This week we bid farewell to Shashi Hanuman, directing attorney of Public Counsel’s Community Development Project, who is transitioning to become executive director of the Public Interest Law Project (PILP). In mid-May, Shashi will take over for PILP co-founder Michael Rawson as he transitions to focus on advocacy and litigation after 26 years of leadership. We are thrilled for Shashi and know that she will be an outstanding leader and executive with her deep knowledge of nonprofits, incredible leadership skills, brilliant legal acumen, and passion for social justice!
Shashi has been with Public Counsel for 21 years and has dedicated her career to advancing economic and racial justice by utilizing inclusive community development, advocacy, and litigation strategies. She joined the organization as a staff attorney and rose to lead Public Counsel’s Community Development Project, growing it into a regional and statewide force for the public good. She has supported neighborhood-based organizations engaged in building and preserving affordable housing, providing health care, and advancing economic development in some of Los Angeles’s most disinvested geographic areas.
Shashi also led the effort to build a new unit within her project focused on breaking down barriers to affordable and supportive housing, protecting tenants, and preserving community assets. She has supported a growing community lawyering team, helped expand Public Counsel’s services to small and micro-businesses across Los Angeles County, and in recent years her team has been on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic, fighting alongside tenants for their right to stay housed and advocating for the elimination of Covid-related rent debt.
Shashi embodies the best qualities of a leader – selfless, team-oriented, compassionate, empowering, smart, thoughtful, and kind. We are so proud of Shashi for this exciting opportunity and are grateful that she dedicated over two decades of her life to serving Public Counsel’s clients and working to make our communities stronger, healthier, and more economically stable. While we will miss Shashi tremendously at Public Counsel, we look forward to continuing to work with her in her new leadership role and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in this next chapter of her career. We also know that her influence and contributions will persist at Public Counsel for many years to come, for which we will be forever grateful.
Congratulations, Shash! We wish you the best in your new role.
Moving forward, Annie Marquit, currently a senior staff attorney in the Community Development Project, will serve as the interim directing attorney for the project while we conduct a search to select its next leader.