The Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center, or DEAC, announced it has hired Bill Holston as its new chief operating officer. He will transition into his new role in August of this year. The DEAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm that provides free legal representation to tenants facing eviction in Dallas County.

Since 2012, Holston has served as the executive director of the Human Rights Initiative, a nonprofit organization focused on assisting asylum seekers and immigrants in need of legal and other services.

“Bill has successfully led HRI for more than a decade, and we are excited to have him put that experience and expertise to work at the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center as we continue to grow,” said DEAC Board Chair Mark Melton in a press release. “He is a giant in the Texas legal community, and we couldn’t be more fortunate to have him on our team.”

An Alabama native, Holston began practicing business law with Sullivan and Holston. An avid human rights advocate, he joined HRI’s team as a pro bono volunteer attorney, where he litigated multiple asylum trials in immigration court. In 2005, Holston was awarded the Angel of Freedom Award by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. In 2012 he became HRI’s executive director, where he devoted himself full time to the service of others. His work has earned him many accolades, including being named a Distinguished Alumni for Public Service by the SMU Dedman School of Law, receiving the Dallas Bar Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award, and the United Nations Association’s Eleanor Roosevelt Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am thrilled to join the great team at the Dallas Eviction Advocacy Center,” Holston said in a press release. “Like many people in our community, I have a lot of respect for what Mark Melton and his team have been doing and I’m excited to help them in this important fight for housing justice.”