Boston-based contractor Suffolk has hired a high-profile Massachusetts state senator to be an executive in charge of diversity and community relations. 

Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D-Dorchester) is leaving public office after 13 years to become Suffolk’s vice president of diversity, inclusion and community relations for the firm's Northeast Region. A Haitian-American and the lone black member of the state Senate, Dorcena Forry was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2005 and won her Senate seat, which represents South Boston and Dorchester, in 2013. The seat was held by an Irish-American for decades prior to her historic victory.  

"The foundation of my public service career has revolved around creating opportunity and access and giving a voice to those who have none and this work will continue for the rest for my life,” Dorcena Forry said in the statement released on Jan. 25. She added, “I am excited to begin the next chapter in my family’s story by joining Suffolk, an organization at the forefront of economic growth and social activism in Boston and nationally."  

The statement says her resignation will take effect on Jan. 26. 

According to a Suffolk press release, Forry will be “responsible for strengthening the company’s diversity and inclusion platform and developing long-term talent acquisition strategies and tactics that support the company’s vision.” The release also says that she will work with the firm’s director of trade partner diversity “to ensure compliance with local workforce requirements.”

John Fish, Suffolk chairman and chief executive, said in the statement that the firm is “thrilled Linda has joined our team and will share her strong leadership and passion for workplace diversity and help make our vision of inclusion a reality and permanent, sustainable practice throughout our entire organization.”

In her statement, Dorcena Forry said, "John Fish is someone whom I admire and trust as a business and philanthropic leader. Under John’s leadership, Suffolk has established a long history of civic engagement and I look forward to being part of the team and helping Suffolk to continue to make a positive difference in our communities and make an impact on future generations.”

During her tenure on Beacon Hill, Dorcena Forry served as the former House chair of the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Business. She was a vocal critic of President Donald Trump after he made disparaging comments about Haitian immigrants recently. Prior to being elected to public office, Dorcena Forry worked as an advisor to the Boston’s housing chief and director of the Department of Neighborhood Development. 

Suffolk is currently building several high profile projects in Boston, including the $2.4 billion Wynn Casino in Everett.