Barr Fellows

Sister Margaret Leonard

Strategic Advisor, Project Hope

Sister Margaret Leonard currently serves as a strategic advisor for Project Hope. In addition, she is a resident director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative Board of Directors and serves on the board and Executive Committee of two agencies sponsored by the Little Sisters of the Assumption in New York City, and Worcester Massachusetts. Sister Margaret is also a member of Mayor Walsh’s Neighborhood Housing Trust.

When Sister Margaret was recognized as a Barr Fellow in 2009, she was executive director of Project Hope, a position she held since 1985. During her tenure as executive director, Project Hope grew from being an emergency shelter serving eight homeless families, to a multi-service center with an array of educational and economic empowerment programs serving families in North Dorchester and Roxbury. The organization’s mission is to partner with families on a journey beyond homelessness and poverty. Sister Margaret has been a catalyst in forging strategic alliances, partnerships, and collaborations at local, city, and state levels that create a continuum of care for low income families in the movement from crisis to stability. Sister Margaret stepped down as executive director in 2015 and now serves as a strategic advisor.

In 2008, Sister Margaret received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Assumption College, for her lifelong commitment to improving society. In 2009, she received honorary degrees from the University of Massachusetts and from Tufts University.