Also designated the Director to End Homelessness, Theresa Silla was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser in October 2021 and confirmed by Council soon after. Before her appointment, from May 2020 to September 2021, she served as a consultant to the District, focusing on preventing and ending homelessness for single adults experiencing homelessness. In that role, she developed a robust framework for streamlining intake, transitioning Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) providers to billing Medicaid, and piloting PSH Plus.
Theresa was the first full-time Policy Advisor hired by the ICH and served in that role from 2015 to 2018. Before joining the ICH in 2015, Theresa worked in the private sector as a trusted advisor to HUD. In that capacity, she identified emerging policy issues, drafted policy guidance and technical assistance resources, and worked directly with HUD grantees (cities, states, and counties) to design and implement programs.
Theresa started her career in community development and affordable housing at the City of New Haven. There, she managed federal, state, and local subsidies to a diverse portfolio of rental and homeownership projects.
Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, she attained her bachelor’s degree at Yale College (Class of ’02) and her master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Class of ’03). A District resident for over a decade, she currently lives in Ward 6 with her domestic partner, James, and their cat, Mia.