Hecht replaces Polly Donaldson, who left THC to head DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development in January. He will his assume his new duties immediately. Frank Demarais, who served as Interim Executive Director, will continue as THC’s Chief Operating Officer during the transition.
“Our dream 25 years ago was to do something larger than ourselves and to boldly confront the cycle of poverty that contributes to family homelessness,” Hecht said. “I’m excited to be leading THC at a time when we are working so closely with the District to end homelessness as we know it.”
Hecht graduated from Amherst College, Oxford University and the University of Michigan Law School. He was a partner at several Washington, DC law firms for 23 years and chaired K&L Gates LLP’s pro bono legal program for 10 years. He also served on the Board of Directors and as President of Community Family Life Services and has served two terms as Council President of Christ Lutheran Church, a THC founding member. He served 25 years on the THC board, including several years as chairman.
“THC is a complex organization balancing many roles at the same time: service provider, landlord and co-developer,” said Kimball Griffith, chairman of THC’s Board of Directors.
“Phil’s legal background, his knowledge of and experience with family homelessness combined with his demonstrated passion for affordable housing and THC’s mission, make him the ideal candidate for the job.”
Before choosing Hecht, the THC Board of Directors undertook a systemic review of its programs to assess the organization’s future needs. The board agreed to continue its intertwined goals of empowering families to transform their lives and expanding the city’s affordable housing base.
Learn more about Phil’s experience with THC in his interview from earlier this year!