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Leadership Transition During a Time of Crisis – A Reflection

As January 1st approached, my sense of excitement at the opportunity to lead the region’s preeminent civil legal services organization was mixed with nervousness and doubt. Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) had already experienced more change in the last year than in its history and now it would experience a change in leadership. What had I signed up for?

I am pleased to report that 90 days into the CEO job, I have seen the extraordinary resilience, creativity, and innovation that are baked into LSHV’s organizational DNA. Not even a global pandemic can stop LSHV’s talented and committed staff from fighting the inequities that plague our justice system and ensuring that our low-income and vulnerable neighbors can access justice. If anything, this time of crisis has made us double down on our efforts.

LSHV’s long-term investment in developing the leadership skills of our staff created a deep bench of incredible talent that was called on during my leadership transition to fill other management vacancies. Our ability to fill these positions internally has kept the organization’s leadership steady and strong while we face the uncertainty and volatility around us.

I enter the coming months with a renewed sense of hope and inspiration after having witnessed the tenacity of our staff, community and government partners, and clients. I am honored and humbled to be leading LSHV through this critical period in not only the organization’s history, but the country’s history as well. Now more than ever, we are grateful for the support of our generous donors, volunteers, and other supporters who share our passion for upholding the pillars of our democracy and pushing for the change needed so that everyone will have equal access to justice. I am very much looking forward to the next 90 days and beyond!

Rachel Halperin, CEO
Legal Services of the Hudson Valley