The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) has announced that Executive Vice President Lisa Rice will succeed Shanna L. Smith, who is retiring as president and CEO on March 30.
Rice was involved in drafting part of the text of the Dodd-Frank Wall Act, most notably the establishment of the Office of Fair Lending within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and she is currently leading NFHA’s commemoration of the 2018 Fair Housing Act 50th Anniversary. Prior to working at NFHA, Rice served as the CEO of the Toledo Fair Housing Center where she generated a reserve fund of over $10 million for the organization.
“I have no words to express how much Shanna’s mentorship and friendship have meant to me,” Rice said. “I could not have asked for a better boss, and the fair housing community could not have asked for a better leader. NFHA has established a tremendous legacy under Shanna’s direction, and we have come a long way since she helped start the agency 30 years ago. Her vision and tenacity have elevated fair housing issues at the national and local levels and helped to make ‘fair housing’ a household word.”
Smith was the organization’s first hire and established the NFHA’s office in Washington, D.C., in 1990, two years after the NFHA’s incorporation in 1988. “Lisa is the very best person to lead NFHA and to develop creative ways to challenge the new technologies that foster discrimination and perpetuate segregation,” she said about her successor. “The companies creating algorithms to select tenants and price apartments or to establish insurance premiums or interest rates for loans will be forced to look at the fair housing implications of their policies. The discriminatory impact of such systems will be exposed as Lisa leads the organization in combatting these and other inequities.”