Scope of the Position:

The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is charged with the Department's mission to promote safe and affordable housing across the nation. The Deputy Secretary manages HUD's day-to-day operations, along with its $48.3 billion annual budget. As of 2016, HUD employs over 8,000 federal personnel working on nine different urban development and housing programs. HUD is comprised of 21 different working groups that collaborate to accomplish the Department's organizational mission.

Illustrative Management Challenges:

Because HUD is involved in so many projects across the country, with billions of dollars flowing into and out of the Department, it is imperative that proper oversight and accounting are in place to monitor spending. Yet, there is ample evidence that shows this has not been the case. HUD's IG has found that, "For the third consecutive fiscal year...HUD did not comply with [the Improper Payments and Elimination and Recovery Act of 2010] IPERA." Two issues that the report documents are an improper reporting of payments and data and the failure to reduce the Department's payments to a level that was previously established.1 There have also been ongoing issues with employee background checks and the expediency of the entire process for those cases that might be considered problematic. The time it takes to process a case is longer than the 90 days, OPM says, which has resulted "in several hundred contractor employees working at HUD without [a] final suitability determination."2 Ironically enough, in another report the IG cites that, "[h]istorically, HUD program managers have not wanted to enforce program requirements."3 This history is especially problematic, as there are documented issues in the Departmental Enforcement Center (DEC), and as the internal group that helps support HUD programs and program requirements, "[t]urnover, retirements, and hiring, limitations could leave DEC without enough skilled staff to support future workloads needed to service HUD..." (Ibid.)


      1Fiscal Year 2015 Audit of HUD's Compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act;; May 13, 2016.

      2Departmentwide Approach Needed to Address HUD Contractor Employee Security Risks;; March 30, 2016.

      3Risk Based Enforcement Could Improve Program Effectiveness;; February 12, 2016.

Deputy Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development:

Although no real mold for HUD Deputy Secretaries exists, most share experience in which they were responsible for some sort of planning, be it financial planning, city planning, or government planning. A high degree of logistical competence is required for success in a position that requires an immense amount of planning and coordination across various programs. 

Current Incumbent:

Nani A. Coloretti (2011-Present): Immediately prior to her appointment at HUD, Coloretti was the Assistant Secretary for Management in the Treasury Department. Coloretti has worked with the City of San Francisco as a Policy Advisor and as the Budget Director. She was an integral player in the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Coloretti has also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget in the Department of the Treasury. 

Previous Deputy Secretaries:

Maurice Jones (2012-2014): Jones is currently serving as the Secretary of Commerce and Trade for the State of Virginia. His previous positions included President of Pilot Media, Vice President of the Landmark Publishing Group, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Virginia Governor Mark Warner. At the Department of the Treasury, Jones was Special Assistant to the General Counsel, Legal Counsel, and eventual Director of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). He received his JD from the University of Virginia.

Ron Sims (2009-2011): Since leaving HUD, Sims has served, and currently serves, on multiple boards for various organizations and institutions. Before his appointment with HUD, Sims was elected as the Executive of King County in the State of Washington. In this position, Sims was praised for his progressive policy work in the fields of climate change, mass transit, affordable housing, and social justice issues.

Roy Bernardi (2004-2009): Bernardi previously served as the Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development of HUD. He was Mayor of Syracuse, New York, from 1994 to 2001. He began his career as the Auditor of Syracuse, New York.

Alphonso Jackson (2001-2004): Jackson is currently the Senior Advisor with First Data Corporation. Jackson's past positions include Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Vice Chairman with JPMorgan Chase, Professor and Director of the Center for the Public Policy and Leadership at Hampton University, President of American Electric Power-Texas, President and CEO of the Housing Authority of Dallas, and Director of the Department of Public and Assisted Housing in Washington, D.C.

Saul N. Ramirez (1998-2001): Ramirez is currently serving as the Executive Director of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials. Ramirez previously was a banker with NAHRO; Mayor of Laredo, Texas; a Laredo city council member; and he spent 20 years in the insurance industry.

Additional Resources: