The Honorable Shaun Donovan
Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
AB '87, MArch '95, MPA '95
On January 26, 2009, Shaun Donovan was sworn in as the 15th United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development. He has devoted his career to ensuring access to safe, decent, and affordable housing nationwide, and will carry on that effort in the Obama Administration. Secretary Donovan believes that America's homes are the foundation for family, safe neighborhoods, good schools, and solid businesses, and that housing represents and confers stability - a base from which to raise America's children. He joins HUD with the commitment to make quality housing possible for every American.
Secretary Donovan previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). When he became Commissioner of HPD in early 2004, Shaun Donovan engaged the agency in a top-to-bottom strategic planning process. This resulted in new and innovative policy and programmatic solutions, and better measurement of results. During his service, HPD's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing was the largest housing plan in the nation.
Before his service as HPD Commissioner, Secretary Donovan worked in the private sector on affordable housing portfolios, and was a visiting scholar at New York University, where he researched and wrote about the preservation of federally-assisted housing. He was also a consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission on strategies for increasing the production of multifamily housing. The Commission was created by the United States Congress to recommend ways to expand housing opportunities across the nation.
Secretary Donovan rejoins HUD after his previous service as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing, where he was the primary federal official responsible for privately-owned multifamily housing. At that time, he ran housing programs that helped 1.7 million families access affordable housing. He also served as acting FHA Commissioner during the presidential transition.
Prior to his first service at HUD, he worked at the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) in New York City, a non-profit lender and developer of affordable housing. He also researched and wrote about housing policy at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and worked as an architect. Secretary Donovan holds Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University.
The John T. Dunlop Lecture series was founded in 1999 through a partnership between the Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Housing Endowment, and the Graduate School of Design to serve as a lasting tribute to Professor John T. Dunlop and his many contributions to the national housing community.