National Academy Luncheon, Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Dear Academy Fellows and Friends:

WHEN: Tuesday, October 11. Mingling time will start at noon with program beginning at 12:15 p.m.

WHERE: Ballard & Spahr, 1909 K. St., NW. Many thanks to Fellow Amy Glassman for the hosting and space.

COST: The usual $20 for a nice buffet.  Come and see old friends and new!

WHO: Fellow Stuart Eizenstat, currently Special Advisor for Holocaust Issues, U.S. State Department and partner at Covington & Burling.  He was also White House Domestic Affairs Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and head of his Transition Task Force, with a forthcoming book on that Administration being released soon. Stu has also served as Treasury Deputy Secretary; State Under Secretary; Commerce Under Secretary; and Ambassador to the European Union.  His numerous Jewish honors and achievements are lauded prior to Yom Kippur beginning the evening of the Academy luncheon.  Fellow Dwight Ink is no stranger to the ‘halls’ of the Academy or that of his own counterpart that he helped found, The National Academy of Public Administration.  Serving eight Presidents, including the present one, Dwight remains a seminal figure in major public management achievements, starting with high-level appointments with the AEC, then HUD, BoB (OMB), GSA, AID, and a number of others.  One of those milestone achievements was the original Transition Act, plus eight transitions.  He is still going strong at 94!  Fellow Chuck Edson, the HUD Transition head to Stu during the Carter administration, will also assist.  And we have reached out to members of the Clinton and Trump transition teams – now in place (see below), with the second having its chair, Chris Christie and Jared Kushner, announced to date, as its leader.  We also will have an update of the previous explanation of what’s going on inside HUD from its Transition officer, Henry Hensley, as well as hopefully someone from the Partnership for Public Service, who is shepherding the process.

WHAT: The headliners bring a wealth of knowledge and insights to the housing world through the larger lens of Presidential and HUD transition policy/politics, and will share these thoughts with you.

In late July, Christie named Bill Palatucci, a corporate attorney from New Jersey and the state’s Republican National Committeeman, as general counsel; Palatucci reportedly began meeting with senior members of Mitt Romney’s 2012 transition team shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, on July 29, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough led a conference call with Christie to discuss transition procedures. During the call, McDonough informed Christie that Anita Breckenridge and Andrew Mayock will be the administration’s primary “points of contact” with the Trump campaign moving forward. The pair also discussed the planned availability of office space at 1717 Pennsylvania Avenue for the Trump transition team, which the General Services Administration was to make available beginning August 2, 2016.  During the first week of August, the Trump transition office was officially opened. The same month William Hagerty, a former member of Mitt Romney’s transition team, was named director of appointments while John Rader, a senior aide to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Bob Corker, was retained as the deputy director for appointments.  See also

The Clinton-Kaine Transition Task Force, undergoing the same process with the White House, GSA, and the federal agencies, consists of: Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Chair; with four co-chairs being Tom Donilon, former National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama; former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm; Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden; and Maggie Williams, the director of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and Clinton’s second 2008 campaign manager.  Heather Boushey, the executive director of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, is the project’s chief economist.  Two campaign policy advisers, Ed Meier and Ann O’Leary, are moving over to the transition project to manage its operations full-time. Senior campaign adviser Minyon Moore, a longtime Clinton aide, is secretary.

RSVP: As usual, to optimize conversation, space is limited to 25/30! See you there and enjoy the networking and camaraderie as well as the content!  Call me with any questions or comments at (646) 234-3545 or email

FUTURE POP-UP EVENT WITH JONATHAN ROSE, OCT. 31: Academy FellowJonathan Rose, a leading urbanist, Obama HUD transitioner, national thought leader, and affordable housing developer had his book,  The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, released by Harper Wave on September 13th 2016.  He will be appearing at numerous forums around the country, as well as speaking at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C. on October 31 at 7 p.m.  He has graciously provided the Academy with a time-slot to meet-and-greet just before that, from 5:45-6:45 p.m.  At present, we are thinking about having the event in the basement coffee shop of the bookshop, which until recently had been owned and operated by two Academy Fellows – the late Carla (formerly at HUD) and David Cohen, with one of the original investors being Academy Fellow Stanley Newman, formerly head of the HUD UDAG program.  Stay tuned for further information, but RSVP now! He also recently appeared at The Tattered Cover in Denver, as well as the Governor’s mansion, with the support of Academy Fellow Ismael Guerrero.

