-Olga Abinader discusses Hispanic Heritage Month –
Olga Abinader, Director of Environmental Review and Land Use Planning, (Matrix) was featured on ‘WRNJ Morning Program’ hosted by Bert Baron.
Abinader joined Baron to highlight Hispanic Heritage Month, and the vibrant and rich culture it celebrates. As someone who emigrated to the US at a young age,Abinader celebrates female empowerment and leadership. She spoke about excelling in STEM where members of vulnerable communities and women do not typically dominate. She encourages people challenged by these feelings to remember “our cultural background is an additive not detriment”.
She credits Matrix for its embracement of entrepreneurship and diversity. As Abinader has developed an esteemed career, she has cemented herself as a role model in the LatinX community. She offers a piece of advice to individuals blazing their own trails as well.
She states, “think big, be fearless, take calculated risks, and explore your passions.”
According to Jayne Warne, PE, President, “Olga is the personification of leadership and diversity. She stands as an example for young women, of all cultures, to look to STEM when they are choosing a career.”
Listen to the Segment Below
About Olga Abinader
Olga Abinader, ENV SP, is an environmental and sustainability professional with over 15 years of urban planning, environmental disclosure policy, public speaking, and leadership experience in the public and private sectors. Abinader is the Director of Environmental Review and Land Use Planning and ESG Lead at Matrix New World Engineering, a renowned environmental consulting firm solving national and global challenges in climate change, infrastructure, transportation, and energy.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Abinader emigrated with her family to Salem, Massachusetts in the early 1990s. Her family maintained strong connections to their Caribbean heritage by speaking only Spanish at home. As a fully bilingual English and Spanish speaker, Abinader translated for family and friends who had limited English skills. In 1999, Abinader assumed a leadership role in the “La Union Latina” organization, established in 1987 at Salem High School to celebrate Latin-American culture and traditions. In 2007, the preeminent Latinx media group Hispanic Business recognized Abinader as a Winner’s Circle Scholar at the Hispanic Business Inc. Woman of the Year Awards event.
Over the course of her career, Abinader has been honored with numerous speaking engagements, awards, and recognitions, including: Guest Speaker on the ¿Que Pasa, NJ? PBS Talk Show (2022), LatinX Podcast with Randy Gomez (2022), and ‘The RNJ Morning Program’ with Host Bert Baron; the Manager of the Year Award (Joe Salvo Award) at the New York City Department of City Planning, New York, NY (2019); Scholarship Honor and Guest Speaker at the 5th Annual Hispanic Business Woman of the Year Awards, Las Vegas, Nevada (2007); Panelist Speaker at the New Jersey Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, The Art of Being a Modern Latina Event, Lyndhurst, New Jersey (2022); and Podcast Guest and Committee Member for the “Today Is The Day Changemakers” organization, a global digital platform for leaders making a significant positive societal impact (2022).
Abinader was recognized by Crain’s New York Business as a ‘2022 Notable Hispanic Leader’ Honoree.
In 2023, Abinader was appointed to the Brown University Advisory Council for the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES). Founded in 2014, IBES is a thriving interdisciplinary Institute for climate, sustainability, and environmental education and research, achieving national and international stature as one of the top programs of its kind.
As the former Director of the Environmental Assessment and Review Division with the NYC Department of City Planning, Abinader led hundreds of active City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) applications to support transit-oriented growth, housing production and affordability, economic development, and resilient and sustainable communities across NYC.
Abinader received her Master of Urban Planning from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Brown University.
About Matrix New World Engineering
Matrix New World Engineering is a company of engineering and science experts who focus on some of the nation’s most pressing long-term challenges, including climate change, resiliency, ecological restoration, contamination studies, water supply, disaster response, and urban revitalization. Matrix believes solving environmental challenges through careful planning and engineering is an indispensable measure of success.
Matrix has offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona, Louisiana and California, coupled with project experience throughout the United States and the Caribbean.