Director of Welcoming Communities & Immigrant Affairs
City of Dallas
Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Cedillo-Pereira is the Director of the Dallas Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs which was established in March 2017. The Dallas WCIA seeks to be a bridge connecting Dallas’ diverse immigrant communities with existing Dallas residents so that common ground and shared leadership can be realized.
A Dallas native, Liz has more than 15 years of experience at the federal, state and local level on immigration related matters. Prior to joining the City of Dallas management team, Liz served as the Obama Administration’s Senior Advisor to the Director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where she focused on immigration policy and community engagement to foster relations in communities across the U.S. An attorney, advocate and policy advisor, Liz is dedicated to improving our nation’s immigration system.
Among numerous awards for commitment to service and excellence in the legal profession, Liz has been conferred with the Distinguished Alumni Award by SMU Dedman School of Law, the Ohtli Award from the Republic of Mexico, the Maura Award by the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the 2018 SMU Latino/a Alumni of the Year, the 2017 Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas Latina Trailblazer Award, D Magazine 2018 Best Attorneys in Dallas.
Liz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and received her high school diploma from North Dallas High School, her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University. She is married to Oscar Pereira, an aeronautical engineer, and they are blessed with three children.