Maldonado's new job will be as Hispanic outreach director for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, which bills itself as America's pro-Israeli lobby.

Maldonado, 32, formalized her resignation Monday in a letter to Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

"Please accept this letter as my immediate resignation from the Rhode Island House of Representatives as the representative of District 56," she wrote. "It has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of District 56 as well as the state of Rhode Island. Thank you once again for this great opportunity."

A daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, Maldonado was considered a potential statewide candidate in 2022. She's a graduate of Central Falls High School and URI.

In a statement distributed by House spokesman Larry Berman, Maldonado said, “I have enjoyed representing the city of Central Falls, a community where I have lived my entire life and the people have given me so many opportunities. I thank my House colleagues for taking in Central Falls as part of their agenda and enabling me to be an effective legislator on behalf of the community. From our previous difficult times in receivership, the city is moving forward in a very positive direction.”

A second-year law student at Roger Williams University Law School, Maldonado plans to transfer to a law school in New York.

She was first elected in 2014 and has become a star player on House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's leadership team. She introduced Mattiello in the House last January, when he won his latest two-year term as speaker.

“She is a wonderful person and a great advocate for her community and the state," Mattiello said in a statement. "It is no surprise that someone of her talent has obtained such an exciting career opportunity. I wish her much success and we will miss her.”

Maldonado served with the Peace Corps in Zambia and has worked as a communications director for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 51.

The three-term rep has been lauded for bringing liberals and conservatives together to support a law continuing the status quo on driver's licenses for participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Maldonado also sponsored legislation that became law calling for worker-owned cooperatives and prohibiting employers from discriminating against pregnant women.

In a reflection of how well liked she was in the House, GOP Reps. Michael Chippendale of Foster and Brian Newberry of North Smithfield were among those wishing Maldonado well via Twitter. Wrote Newberry, "Shelby, you were one of the better people I served with in the House. We didn't always agree on things but you always had an open mind, treated everyone with respect and worked hard on behalf of your city."

Joshua Giraldo, chief of staff for Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, announced on Twitter that he will run for the seat vacated by Maldonado.

A primary for a special election to fill the seat is expected in early February, with the general election about a month later.

This story has been updated.