Friends of Lafitte Corridor (FOLC) is delighted to announce the hiring of Sophie Harris as its first Executive Director. Sophie joined Friends of Lafitte Corridor as a board member and subsequently as FOLC’s Program Director in 2012, working to build FOLC’s capacity and communications during a pivotal time for the Lafitte Greenway project, as it neared the start of construction. Sophie brings professional experience in community development, public health, and recreational programming.
“Sophie is the perfect person to lead Friends of Lafitte Corridor as we look to the opening of the Lafitte Greenway in 2015,” said FOLC’s Chair, Sam Spencer. “Even among a strong national field of candidates for the Executive Director position, Sophie’s exceptional accomplishments with FOLC and her demonstrated passion for the well-being of the communities along the future Greenway made her stand out. The board is thrilled at the prospect of her leadership and her dedication to making sure that this extraordinary public facility lives up to its vast potential for improving the lives of our fellow New Orleanians.”
In addition to her time as Program Director with FOLC, Sophie previously managed the NEWCITY Neighborhood Partnership, a coalition of 100 organizations that promotes community economic development in New Orleans’ Tremé and Mid-City neighborhoods. She also worked on the Faubourg Lafitte Housing Development at Providence Community Housing, where she led neighborhood research and developed the education strategy.
“Thanks to the dedication of volunteer leaders and the community’s support, Friends of Lafitte Corridor has been remarkably successful in its founding mission to advocate for the development of the Lafitte Greenway,” said Sophie. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead FOLC in its next chapter as we focus on providing programs for youth and adults on the Lafitte Greenway, and continuing to build and improve an extraordinary public park for all of New Orleans.”
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Summa Cum Laude, with degrees in Urban Studies and Political Science and certification in Spanish, Sophie won a Post-Graduate Robert A. Fox Leadership Fellowship in service. She serves on the Board of Directors of Broad Community Connections, and is a member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative. Sophie lives in Mid-City, blocks from the Greenway, and is an active runner, biker, soccer-player, and canoer.