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Michael Bright abruptly steps down from Ginnie Mae

Asks to have nomination to serve as president withdrawn

It’s been almost two years since Ginnie Mae had a permanent president, and now it looks like the wait is going to continue.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced late Wednesday that Michael Bright, who has been leading Ginnie Mae on an interim basis for nearly 18 months and was the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the agency, is leaving Ginnie Mae next week.

According to HUD, Bright, whose official title at Ginnie Mae was executive vice president and chief operating officer, will be leaving the agency on January 16 and has asked for his nomination to serve as Ginnie Mae president to be withdrawn.

In its announcement, HUD said that Bright is leaving “pursue a new opportunity in the private sector.”

Bright came to Ginnie Mae from the Milken Institute, a think tank. At the Milken Institute, Bright worked in the think tank’s Center for Financial Markets, where he led the housing program.

Prior to working at Milken, Bright was a top aide to Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee. While working for Corker, Bright helped author the Corker-Warner housing finance reform bill, which failed in the Senate in 2015 and would have seen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wound down and replaced.

After leaving Capitol Hill, Bright went to work at BlackRock, serving as a vice president in the company’s financial advisory operation.

Bright left BlackRock after less than a year to move to PennyMac, where he served as senior vice president of business development.

Bright joined Ginnie Mae in July 2017, taking over as the interim replacement for former Ginnie Mae President Ted Tozer, who stepped down at the beginning of the Trump administration.

And now, Bright’s days at Ginnie Mae are numbered.

“Please accept my resignation from the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ginnie Mae, effective at the close of business on Wednesday, January 16, 2019,” Bright said in his resignation letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

“The opportunity to serve the country and our economy in this capacity has been a tremendous honor. Between now and the 16th, I will institute an orderly transition process, including handing over delegated authority for policy decisions immediately,” Bright said. “Please be assured that a smooth transition will take place via the leadership structure we have established at Ginnie Mae.”

According to HUD, that transition will lead to Maren Kasper, current executive vice president of Ginnie Mae, serving as acting president in Bright’s absence.

As acting president of Ginnie Mae, Kasper would oversee the agency’s activities, including its mortgage bond undertakings. Ginnie Mae, unlike Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, insures mortgages with the explicit backing of the federal government.

Carson wished Bright well and thanked him for his time at Ginnie Mae.

“I want to thank Michael for his many contributions to Ginnie Mae over the last two years,” Carson said. “He has assembled a first-rate team and successfully managed and expanded a portfolio that enables millions of Americans to become homeowners each year. We wish him the best in his future.”

To hear Bright’s perspective on his time at Ginnie Mae, click here to listen to HousingWire Editor-in-Chief Jacob Gaffney’s exclusive podcast with him. And click here to read Bright’s resignation letter in full, provided by HUD.

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