National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty
Maria Foscarinis is founder and executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Maria has advocated for solutions to homelessness at the national level since 1985. She was a primary architect of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, the first major federal legislation addressing homelessness, and she has litigated to secure the legal rights of homeless persons. Maria writes and speaks widely on legal and policy issues affecting homeless persons and is frequently quoted in the media.
Maria is a 1977 graduate of Barnard College and a 1981 graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review. She also holds a Masters of Arts degree in Philosophy. After clerking for the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she was a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell where she volunteered to take a pro bono case representing homeless families. In 1985, she left the firm to establish and direct a Washington office for the National Coalition for the Homeless before she founded the Law Center in 1989.