Introducing MAP's New Executive Director

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Michigan Advocacy Program’s Board of Directors is excited to announce that, following a national search, we have chosen long-time MAP staff member Shannon Lucas as our next Executive Director. Shannon will take over as Executive Director from Ann Routt, who is retiring after nearly 40 years of service. Shannon’s tenure will begin on July 1, 2024.

In her role as Executive Director, Shannon will work with the Board, staff, and community partners to understand the needs of our communities and promote high-quality legal services and advocacy in all of MAP’s programs. She will continue the important work of moving MAP toward the goals outlined in its comprehensive strategic plan, ensuring that the program’s work continues to align with its intended impact and theory of change. In all of her work, she will strive to help MAP achieve its mission of advancing the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions.

“After nearly 25 years at MAP, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this incredible program,” Lucas said. “I’m looking forward to working within our communities to continue to respond to emerging needs, grow our impact, and build on the important strides we have made in recent years. I truly believe in the transformative nature of this work, and the ability of this organization to make real change for low-income individuals and families across Michigan.” 

“We are honored to welcome Shannon as MAP’s Executive Director,” said Delphia Simpson, Chair of MAP’s Board of Directors.”In a time of immense change, she has the vision,  experience, and skills necessary to lead the organization as we move into our next chapter. Over my years working with Shannon, I have seen her dedication to this work and the communities we serve, and I am delighted to partner with her in this new role.”

“It was with great difficulty that I made the decision to retire from an organization that means so much to me,” said Ann Routt, current Executive Director of MAP. “With Shannon taking the helm, I feel confident that MAP will continue building on the important strategic and substantive work that we have been doing over the past several years. Shannon has been a wonderful colleague and will make an outstanding leader.”

Shannon has been MAP’s Director of Advocacy since 2018, leading strategic planning, policy development, and advocacy for MAP’s Legal Services Corporation-funded offices. Shannon has been integral to many important projects and initiatives, including the creation and maintenance of a new office focused on unemployment and expungement advocacy, the building of MAP’s pro bono program, and the establishment of Eviction Diversion Programs across South Central Michigan.

Prior to becoming Director of Advocacy, Shannon served as the Managing Attorney for the Monroe field office of Legal Services of South Central Michigan for 18 years, serving Monroe and Lenawee Counties. She started her legal career as a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau of Southern Michigan, now Legal Aid of Western Michigan.

Shannon has presented on issues of advocacy and management at numerous national and regional conferences, including with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, Management and Information Exchange, the Committee on Regional Training, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program. She is a member of the State Planning Body, the Legal Services Association of Michigan, the NLADA Litigation Leaders Training Committee, and the Michigan Unemployment Modernization Taskforce. In addition, she is Past Board President and current Board Member of Catherine Cobb Safe House in Lenawee County. 

Lorray Brown will continue as the sole Executive Director of Michigan State Advocacy Services (MSAS). Lorray has worn many hats in her time here, but will now be transitioning her other responsibilities to focus on her MSAS leadership. MAP will soon be posting opportunities for a Director and a Consumer Law attorney at the Michigan Poverty Law Program (MPLP) to take on these responsibilities and work with the MPLP team to provide state support across Michigan.

Please join us in welcoming Shannon to her new role, and thanking Ann for all her years of dedication to MAP. Ann has put an indelible mark on this organization throughout her decades here, and we look forward to celebrating her tenure with her over the coming month.