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Today, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) announced the appointment of Demetria L. McCain as the Director of Policy. In this role, she will lead the organization’s policy team and its diverse policy advocacy portfolio, including working with senior leadership to set the strategic direction for the organization’s legislative, policy and advocacy work in criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation.  

Demetria L. McCain joins LDF from the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary since September 2021. As the head of FHEO, she worked to advance the office’s mission to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities.

“We are thrilled to welcome Demetria McCain as LDF’s Director of Policy,” said Janai Nelson, LDF President and Director-Counsel. “Ms. McCain brings a wealth of experience and deep understanding to the role as an esteemed practitioner of public policy. Her demonstrated record and expertise in efforts of racial justice, ranging from economic justice to fair housing to support low-income and diverse communities, will significantly benefit LDF and the work we do nationwide.”

“I am deeply honored and excited to join LDF in this capacity,” Demetria L. McCain said. “I’m especially excited to join LDF at a pivotal moment of urgency in this nation’s history, and am eager to collaborate with LDF’s dedicated team and partners to create innovative solutions and leverage my experience to advance this crucial work.”

Prior to her role at HUD, Demetria L. McCain served as president of the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP), a Dallas, Texas-based affordable fair housing nonprofit. Within her various leadership roles at the ICP over a fifteen-year span, she oversaw operations, research and public education campaigns, and the Mobility Assistance Program, a housing mobility program for low-income voucher families. She also created and oversaw “Voices for Opportunity,” an advocacy training program for low-income renters, neighborhood groups and allies. McCain also served as a staff attorney for the National Housing Law Project and the Neighborhood Legal Services Program of Washington, DC.

McCain earned her J.D. from Howard University School of Law and MFA and BFA degrees from Brooklyn College and New York University.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.