CHICAGO—It is with great excitement that Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago’s Board of Directors announce that Anthony Simpkins has been selected as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization.
Simpkins is a leader in Chicago’s affordable housing community and has held multiple roles serving the City of Chicago. Currently, as Managing Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Housing, he oversees housing and community development policies, programs, and strategic investments. In 2014, he was appointed a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Illinois Supreme Court, and served until 2016.
Previously, he was Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), focusing on asset management, intergovernmental affairs, housing preservation initiatives and economic development policy. While at DPD, he helped to develop and administer many groundbreaking programs focused on revitalizing struggling communities, including the Troubled Buildings Initiative and the Micro-Markets Recovery program.
Simpkins earned his law degree and a Master’s in Political Science from Loyola University and began his legal career as a Skadden Foundation fellow at the Legal Assistance Foundation and Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, where he represented renters who were victims of illegal evictions called “lockouts.”
After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois, he worked for the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, the Chicago fair housing organization founded by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Anthony maintains an active civic life as well. As a 2011 Emerging Leader for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, he co-authored a published report on immigration. He is a board member and past-president of the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago, the first association of Muslim lawyers organized in the United States, and a former board member of the Cook County Bar Association, the country’s oldest association of African-American lawyers. He is also a Board member of the Downtown Islamic Center, the RTW Veterans Center, and former Managing Editor of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture.
Simpkins will be assisting City of Chicago Department of Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara and the department during the City’s upcoming budget hearings and will officially join NHS on Monday, November 16, 2020.
The board would also like to thank Donna Clarke who served as Interim President leading the organization for the past year. Clarke will remain in her key role with the organization as Chief Operating Officer.