Lynn Resident Magnolia Contreras Named to Salem State Board of Trustees

Magnolia Contreras, of Lynn, has been appointed to the Salem State University Board of Trustees by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, and was sworn in to this position on March 26. She has also been an advisor to the Board of Trustees of Salem State University since 2013.

Contreras is a graduate of Boston College, receiving her bachelor of arts degree in psychology. She also is a graduate of Simmons College Graduate School of Social Work where she received her master’s degree in social work, and a graduate of Suffolk University Sawyer Business School where she received her master’s degree in business administration

“With her years as an adjunct professor and time as advisor to a committee of the Salem State Board of Trustees, Magnolia is well acquainted with the board and with Salem State. We look forward to working with Trustee Contreras as we continue to foster Salem State’s success,” said Chair of the Board of Trustees Paul Mattera. 

Contreras has been the Community Benefits Director for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston since 2007. In this position, she is responsible for managing community prevention and screening programs, including a local community health center’s innovative oncology practice. She is also at the forefront of the efforts towards the multi-year community health needs assessment and implementation plan development.

Contreras is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Health Resources in Action; corporator of Eastern Bank Corporation, and the Economic Development and Investment Corporation of Lynn. She also serves as a volunteer at the Lynn Community Health Center.

Previously, Contreras spent over 10 years at Salem State University as an adjunct professor where she used a social justice framework to teach students about private and nonprofit management principles, as well as how to write grants, and develop themes around philanthropy, and community and mental health.

Some of Contreras awards include the Boston College Father John A. Dineen, SJ, Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award; Simmons College School of Social Work Leadership Award; Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers Employee Award. She has also been featured in Boston Business Journal Emerging Leaders; Suffolk Alumni Magazine; Boston College Alumni Magazine, Damage Control. Contreras has been selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Individuals in the Massachusetts Hispanic Community in 2008, 2009, and 2011. She lives in Lynn with her husband David.


Salem State University, established in 1854, is a comprehensive, public institution of higher learning located approximately 15 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. One of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth, Salem State enrolls over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers 32 undergraduate programs and graduate programs that offer degrees in 24 fields. The university also has a continuing education division that offers both credit and non-credit programs. Known for the academic strength of its faculty, Salem State was named a Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars in 2011 and for the 2016-2017 academic year. The university is designated a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs, a Top College and University by Military Advanced Education, and a Best for Vets College by Military Times. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Salem State was recognized as one of the top 100 women-led businesses in Massachusetts by the Commonwealth Institute and Boston Globe Magazine.

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