevention services. 

She has also managed Congreso’s relationship with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community and Development, and the Philadelphia Office of Supportive Housing. This is in addition to leading Congreso’s work in addressing Disproportionate Minority Contact, specifically as it relates to youth in the justice system. 

From reducing the number of children of color who are in foster care, to providing intensive services for at-risk families in crisis, and keeping urban violence from manifesting in families, Damas has played a key role in each endeavor.

Damas was initially drawn to a career in social work when visiting her parents’ native, Haiti. There, she saw for the first time the many disparities that exist for people of color, and those of different backgrounds and socioeconomic status. 

Upon returning home to the United States, she began to dedicate her educational and professional pursuits to ensuring that there are no excuses for those disparities to exist here. 

She began to work in the field of geriatric care before focusing her efforts on child welfare and juvenile justice advocacy. 

She earned a master’s degree in social work from Temple University, and then graduated from Bryn Mawr College’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute. 

After more than 18 years, Damas will soon start the next chapter of her extensive career. For Congreso, Damas’ contributions and impact over the past nearly two decades will continue to be felt long after as the agency continues to address challenges that affect economic and social well-being for Latino communities.

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