Sharon K. Legenza (she/her) is the Executive Director of Housing Action Illinois, where she spearheads strategy development and implements policy advocacy, public education and capacity building initiatives, while also building the coalition’s relationships and fundraising. She routinely presents on a variety of affordable housing and homeless prevention topics and engages with state and federal decision makers and with financial institutions to promote equitable community development policies and initiatives. Prior to Housing Action, Ms. Legenza worked for both private and non-profit law firms, including the ACLU of Alaska, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, and Sidley Austin. She has successfully litigated numerous civil rights and constitutional law cases, including ones involving fair housing, employment discrimination, due process, and equal protection claims.
Ms. Legenza is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Investment Advisory Council, the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Commission, and the Cook County Economic Development Advisory Council, where she co-chairs its Community Development Sub-Committee. She is a past Chair for the National Alliance of Community and Economic Development Associations (NACEDA), a past President of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, and has served in leadership roles on numerous other nonprofit boards and public sector committees. Ms. Legenza is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and the University of Chicago.