Capital District YMCA Selects Rifat Filkins as Director of Community Development

The Capital District YMCA is pleased to announce the hire of Rifat Filkins for the position of Director of Community Development for the association.

Under the direction of the Senior Vice President of Association Advancement, Filkins will manage and develop social programs focused on meeting the needs of diverse populations. Filkins will help the Y  fulfill our commitment to advance racial equity and inclusion for everyone as a leading anti-racist multicultural organization.

Filkins will also be a key driver in forming urban collaborations in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy

Filkins comes to the Capital District YMCA from the Refugee and Immigrant Support Services of Emmaus (RISSE) Agency, where she served as Executive Director beginning in 2010. In her role at RISSE, Filkins successfully oversaw and directed operations, providing social and educational support to children and adults from more than 200 families of refugees and immigrants.

Filkins supervised a staff of 20, and prepared and oversaw an annual budget of $585,000. She also regularly communicated with various local, state and federal agencies and elected officials. Working through personal interaction and the media, Filkins improved RISSE’s public acceptance, and encouraged volunteers and donations.

Filkins successfully completed the Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development Training offered by SUNY. Additionally, she holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad, Pakistan, as well as a

Master of Arts degree in History from the Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan, a Bachelor of Education degree from the Government College of Education in Lahore, Pakistan, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Government College in Sheihkupura, Pakistan.

Among her many awards, Rifat holds the Award of Exceptional Educator from College of St. Rose Phi Kappa; the Refugee Roundtable Award of Recognition from RISSE, given to agencies for excellence in serving their refugee clients; the 2018 Change Maker Award from the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, and the Immigrants’ Ball Award from Proctors.

Filkins is fluent in three languages: English, Urdu, and Punjabi.

Filkins began her new role September 20, 2021.