Meet Margaret Middleton – Our New CEO!

M Middleton I copy.jpgThe board of directors chose Margaret out of hundreds of candidates in an extensive national search. Margaret has accepted the position and will report to Columbus House the last week of May. Margaret fills the role previously held by Alison Cunningham, whose 21-year tenure brought tremendous growth and national recognition to Columbus House. Alison left Columbus House last year to lead a program at Yale Divinity School where she has taught for several years.

Margaret is well-known across the state through her extensive work with homeless Veterans. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) located at the VA CT’s Errera Community Care Center in West Haven. While collaborating with the Errera Center, she worked with many Veterans who also received services from Columbus House. CVLC was the first organization in the country to integrate attorneys into teams of VA social workers and health care professionals in order to assist homeless Veterans by providing a wide array of pro-bono legal services.

Margaret expanded the reach of CVLC from a small, grass-roots agency into a highly respected state-wide organization employing a full array of experienced staff and hundreds of volunteer attorneys from CT and NY. Margaret is an exceptional team-builder and experienced fundraiser. Under her leadership, CVLC received national recognition from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs and Pro Bono Partnership. While in New Haven, Margaret held the position of Clinical Visiting Lecturer at the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic.

In addition to her work with CVLC, Margaret spent almost 10 years on the Columbus House board of directors serving in leadership roles such as Vice Chair, Secretary, and Chair of the Development Committee.

Margaret left New Haven to take a position at Georgia State University College of Law as Asst. Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Health Law Partnership Legal Services Clinic. Margaret’s passion to use her legal, strategic planning, coalition building and fundraising experience in order to help those who are in the most need drove her desire to return to New Haven and lead Columbus House into its next phase of growth, innovation and program development.

According to Margaret, "I am so grateful to rejoin the inspiring team at Columbus House, especially at this moment when providing safe and affordable housing has never been more vital."

"As the pandemic has kept us apart, it has also shown us how interdependent we are. The virus lays bare the reality that none of us are safe until all of us are safe. My greatest hope is that we seize the tremendous challenges of this moment as an opportunity to end homelessness in our community."

According to Rudy Zimmermann, Chairman of the Columbus House board of directors, “We are thrilled that Margaret is returning to Columbus House at this critical time to lead the organization into its next stage of growth and development. With an experienced leadership team and a committed board in place, I have no doubt that Margaret’s transition into her new role as Chief Executive Officer will be a smooth one.”

Upon her return from Georgia, Margaret will work from home while she self-quarantines for 14 days. We look forward to welcoming Margaret back to Columbus House and encourage you to reach out and say hello next week.

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