Leadership Council Members
Leadership Council is our community’s Continuum of Care governing body. The Council’s Governance Charter, meeting information, application for open seats, and other materials are available here.
Richard Glen Johnson Jr. (he/him)
Person with Lived Expertise of Homelessness, Co-Chair
Richard Glen Johnson Jr. is a Community Health Worker who currently works assisting those experiencing homelessness through The University of Texas at Austin Dell School of Medicine. His goal is to make sure those living unhoused and with medical concerns will someday rest well at their home. Richard received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Huston-Tillotson University.
João Paulo Connolly (he/him)
Equity Advocate, Co-Chair
João Paulo Connolly (@ConnollyJoao) is currently the Organizing Director for Austin Justice Coalition. In recent years, his advocacy and mobilizing efforts have focused on housing and mobility justice, land use, and equitable urban design. With the Austin Justice Coalition, he has helped to raise funding for supportive housing and services, advocate for permanent supportive housing projects, and convene experiential experts, service providers, and policy-makers, in the effort to design new systems fitted to the needs of a diverse unhoused community. He has previously served on the Citizens Police Review Commission and on the Planning Commission for the City of Austin. Currently serves on Leadership Council of the Austin/Travis County’s Continuum of Care and continues to serve on the Community Advisory Committee for Project Connect.
Cathy McClaugherty (she/her)
Local Government Representative – Travis County
Cathy McClaugherty is a planning manager with Travis County Justice and Public Safety. As planning manager, she supervises the Data, Research, and Planning (DRP) team, which compiles and interprets data on behalf of County stakeholders; engages in complex statistical analysis; and creates and distributes reports based on these analyses. Prior to starting with Justice and Public Safety, Cathy was a juvenile probation officer, then casework manager, with the Travis County Juvenile Probation Department from March 1994 through September 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
Dianna Grey (she/her)
City of Austin Homeless Strategy Officer
Dianna Grey assumed the role of Homeless Strategy Officer for the City of Austin in January of 2021, bringing two decades of experience in affordable housing and social policy affecting low-income households and people experiencing homelessness. Prior to initiating her consulting practice, Ms. Grey worked as an independent consultant, and served as the Texas director for Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), regional Program Director for Enterprise Community Loan Fund, and as the Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Austin. Dianna earned a Master of Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Texas in Austin. Areas of special expertise include financing affordable housing finance, implementing strategies to end homelessness, and advancing the integration of housing efforts with other key partners in behavioral health, justice system, primary care, and veterans services.
Amanda Jasso (she/her)
City of Austin Equity Office
Amanda Jasso joined the City of Austin Equity Office in 2018. As an Equity & Inclusion Program Manager she provides racial equity consultation City-wide, but primarily to those departments reporting under the City’s “Economic Opportunity & Affordability” and “Mobility” strategic outcome areas. Her background in community archives is helpful in connecting the past to our present and our future, reminding us that past harms continue to be perpetuated in our City’s policies, practices, and procedures. She applies historical context to racial equity work as one way of honoring the labor of those before us in the quest for systemic change. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dylan Shubitz (he/him)
Public Housing Authority Representative
Dylan Shubitz began his career in the Austin Continuum of Care in 2004 as an Americorps volunteer with the housing team at Integral Care. A few years later, Dylan joined the Assisted Housing department at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, and eventually began managing the department’s homelessness programs. He has been active in the Austin CoC at the system level for over 10 years, pushing to integrate and align HACA’s programs with the community’s strategy to end homelessness. Dylan holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University, and a Master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
Jason Phillips (he/him)
HUD Funded Provider
Jason Phillips, LMSW, represents the HUD Funded Agency seat on Leadership Council. He currently serves as the Deputy Director of Permanent Supportive Housing and Integrated Services at Caritas of Austin. Jason is a social worker who started working in homeless services in 2009 as a Keep Austin Housed AmeriCorps Member. Since then, Jason has worked in direct services at a shelter, managing VISTA projects for the Texas Homeless Network, overseeing supportive housing programs and services, and has volunteered with various advocacy organizations throughout the years.
Emily Seales, LCSW-S (she/her)
Non-HUD Funded Provider
Emily Seales is a licensed clinical social worker with over 15 years of direct experience working with people experiencing homelessness. Emily, who currently works as the Supervisor Lead and Case Manager for the iCAN research study with Sunrise Homelessness Navigation Center, represents the non-HUD funded providers in the Austin/Travis County Homelessness Response System. She also serves on the Performance Monitoring Committee and as coordinator of the Free Transportation for People Experiencing Homelessness Initiative workgroup. Emily is a fierce advocate for social justice with a commitment to racial equity, housing as a human right, centering the voices of people with lived experience, and the intersectionality of homelessness and other vulnerabilities.
Whitney Thurman (she/her)
Healthcare and/or Disability
Whitney Thurman, PhD, RN, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing (UTSON). She joined the faculty at the UTSON in August 2020 after completing her PhD in 2018 and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in health outcomes research at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy. She currently teaches public health nursing theory and conducts research related to public health systems, population health, and the intersections of disability and homelessness.
Ruth Ahearn (she/her)
Mental Health/Substance Abuse
Ruth Ahearn, is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist (LMFT) and the Practice Administrator of Housing and Health Care for the Homeless Initiatives with Integral Care, the Local Mental Health Authority. Ruth began working for Integral Care 16 years ago in the Child and Family Services Division and has been involved in the field of housing and homeless services for the last 8 years. In her current position, Ruth oversees the Housing Supportive Services teams as well as the agency’s Homeless Outreach and Engagement teams.
Paola Silvestre Porras (she/her)
Education or Workforce Development
Paola Silvestre Porras leads Social Impact work at Indeed. Prior to joining Indeed she worked at United Way for Greater Austin, heading up implementation of the first community-wide two generation strategic plan in the US. She works to ensure programs and systems in the Austin/Travis County area create pathways for families to achieve financial stability and advance racial justice. Prior to joining the United Way team in 2019, Paola worked at Goodwill Central Texas for three years, and before entering the nonprofit world, she worked over 12 years in Investment Banking. She holds a degree in Business Administration from La Universidad de los Andes.
Tiffany Hart (she/they)
Person with Lived Expertise of Homelessness
Tiffany comes to the Leadership Council with a background of over 10+ years of working to end homelessness. They believe that their lived expertise of homelessness and housing instability is what brought them to this work. What keeps them here is the desire and drive to dismantle systems of oppression and white supremacy alongside young people and partners in this work so that we can all truly experience liberation. Their background is rooted in social work and social justice. Approaching this work with a healing-centered mindset, empathy, open-mindedness, and compassionate curiosity is what keeps them grounded. Tiffany has worked as a HUD Technical Assistance Provider, CoC Leader, and direct service provider in communities across the country working to end homelessness. They believe that to end homelessness communities MUST be led by the experts-meaning people with lived expertise of homelessness.
Quincy Dunlap (he/him)
Quincy Dunlap has spent the last twenty plus years working tirelessly for the advancement of underserved, underrepresented and under resourced communities. Through various leadership roles at renowned non-profits, developing and implementing strategic programming, serving on boards and committees, and partnering with entities in the public and private sectors, Quincy has solidified himself as a dynamic and inspirational leader, with an unwavering commitment and passion for service and impact. Quincy earned his B.A. in Political Science from Lincoln University of Missouri and his Master of Education degree from William Woods University. Quincy is a purpose driven servant leader & social innovator focused on Systemic & Institutionalized Racism and Classism disruption, DEI strategies and results.