Recent Academy/HUD 50th events: Two September blockbusters! Honoring Robert E. Rubin, former Treasury Secretary and current Chairman of LISC, September 19, 2016 in NYC; and Media Fellows Benny Kass, Roger Lewis, and Neal Peirce, September 13, 2016, in D.C

What interesting and unique sessions we had at our two September events! A dinner honoring Robert E. Rubin for his outstanding achievements in leading LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) for many years, with results in 2015 exceeding that of any year in its history.  More from Bob on that below.

1. Many thanks to Fellow Carla Hills for helping with the preliminary discussion with Bob, as her co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations and for her reading the Proclamation of Highest Achievement (see attached).  Thanks also to Joann McGrathand Joy Fox for their staff work for Bob throughout the exercise.  Others who provided assistance in the planning were: Fellow Mark Willis, NHC board member and NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, as well as attendee; Fellow Nancy Seltzer, former HCNY Program chair on the Cities seminars, an artist, public relations executive, and an attendee; Dee PetersonMirza Orriols, HUD NY Deputy Regional Administrator.  HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti brought the good wishes of HUD and its long-term collaboration with LISC, as well as her amazing skills as emcee.  Others who paid tribute were: Hank Paulson Jr., Bob’s successor as Treasury Secretary and at Goldman Sachs (see his latest op ed, attached, on ‘How to Raise Trillions for Green Investments’, and his co-membership with Bob on the Risky Business Task Force); Fellow Dick Ravitch, affordable housing mega-builder and public sector fixit-extraordinaire (currently Detroit and Puerto Rico), who spoke of his Yale law colleague, Secretary Hills, and their solution to save thousands of units once in NY State, where attendee Jamie Rubin, Bob’s son, now rules the roost as head of Governor (former HUD Secretary) Cuomo’s NY Homes and Community Renewal agency.  We are extremely grateful for Dick’s support through the Housing Investment Trust, which he chairs, and Fellow Steve Coyle, the CEO, for the financial support of this dinner. Stephanie O’Keefe, now head of the International Women’s Forum, but who had worked with Bob for many years at LISC also praised the group’s track record.  Fellow Rick Lazio, nowheading the national housing finance practice group at Jones Walker LLP and formerlyChairman of the House Banking Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, spoke of his time with Bob when Rick chaired the Financial Services Forum; Fellow Maurice Jones, former HUD Deputy Secretary and now President/CEO of LISC, spoke briefly of his vision in concert with Bob and also brought his amazing executive staff – Denise Scott, Executive Vice President for Programs; Beth Marcus, Senior Vice President, Resource Development; and Andrea Ponsor, D.C.-based Federal Policy Director.

Fellow Al Dellibovi, former HUD Deputy Secretary and head of the NY Federal Home Loan Bank Board also attended, as did Rachel Fee, Executive Director, NY Housing Conference; Annette Rickel, health, education, and cultural philanthropist and civic leader; Jonathan Rose, national award-winning affordable housing entrepreneur; and Bob’s wife, Judy Rubin, a nationally renowned arts leader.  French Ambassador to the U.N. Fellow Francois Delattre sent his regrets, but Fellow Bruno Fulda, French Embassy Counselor for Ecology, Transportation and Energy was able to attend.  NYU President Andrew Hamilton personally sent his regrets also, but one of his key members, Phyllis Barasch, educational philanthropist and policy-adviser, was in attendance.  Alex Schwartz, Professor of Urban Policy at the New School and author of the best (in my opinion) book on housing policy in the U.S. joined the group as a peer achiever.  Fellow Muriel Tillinghast brought her experience as a civil rights activist since the 60s, an executive with the NYC Head Start program, and as a vice-presidential candidate for the Green party in New York in 1996. Sending regrets were: Darron Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, which started funding LISC in 1979; Stephen Heintz, head of the Rockefeller Bros. Fund; Fellow Arne Sorenson, Marriott Corporation CEO; former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez; also Fellows Pam Patenaude, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, Frank Keating, and Ron Terwilliger.  Tim Wirth, Donna Shalala, Lloyd Blankfein, Marjorie Bloomberg Tiven, Habitat III leader Juan Clos were also invitees, along with several others who had conflicts with the UN Assembly meetings in town.

