(February 4, 2021, Washington, D.C.) – Last summer, the National Homelessness Law Center (the Law Center) launched a national search for their next Executive Director, and is pleased to announce that long-time friend of the organization and homeless and housing rights advocate Antonia Fasanelli has been named.
Antonia comes to the Law Center from the Homeless Persons Representation Project (HPRP), a Maryland statewide organization headquartered in Baltimore City, where she has served as Executive Director since 2007. HPRP is a nationally-recognized civil legal aid and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness through policy and systemic change that elevates the voices of persons most affected.
Prior to her role at HPRP, Antonia was an attorney at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, where she developed and led the Affordable Housing Initiative. Antonia served as Chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness and Poverty from 2011 – 2014 and is currently Co-Chair of the Economic Justice Committee of the ABA’s Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice. Before entering her legal career, Antonia served as an Americorps*VISTA Outreach Coordinator with the Law Center.
“My time at the Law Center solidified my commitment to using the power of law to end homelessness,” Antonia shared. “I am honored to be rejoining this organization, particularly at a time when the need for safe, permanent, and equitable housing for all persons is at the forefront of our national conversation.”
Antonia received her J.D. magna cum laude from the Washington College of Law, American University in 2001 and her B.A. cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1996. From 2001 to 2002, Antonia was a law clerk to The Honorable Barefoot Sanders of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
“Antonia rose to the top of a highly competitive group of finalists and has a unique mix of attributes and experiences that makes her the ideal leader to take the Law Center into its next chapter,” said the Law Center’s Board Chair Eric Bensky. “She has dedicated her career to ending homelessness, is a passionate advocate for social and racial justice, brings leadership experience as the current Executive Director of a civil legal aid and advocacy organization, is a dedicated team leader, and is an alumna of the Law Center. We could not be more thrilled to have her join the organization.”
With vast expertise and an incredible reputation in the field, Antonia will carry on the mission passed to her, stepping in as the first Executive Director after 31 years of leadership under Founder Maria Foscarinis.
“I could not be more pleased that Antonia is re-joining the Law Center. She is a smart, committed, and effective advocate with a clear vision for the critical role that the Law Center plays in protecting rights, advancing solutions, and advocating for the human right to housing. I am confident that with Antonia’s leadership the Law Center will continue to thrive and to grow,” said Maria Foscarinis. “As I move on to my own next chapter, focusing on teaching and writing, I know that the Law Center is in terrific hands.”
The Law Center is the only national organization dedicated solely to using the power of the law to prevent and end homelessness. With the support of a large network of pro bono lawyers, we address the immediate and long-term needs of people who are homeless or at risk through outreach and training, advocacy, impact litigation, and public education.