In a world where crises have become the new norm, bold and innovative leadership is required to take on a role like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) But former head of Philadelphia’s Republican Party, Joe DeFelice, Esq.,’00, is up for the job. Appointed as the Mid-Atlantic regional administrator of HUD by President Trump earlier this year.
DeFelice was literally rolling up his sleeves within weeks of being on the job, touring a flood-ravaged area of West Virginia. “These people’s lives were taken away from them,” he says. “Some lost all of their belongings and are starting from scratch.”
As a native of Northeast Philly where he lives with his wife, Rosemarie (McConomy) ’99, and their two sons, DeFelice has been actively involved in the City for years. He says his new role allows him to continue serving Philadelphia but also the region from a national perspective, vowing to ensure no one affected by disaster or misfortune feels forgotten. The key, he says, is to be out there.
“I’d be doing this region a disservice if I sat in my office,” he explains. “My goal is to get out to these regions as much as possible, stay out there, and listen to them.”
Graduating with a B.A. in political science in 2000, DeFelice learned early on how to get things done. He was a founding member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, memberof the Interfraternity-Sorority Council, founder and co-host of La Salle TV’s Philly Sports Page, founder of the College Republicans, and three-year starter and captain of the University’s football team, which he helped charter. “La Salle gave me the leadership opportunities to do things without barriers,” he says. “It taught me that if I’m passionate about something, to make it happen.”