As the country at large debates the readiness of former neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing insiders are closely watching nominations for the position that could prove even more pivotal at HUD — the deputy secretary.
The HUD secretary, like many other Cabinet positions, is the public face of the department — meeting with housing leaders around the country, listening to local concerns and celebrating milestones. Most of the day-to-day operations are handled by the deputy secretary, currently Nani Coloretti, who essentially serves as COO.
And since HousingWire first named Carson as Trump's pick a week before anyone else, we decided to keep one step ahead and also release the current shortlist for deputy secretary, as it stands right now.
Keeping in mind this list is still changeable, sources tell HousingWire the short list for deputy secretary is now down to three people: Pam Patenaude, president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families and former director of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Rick Lazio, former New York Congressman and national housing attorney, and Brian Montgomery, former assistant secretary for housing and federal housing commissioner at HUD.
All three are proven leaders with a passion for housing issues, and this shortlist should provide a level of comfort for those still worried about Carson’s inexperience in the space. Any of these choices will keep the trains running on time as they manage the departments’ $45 billion annual budget and approximately 8,000 employees.
Here’s a more complete bio for each:
Pam Patenaude has served as:
- President of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a national nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to illuminating the affordable housing crisis in America.
- Director of housing policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center.
- Executive vice president of the Urban Land Institute and founding executive director of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing
- HUD assistant deputy secretary for field policy and management.
- HUD assistant secretary for community, planning and development.
- State director and deputy chief of staff for U.S. Senator Bob Smith.
- Vice president of Manor Homes Builders, Inc.
- Administered the Section 8 rental assistance program at the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority.
Rick Lazio has served as:
- A four-term U.S. Representative of New York’s 2nd Congressional District.
- Deputy Majority Whip and Assistant Majority Leader.
- Senior member of the Financial Services Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
- President and CEO of the Financial Services Forum
- Executive Vice President of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at JP Morgan Chase & Co.
- Managing Director of Global Real Estate and Infrastructure at JP Morgan Asset Management.
Brian Montgomery has served as:
- Acting HUD secretary until Obama appointee Shaun Donovan was confirmed
- HUD assistant secretary for housing.
- Federal Housing Commissioner, 2005-2009.
- Co-founder and partner at the Collingwood Group, LLC.
- Deputy Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary
- Following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, headed up a White House working group to monitor all facets of the accident investigation, and was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in June 2004.
- Board member on the Federal Housing Finance Board (2005-2008), the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 Oversight Board (2008-2009), and NeighborWorks America Board, where he also served as Chair of the Corporate Administration Committee (2005-2009).