Edward Powers Retiring After 25 Years as Executive Director of HOPE Atlanta

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

After a quarter century at the helm of one of Atlanta’s oldest nonprofit organizations, HOPE Atlanta Executive Director Edward Powers will retire at the end of 2018. Under his leadership, Travelers Aid of Atlanta evolved from a nonprofit primarily serving Atlanta’s transient population and recent arrivals to providing comprehensive services to thousands of homeless and extremely low-income citizens, delivered by a staff of more than 80 working from 12 offices in five counties. 

“Ed Powers has been the heart and soul of HOPE Atlanta for more than 25 years,” said Steve Tedder, HOPE Atlanta’s board chairman.  “His thoughtful leadership and strategic insights have guided the 118-year-old agency through a period of profound expansion as we’ve responded to the growing needs of our most vulnerable citizens - those without shelter and living on our streets.”  

Under Powers’ leadership, HOPE Atlanta expanded services and staffing to provide specialized case management and housing to veterans and their families, persons living with HIV/AIDS, persons with disabilities and other factors that require supportive home environments, grandparents raising grandchildren, and households that are in danger of becoming homeless, as well as street outreach teams working in the City of Atlanta, Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Gwinnett counties and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. 

“It has been both an honor and a privilege to lead HOPE Atlanta for the past 25 years, from 1994, when it was a much smaller agency supported mainly by the United Way, to today when we have multiple income streams that support offices in five metro counties and where we provide assistance to thousands families.  As a Vietnam Vet, I am particularly proud of our Support Services for Veteran Families program through which hundreds of veterans and their families have received a helping hand from HOPE to get back on their feet,” said Powers.  

“The strides made by HOPE Atlanta have not been mine alone, however.  None of our growth could have been accomplished without the dedication and hard work of HOPE Atlanta’s staff, and I am very grateful to each of them. I’m also grateful to the leaders of several other homeless services agencies with which HOPE has forged lasting successful partnerships, partnerships that allow us to serve even more people in ever more meaningful ways each and every day.  Finally, I am grateful to the incredibly hard working Board of Directors that guides HOPE Atlanta policy and development.  Their unwavering support has been extraordinarily helpful to our agency, as well to me personally.  Each has my thanks and gratitude.” 

In the final months of his tenure, HOPE Atlanta is working to expand its workforce development capacity and add legal services for the homeless, continuing the organization’s history of responding to the needs of our homeless citizens throughout the Atlanta metro area. 

Powers joined the organization as Executive Director in January 1994. He currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Travelers Aid International and serves on the Board of the City of Atlanta Continuum of Care. 

Prior to his current position, he was the Country Director of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation’s programs in Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam from 1985 to 1992. From 1979 to 1983 he worked for the Department of State as a contractor at the U.S. Embassy Refugee Section in Bangkok, where he was the Vietnamese Resettlement Coordinator. He is a Vietnam veteran, serving as an Army interrogator in DaNang from 1971 to 1972. He holds a BA degree in Asian Studies from the University of Illinois and an MBA degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.