Sunia Zaterman, Executive Director

Sunia has over thirty years of experience in affordable housing issues at the federal, state, and local levels. She is the Executive Director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), and she serves on the board of the Emerald Cities Collaborative. In 2010, Sunia was nominated for the Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing. She has also served as the Executive Vice President of the Housing Research Foundation, Board Trustee of Global Communities (formerly CHF International) and the National Housing Conference as well as the advisory boards of Affordable Housing Finance and Housing and Development Reporter. Sunia holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in History from Barnard College.

Deb Gross, Deputy Director

Deb holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Ohio State. Before CLPHA, she was a senior researcher at HUD in the Office of Policy Development and Research. Prior to Washington, D.C. she taught courses in American politics and public policy at the University of Massachusetts and Clark University. As a researcher, Deb  researched and published articles on education, employment and training and housing policy. She initially joined CLPHA as Research Director in 1996 but left CLPHA to work in the Obama administration at HUD for three years as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Policy, Programs, and Legislative Initiatives in Public and Indian Housing.

Gerard Holder, Legislative Director

Gerard is the former executive director of the congressionally mandated Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century, popularly known as the Seniors Commission.  Prior to the Commission, Gerard served as executive director of the Senior Housing Council for the Assisted Living Federation of America, a membership organization of senior housing providers.  He also spent 10 years at the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, as the associate director for housing policy. Gerard has over 35 years of experience in policy and government, including congressional and intergovernmental relations at HUD and on a congressional staff in Washington, DC.  He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hobart College.

Trena Mainor, Director of Operations

Trena has been at CLPHA since August 2006. Before joining CLPHA, she was the Membership Operations Manager for AcademyHealth, managing all aspects of retention and recruitment for 4,500 members. Her primary responsibilities at CLPHA include office administration, membership and meeting planning. She holds a B.A. from William Smith College, where she majored in Religious Studies and Psychology.

Abra Lyons-Warren, Senior Program and Policy Manager

Abra joined CLPHA in 2014. She focuses on the Housing Is initiative, an effort aimed at better aligning housing with other systems like education and health to improve life outcomes for low-income children. Abra previously analyzed and advocated for housing, education, place-based, early childhood, and dual-generation initiatives with the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Illinois Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie's office. She also worked as a practitioner with low-income and homeless individuals in Washington, DC and Chicago, focusing on workforce development. Abra holds a Master’s of Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy and a Master’s in Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration, both at the University of Chicago, as well as a B.A. in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies from Brandeis University.

Stephen Lucas, Health Research and Policy Manager

Steve joined CLPHA with multi-sector experience in health policy analysis and communication strategy.  He manages the healthcare-related activities of CLPHA’s Housing Is initiative (formerly “systems alignment”), a comprehensive effort to better align housing with other systems by connecting stakeholders across service, discipline, and policy silos. Prior to joining CLPHA, Steve worked at The Lewin Group’s Center for Aging and Disability Policy implementing and evaluating service delivery reforms to Medicare and Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, founded a business services startup supporting first-time entrepreneurs and investors, and helped shape public affairs and communications strategy for the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs.  Steve is actively engaged in the Washington DC community on the Board of Directors of The McClendon Center, a top-rated mental health services agency serving those in DC suffering from severe, persistent mental illnesses. Steve holds a Master of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a B.A. in English from Penn State University, with minors in Health Policy & Administration and gender studies.

Nicole Barrett, Research and Policy Analyst

Nicole came to CLPHA in September 2015 from the National Housing Trust, where she was a public policy and research associate but also managed NHT's social media accounts besides doing other communications work. Before NHT, she worked as a program assistant for Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems Inc.; was a legislative intern in the office of U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and a management assistant in HUD's Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations. Nicole earned a master's degree with a concentration in urban and social policy from George Washington University and her bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Emily Warren, Research and Policy Analyst

Emily joined CLPHA in 2018, focusing on issues related to the Housing Choice Voucher Program. She joined CLPHA from Johns Hopkins University’s Poverty and Inequality and Research Lab, where she worked as a post-doctoral fellow concentrating on urban policy issues and housing mobility programs. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she worked at the Institute for Research on Poverty, and her master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Policy from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to beginning her doctoral program, she was employed as a research associate at Wilder Research in St. Paul, Minnesota, focusing primarily on homelessness and transitional housing services. 

Kirsten Greenwell, Administrative Assistant

Kirsten joined CLPHA in January 2016. She has an M.A. in Art History from George Washington University and a B.A. in English and Art History from the University of Alabama.