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CDFA Federal Policy Conference Speakers

Dennis Alvord

Analyzing the Final Opportunity Zones Regulations
Wednesday April 15 10:45 - 12:00 PM

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs
U.S. Economic Development Administration

Dennis Alvord serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, directing and supervising the activities of the Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Office of Regional Affairs (ORA), which includes all six EDA Regional Offices, the Performance and National Programs Division, the Integrated Economic Development team, and the Regional Innovation Strategies program. Earlier in his career, Mr. Alvord served in EDA in various positions, including Acting Deputy Assistant Secretaries for ORA and External Affairs. He also led the bureau’s work with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development where he served as Vice-Chair of the Working Party on Territorial Policy in Urban Areas.

Previously, Mr. Alvord served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this role, he worked on a broad portfolio of department-wide management, operations, program and policy issues. As Senior Advisor, he served as Co-Chair of the Department of Commerce's 2016-17 Presidential Transition, coordinating efforts across the Department and with the White House and President Elect's Transition Team. He has also served as Executive Director of BusinessUSA, a multiagency customer service initiative that promoted and improved access to business assistance resources, and as Executive Director of the Department of Commerce’s CommerceConnect initiative, which simplified access to the department’s business solutions.

Before joining the federal government, Mr. Alvord was a Project Manager in the Infrastructure Finance Group of the Bethesda, Maryland-based environmental and transportation consulting firm Apogee Research, Inc.

Mr. Alvord has a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the State University of New York College at Cortland. He is a recipient of the 2015 President’s Award for Customer Service.


Shawn Arner

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Loan Origination and Approval Division
U.S. Department of Agriculture




Alex Cordova

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Community Development Specialist
U.S. Department of Agriculture




Matthew Dalbey

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Director, Office of Community Revitalization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Matthew Dalbey is a proven thought leader in developing community-driven economic revitalization strategies at the local, state, and federal level. These strategies focus on identifying economic drivers, build on existing assets, and supports economic growth that improves environmental and human health outcomes. His recent efforts at EPA have focused on supporting economic revitalization and environmental protection economically distressed communities, including those with Opportunity Zones. Upon joining EPA in 2004, he focused on collaborating with private sector developers interested in meeting growing market demand, and providing technical assistance to help cities and towns, particularly rural ones, leverage new development to support better health, clean air, and clean water outcomes.  In 2010, he joined the leadership team in what was then the Office of Sustainable Communities, where he led a series of partnership efforts with other federal agencies and states to support a cleaner environment, more efficient public investments in communities, and economic revitalization. In 2012 and 2013 as the deputy director of a White House initiative, he oversaw much of the day-to-day work supporting multi-agency, coordinated technical assistance in several metropolitan areas, including Fresno, Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, and Memphis. Since 2014 he has led the office that is not called the Office of Community Revitalization. Prior to joining EPA, Matthew was an assistant professor at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.  He has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from Columbia University, Masters degrees in City Planning and Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William & Mary. He is a career civil servant and part of the Senior Executive Service (SES).


Jamie Davenport

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Team Director, Partnerships
U.S. Department of Agriculture




Rosemarie A. Drake

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Chief, 7(a) Loan Division
U.S. Small Business Administration

Rosemarie Drake is the newly appointed 7(a) Program Division Chief at the U S Small Business Administration in the Office of Capital Access. Her tenure at SBA dates back to 2013 with a short break in service.

Prior to rejoining SBA, she was the Senior Vice President, Senior Business Development Officer at Bank of America Merrill Lynch covering 5 markets in the Southeast.

Rosemarie has over 25 years’ experience in commercial lending, complex credit, and financial analysis, entrepreneurship and serving on advisory boards for nonprofit entities focused on lending to underserved markets.

She is a graduate of Temple University’s school of Business and attended Kentucky State University in the Whitney Young Honors Program. She is a native of Philadelphia, PA and has resided in Atlanta, Georgia since 1996. She is a die-hard “Philadelphia Eagles Fan.”


