Huairou Commission, Leadership

Maureen Friar joins Huairou Commission as Executive Director

June 28, 2016
Huairou Commission | 718-388-8915 |


BROOKLYN, N.Y. (June 27, 2016) – The Huairou Commission Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Maureen Friar has taken over the helm as Executive Director as of June 20, 2016.

Maureen Friar Executive Director of Huairou Commission

Maureen Friar, Executive Director of Huairou Commission

Maureen brings to the position twenty-five years of experience leading nonprofit associations focused on affordable housing and finance, community development and disability rights. She will help expand the capacity of the Huairou Commission in its mission to build and empower networks of grassroots women’s organizations in their community development practice and to exercise collective political power globally.

The Huairou Commission works in over 50 countries partnering with women’s organizations that focus on land and housing, HIV/AIDS, governance, women’s safety and resilience efforts related to natural disasters and climate change.

Maureen said about joining the Huairou Commission, “I am delighted to be spearheading Huairou’s transition to a bottom-up grassroots, member-led organization that better reflects the organization’s mission. The maturity of grassroots women’s organizations affirms that new forms of leadership are available and essential to ending poverty and securing gender-equitable, sustainable development. Joining Huairou at this time, when the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda are unfolding, is especially exciting.”

“The leaders of Huairou spent many months involved in a global search for a new leader and we unanimously feel confident that we found her,” said Jan Peterson, chair of the Board of Directors and founding Executive Director. “I am thrilled that someone with Maureen’s competencies and experience will be taking over. Most importantly, Maureen is committed to the same mission and values Huairou has been taking leadership on for twenty years – repositioning grassroots women’s organizations and creating a new partnership paradigm for these organizations and their local communities.”

Maureen has spent the last three years as the Strategic Development Officer at Community Access, a New York nonprofit that develops supportive housing for low income families and formerly homeless individuals living with mental health conditions and other special needs. Prior to her time at Community Access, Friar served as President and CEO of the National Housing Conference, a broad-based network of housing associations, financial institutions, local authorities and developers in the U.S.

For 14 years, and as first staff, Maureen led the Supportive Housing Network of New York, growing an ad hoc New York City organization into the nation’s most robust and sophisticated supportive housing association. Maureen holds a BA in International Relations from Brown University and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

For more information on the Huairou Commission, visit

Maureen Friar is available for interview, please contact 718-388-8915 or email to make arrangements.