Barbara Alexander has been a securities analyst and an investment banker, and is a leading expert on the housing and home furnishings sectors. Previously, she was a senior advisor for UBS, a managing director of Dillon Read & Co., Inc., and a managing director in the corporate finance department of Salomon Brothers. More recently, she has served on the Boards of Directors of companies in the construction sector, including Centex Corporation, KB Home, CRH plc and Freddie Mac (both before and following conservatorship). Barbara has a long-standing commitment to affordable housing and community development, and has served on the Boards of Directors of housing-focused not-for-profits, including Habitat for Humanity and HomeAid America. Ms. Alexander holds BS and MS degrees in theoretical mathematics from the University of Arkansas. In addition to the companies already noted, Barbara has served on the boards of a number of other public companies in the last two decades, and currently serves as a director of both Qualcomm and Choice Hotels.
Frank Anton is Vice Chairman Emeritus of Hanley Wood LLC, a business-to-business media, information and marketing services company serving the nation’s residential and commercial design and construction industries. His tenure at Hanley Wood spans more than three decades; prior to his current role, he served as CEO and President. He is now playing an advisory role in mergers and acquisitions activity and sitting on boards of private equity owned firms in media and construction. Mr. Anton is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has a Master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
William Apgar, co-author of the Center’s first State of the Nation’s Housing report in 1988, was a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught courses on housing and community development policy. From 1997 to 2001, he was the Assistant Secretary of Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he oversaw the operation of the Federal Housing Administration and co-chaired the joint HUD-Treasury Task Force on Predatory Lending. From 2009 to 2011 he was Senior Advisor to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for Preservation of Affordable Housing. Dr. Apgar is a graduate of Williams College, and holds a PhD in economics from Harvard.
Rachel G. Bratt is Professor Emerita at Tufts University. Her research is focused on housing and community development, particularly the needs of low-income households and the role of nonprofit community-based organizations in supplying decent, affordable housing. She is the author of Rebuilding a Low-Income Housing Policy and a co-editor of two books: Critical Perspectives on Housing and A Right to Housing: Foundation for a New Social Agenda. For nearly ten years she was the chair of Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and in 2017, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Professor Bratt earned her PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Michael Carliner is an economic consultant specializing in housing, construction, demographics, and regional economics. From 1984 to 2006, Mr. Carliner was Staff Vice President for Economics at the National Association of Home Builders, directing activities related to forecasting, survey research, industry studies, and analysis of government policies affecting housing and construction. Before that he was Director of Real Estate and Construction Economics at Chase Econometrics, Vice President of Regional Data Associates, and Senior Economist at Dynamics Associates. Mr. Carliner authored the papers Rental Housing: An International Comparison and Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing: The Need and the Potential for the Joint Center for Housing Studies. He did his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Research Fellow.
Kent W. Colton is the President of the Colton Housing Group, LLC. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and has more than 35 years of experience as a housing scholar and expert in the field of mortgage finance and housing policy. He was a White House Fellow, a member of the Millennial Housing Commission, and staff director of the President's Commission on Housing under President Reagan. Dr. Colton previously was a professor of public management and finance at Brigham Young University's Graduate School of Management, and Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Urban Studies and Planning. A graduate of Utah State University, he received an MPA from Syracuse University and a PhD in Urban Studies from MIT. He has written or edited six books and numerous articles on housing finance, the secondary mortgage market, housing policy, and a range of management issues, and is the author of Housing in the Twenty-First Century: Achieving Common Ground.
Joe Hanauer is Chairman of the Move, Inc. Global Advisory Board, operator of Realtor.com. As chairman, he led the sale of the company to News Corp. He is also Chairman of the Board of IHC Global, a not-for-profit focused on establishing safe and decent housing in the world’s rapidly expanding cities in emerging economies. As principal of Combined Investments, LLC, Mr. Hanauer invests in commercial properties and real estate-related technology companies. He serves on board and as an advisor for several of these early stage companies. Mr. Hanauer is former Chairman and CEO of Coldwell Banker's global residential businesses and serves on the boards of numerous not-for-profits including Roosevelt University (Chicago), The Laguna Playhouse, and Laguna Art Museum, and others.
George Masnick researches and writes about household and family demography, population dynamics, housing studies, and household forecasting. He has co-authored The Nation's Families: 1960-1990, Regional Diversity: Growth in the United States, 1960-1990, and Housing in America: 1970-2000, and is a regular contributor to the Center's annual State of the Nation's Housing report. He authored a series of papers on household formation and homeownership trends in the United States with particular attention to immigrants and minorities. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1970-1974 and at Harvard University from 1974-1987. He received his BA and MA in sociology from Cornell University and earned his doctorate in sociology/demography from Brown University.
Shekar Narasimhan is a founding partner at Beekman Advisors, which provides strategic advisory services to companies and investors involved in real estate, mortgage finance, affordable housing, and related sectors. He also serves as Chairman of Papillon Capital, focused on sustainable infrastructure investing. Shekar is a principal in the Emergent Communities Fund, an Opportunity Zone Fund focused on revitalization of small towns in the Southeast U.S. Prior to Beekman Advisors, Mr. Narasimhan was a Managing Director of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company. He was appointed by the Governor of Virginia as a Member of the Board for the Virginia Housing Development Authority and currently serves on the boards of Broadstone Net Lease, Inc., Broadtree Homes, Inc. Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., Democracy Alliance, and on the Economic Advisory Council for the Center for American Progress, and is a member of the Policy Leadership Council of the Urban Institute. Previously, he was a Member of the Board for Housing and Community Development in Virginia and a Commissioner on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. He has earned the distinction of Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB).
Nicolas P. Retsinas served as Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies from 1998 to 2010. He was also a member of the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he taught courses in housing finance and real estate in frontier markets, as well as being Senior Lecturer in Real Estate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to his Harvard appointment, Mr. Retsinas served as Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and as Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision under President Clinton. Mr. Retsinas served on the Board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity International. Mr. Retsinas currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation and the Providence Housing Authority, and is on the board of the Center for Responsible Lending. He received his Master’s degree in City Planning from Harvard University and his AB in Economics from New York University. Mr. Retsinas also received a Doctorate in Public Service from Rhode Island College.
Mark Richardson has been a strong advocate for the advancement of the remodeling profession during his over three decades in the industry. He presided over one of the nation’s largest and most successful home improvement and remodeling organizations, has authored numerous articles and four books on business related topics, and speaks across the country on national business issues. Mr. Richardson is a senior advisor and writes columns for Professional Remodeler, was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and is a member of National Association of Home Builders’ Hall of Fame.
Architect and product designer James Shen is Founding Partner at People's Architecture Office, an award-winning practice with offices in Beijing and Boston, known for engaging in urban issues through designs that straddle architecture and product design. His firm developed the Plugin House, a prefabricated building system for urban regeneration and low-cost housing. James received his Master of Architecture from MIT and his Bachelor in Product Design from Cal State Long Beach. He was Visiting Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and MIT’s Department of Architecture and a 2017-2018 Loeb Fellow at Harvard GSD. James is currently Innovation Fellow at MIT’s Future City Innovation Connector.