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Philadelphia VIP Announces Sophie Bryan as New Executive Director

Monday, May 15, 2017

Sophie BryanA passionate advocate for public interest work, inspirational leader Sophie Bryan has been named the new Executive Director for Philadelphia VIP, the hub of pro bono legal services in Philadelphia. The dynamic nonprofit recruits, trains and supports volunteer lawyers who provide critical legal assistance to low-income Philadelphians.

Bryan brings a wealth of experience to her new role. For the last eight years, she has led programs and strategic external relations initiatives throughout Philadelphia. Most recently at the Reinvestment Fund, Bryan directed a national initiative to improve the health and well-being in low-income neighborhoods in 50 U.S. cities.

Prior to joining the Reinvestment Fund, Bryan served as the Chief External Relations Officer for the School District of Philadelphia. In her tenure at the School District, she helped secure millions of dollars in state and local funding for the District and led legislative strategy on issues including charter schools. In a prior role as Chief of Staff for City Councilman at-Large Bill Green, Bryan collaborated with legal services stakeholders, including Philadelphia VIP, on legislation to create income-based payment plans to help protect low-income homeowners. Also while in City Council, Bryan helped drive significant reform efforts related to ethics and campaign finance, business taxes, and the city’s budget process.

A Philadelphia native, Bryan has practiced law at Pepper Hamilton, Community Legal Services, the U.S. Department of Justice and The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School; she has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. She has been recognized for her leadership as one of the “Next Generation Leaders in Philadelphia” by Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia City Council’s “Woman of Moxie” in 2015. She was also awarded the Friends of the Free Library’s “Champion of Greater Good” for her commitment to keeping neighborhood libraries open. Bryan is the Board Co-Chair of the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project.

The Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive search which yielded a number of highly qualified candidates. “We set out to find an Executive Director with the right vision, passion and experience to lead VIP,” explains Board President Mike Balent. “We are confident that we have found that leader in Sophie.”

Bryan will assume her role on June 1, 2017 and looks forward to building on VIP’s success. She intends to focus on achieving excellent outcomes and services for both volunteer attorneys and low-income clients. “VIP has set big goals: saying “Yes!” to every eligible client and being a model of excellence as a legal volunteer organization. I am thrilled to join an extraordinary staff team, an engaged and committed Board, collaborative partners, and our invaluable volunteers in driving toward those goals and expanding access to justice for our fellow Philadelphians.”

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