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Oishei Foundation chooses economic development veteran as its new president

Christine Orsi
John R. Oishei Foundation
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Christine Orsi has been selected the new president of the John R. Oishei Foundation.

The Board of Directors of the John R. Oishei Foundation has announced the selection of its new president.

Christina Orsi will be the first woman president in the foundation's history. When she takes over Jan. 24, she will succeed Robert Gioia, who is retiring after 15 years in the post.

"As the new leader, during what is inarguably the most profound time in recent history, I will be a catalyst for change, embracing innovation, inclusive of different perspectives and a collaborative connector with an unwavering mission that drives positive impact in our community," Orsi said in a statement.

“Christina has a wealth of experience and expertise in working to improve Western New York that closely aligns with the mission of the foundation," said Oishei Board Chair William Gisel. "Her vast network in all facets of the community will be extremely valuable to the Foundation’s work. She brings important perspective on economic development and entrepreneurship that will complement the work of Oishei in areas such as workforce development and addressing poverty."

Orsi is Associate Vice President in the University at Buffalo Office of Economic Development and was chosen after a national search. Before joining UB, Orsi provided direction for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, where she played an integral role in New York State's Buffalo Billion economic development plan.

During a more than two-decade career, Orsi has also served with Invest Buffalo Niagara, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, 43North, TechBuffalo and Catholic Charities. She earned a Master of Science in Public Affairs and Urban Planning from UB and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from SUNY Fredonia.