US Department of Housing & Urban Development
Brian De Peña
Mayor of Lawrence
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Juana Matias is the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Regional Administrator for Region 1 which covers Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont. Prior to her appointment at HUD, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for MassINC, a nonprofit, non-partisan public policy and action think tank and civic news organization. In this capacity, she oversaw the organization’s internal operations, policy and advocacy strategy, development, and communications, and served as the main spokesperson with elected officials, policy makers, and the media. She also led efforts to strategically advance MassINC’s research in policy areas which included the K-16 education continuum, housing choice, criminal justice reform, transit-oriented development, and racial and economic justice.
Previously, Matias served as the State Representative for the 16th Essex District, becoming the first Latina immigrant elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. During her time at the State House, she secured an 81% increase in local funding for her district, and sponsored key legislation that protected immigrant rights, stimulated the production of new affordable housing, promoted access to BIPOC-owned and women-owned businesses, addressed inequities in our public-school systems, and expanded opportunities for working class Americans.
Matias graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. In 2014, she received a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and is member of the Massachusetts Bar Association. After graduating from law school, she dedicated years of her career to public service by enlisting in AmeriCorps as a Justice AmeriCorps Legal Advocate. There, she sought humanitarian based immigration relief for unaccompanied children in removal proceedings.