NLIHC welcomes Debra Susie as our new disaster housing recovery coordinator. In this position, Debra will spearhead NLIHC’s disaster housing recovery efforts, as well as those of the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition. Debra served for more than thirty years as the president and CEO of Florida Impact, a nonprofit organization dedicated to securing economic justice in Florida by reducing hunger and poverty, mobilizing communities to increase access to federal food, nutrition and other economic support programs.
As the Florida Impact president and CEO, Debra coordinated robust and innovative collaborations for addressing poverty through the passage of state legislation, including Florida’s Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Her work to secure a state-funded emergency housing assistance program for families and the state housing trust fund began with multiple meetings around the state with homeless coalitions. Florida Impact mobilized community leaders and affected populations in direct public policy engagement, preparing them with day-long legislative briefings at the state Capitol every year. Debra also worked creatively with housing authority staff in targeted communities to ensure access to all federal food and nutrition programs, including precedent-setting access to the emergency SNAP benefits during Florida’s four-hurricane year before Katrina. Engaging community leaders directly in the implementation of out-of-school-time child nutrition programs generated a network of local expertise for protecting these programs in Congress.
Debra has a doctorate of humanities and a master’s degree in religious thought, both from Florida State University, and a BA in journalism from Florida Southern College.
Please join us in welcoming Debra to the NLIHC team.