Bob, in his brief remarks, touched on the enviable track record of LISC in 2015, financing 21,000 homes in a single year and opening its 80th Financial Opportunity Center.  Such investments also opened up other opportunities in the surrounding neighborhoods that reduced blight and crime.  His second theme was a startling one, reprising what he had written in an op-ed for the NY Times recently, namely “The Smart Way to Hep Ex-Convicts, and Society.” (see attached).  With that plea for criminal justice reform, Bob launched a new dimension in his brilliant career arc.

See also for another recent op ed on infrastructure and economic development.

2. The Academy opened its ranks to acknowledge the contribution of the housing media to the quality of life in the city.  The demand for seats in the NAR boardroom was spirited, and the first speaker featured Benny Kass, syndicated housing columnist for nearly 30 years with The Washington Postand other outlets.  He was also a major staff person in the formulation of the original FOIA, whose 50th anniversary is being celebrated this year.  Benny talked about the mostly downward arc of the Washington Post in terms of covering real estate and other housing matters, and addressed several questions of how he entered the profession and what were some critical issues concerning affordable housing in D.C. and elsewhere.  Roger Lewis, architect, urban planner, professor, writer, journalist and cartoonist of housing and the overall built environment for over 40 years, also recounted his unusual entry into the housing and built-environment journalist world and concurred with Benny on the current status of the Post’s real estate coverage.  Neal Peirce, a founder of the National Journal, and currently founder of Citiscope, has covered the built environment (cities, etc.) for 38 years, during which he wrote a series of ten books on the States and regions of the US.  As leader of the Citistates Group, he co-authored newspaper reports on the issues and challenges of 25 metro regions.  Right now, he is primarily concerned with the growth of urbanization in the U.S. and the world, and in particular, interpreting the current U.N. triad of activities impacting upon and with world cities, viz., Habitat III, UNDG(11), and the COP21/22 climate proceedings.  Due to an unavoidable conflict, Ken Harney, another long-time housing columnist with the Post, will be re-scheduled for another time, as will Nick Timiraos, of the Wall St. Journal.

Contributing greatly to the Conversation were Fellows HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro-RamirezJohn WeicherEmil Frankel; Otto Hetzel;Amy GlassmanEileen FitzgeraldMike KellyBill KellyEvelyn HowardChuck EdsonJoe SchiffChris Zimmerman; Jennifer LavorelMarilyn Melkonian; as well as Elisabeth GehlMina Marefat (Georgetown Univ. Professor of Architecture); Jenny Werwa (Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assoc.); Eric Kuhn (former journalist and communications advisor); and several NAR public information staff.  Our thanks to Fellow Joe Ventrone for his hosting at the beautiful boardroom of the National Association of Realtors.

3. Other News: Many of the Academy attended Fellow Helen Kanovsky‘s retirement event at HUD on September 15 (the longest serving General Counsel), such as Watkins, Edson, Hetzel, Kenison, Weidenfeller, Coyle, Bostic, and perhaps others we did not see.  Fellow Steve Coylegave a particularly engaging recitation of his many crossed paths with Helen and we all look forward to working with her at the Mortgage Bankers Association, where she will serve as the General Counsel there.

4. International Urban Policy Events

The United Nations General Assembly Climate week in September occupied the time and energy of a number of Fellows, including Jane Katz (Habitat for Humanity), Ana Marie Argilagos (Ford Foundation), Bruno Fulda (French Embassy), and others.  I attended several civil society meetings on the new Urban Agenda for Habitat III (see attached), in preparation for the conclave in Quito, Ecuador, October 15-22.  The climate pact discussions also held much of the focus for the nearly 200 countries that convened in Manhattan, along with the many private and public sectors.  This will also be addressed at COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in November.  With the ratification by European Parliament, the Paris Agreement quickly reaches the threshold of implementation. Even with that, the goals agreed to are not strong enough to avoid additional warming of the planet.  Obviously, the U.S. election cycle will have an enormous impact on these meetings, as well as a major Court of Appeals hearing underway now.