Ford Foundation awards fellowship to former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to strengthen American infrastructure in communities that need it most

New York, NY – Today, the Ford Foundation announced that Shaun Donovan, prominent public servant and housing and community development expert, will be joining the organization as a Senior Fellow. Senior Fellows are social justice leaders who have served with distinction in a leadership role at NGOs and public interest organizations in the U.S and internationally.

The Ford Foundation has hosted a select number of senior fellows over the past 20 years. During his fellowship, Donovan will work with the Biden Administration and partners across the country to build capacity and provide technical assistance so that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act reaches its transformative potential. Over the next year, he will focus on creating an initial set of tools and laying the foundation for long-term investments that will ensure the funding has a greater, more equitable impact and reaches historically disadvantaged communities that are too often left behind.

“Shaun is a valued leader who brings a wealth of experience and a critical perspective at a time when too many corners of our nation are suffering from disinvestment and lack of infrastructure,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. “His work to strengthen communities and better meet the needs of all Americans will advance our overall mission to tackle inequality in all its forms and we are honored that he is joining us at the Ford Foundation.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Ford Foundation as a Senior Fellow, and can’t wait to work with all its remarkable people helping to make the world a better, fairer place,” said Donovan. “For decades, I have admired Darren Walker’s tenacious commitment to justice and benefitted from his partnership in efforts to make New York City neighborhoods and communities across the country more equitable and affordable.”

Donovan is a dedicated public servant who has spent his career in government, private and non-profit sectors fighting for underrepresented people and communities. Donovan served in President Obama’s cabinet for his full eight years in office. From 2009 to 2014, he served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he led the fight against the nation’s unprecedented foreclosure crisis. Donovan also served as Chair of the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.

In July 2014, he was sworn in as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, he increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country and increased opportunity. And he oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education and fought climate change.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Donovan served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He also served in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD and as acting FHA Commissioner during the Clinton/Bush presidential transition.

Donovan holds a B.A. and Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Urban Institute, Greater NY, and Rethink Food, and on the Advisory Board of Opportunity Insights.

The Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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