Mitchell Harrison

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Program Analyst, RLF Coordinator
U.S. Economic Development Administration

Mitchell Harrison serves as the Revolving Loan Fund Coordinator for the Economic Development Administration. In this role, Mitchell focuses on strengthening the $850 million RLF portfolio by working with RLF Administrators across EDA’s regional offices. Before this, he managed projects along the U.S.-Mexico border with EDA’s Austin Regional Office in addition to RLF grants throughout the region. Mitchell joined EDA in Austin as a Presidential Management Fellow upon completing his master’s degree in Regional Planning at Cornell University. 
 
Mitchell served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras with the municipal development program after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College.


James Hoemann

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Director, CDBG Entitlement Division
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development




Daniel Kowalski

Analyzing the Final Opportunity Zones Regulations
Wednesday April 15 10:45 - 12:00 PM

Counselor to the Secretary
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Daniel Kowalski currently serves as a Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury.  In this role, Dan advises the Secretary regarding Treasury’s efforts to drive the Administration’s domestic policy agenda. His particular areas of focus are budget and fiscal policy; health, education and welfare policy; tax policy; and infrastructure policy.  From June through November, 2016, Dan served in several roles in the Trump campaign in New York City with an emphasis on these domestic policy issues. 

Dan has 30 years of experience in fiscal policy at the federal, state, and local levels of government. 

Prior to Treasury, Kowalski was Deputy Staff Director of the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee.  He also served as the Director of Budget Review for the Republican staff of the House Budget Committee.  In those two positions, Dan helped shepherd several balanced budgets and reconciliation bills through the U.S. Congress.  

He started in Washington in 1995 with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as a Principal Analyst in the unit responsible for preparing CBO’s baseline budget projections.

In state government, Dan worked as Director of the Legislative Budget Office for the Missouri General Assembly, and as the senior individual income tax analyst with the Republican staff of the Finance Committee for the New York State Senate.

He started his career as a management analyst for the Deputy Commissioner for Audit in the New York City Department of Finance.
Kowalski earned a Master in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.


Katie Kramer

Impact of Opportunity Zones: Two Years Out
Wednesday April 15 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Vice President
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Katie Kramer is a Vice President at the Council of Development Finance Agencies and has been with CDFA since 2005. She is an accomplished non-profit executive with expertise in fundraising, grant writing, operations, and building organizational capacity. In her role at CDFA, she leads Government & External Affairs, provides technical assistance to communities, and builds strategic partnerships with foundations, federal agencies, and other industry non-profits to grow the professional acumen of CDFA members and the development finance industry at-large.

Ms. Kramer interacts with thousands of development finance practitioners each year, guiding them through their professional development and understanding of the diversity of development finance programs. She has developed numerous courses in the CDFA Training Institute, edited several CDFA publications, and designed marketing and communications collateral for the association. Her writing has been featured in publications and reports on development finance, including those commissioned by The Kresge Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, World Bank, U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. She regularly speaks about development finance at national and local conferences and is a guest lecturer at The Ohio State University.

Previously, Ms. Kramer served as CDFA’s Director of Education & Programs and Development Director. Before joining CDFA, Ms. Kramer worked in the Assessment Division at Ballard & Tighe, Publishers as Project Coordinator where she managed projects involved with the development of standardized language tests. Prior to Ballard & Tighe, Ms. Kramer was employed by Scripps College as Assistant Director of the Annual Fund where she organized fundraising campaigns for alumnae, parents, and students.

She studied art history at Scripps College and holds a BA in English with honors from Cleveland State University. Ms. Kramer is a board member for the Ohio Statewide Development Corporation and serves on the advisory board for St. Agatha School.


Karen Leung

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Senior Policy and Program Officer, NMTC Program
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Karen Leung serves as a Senior Policy and Program Officer for the New Markets Tax Credit Program at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), an office within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this role, Ms. Leung has various responsibilities related to the administration of the NMTC Program including conducting policy analyses and reviewing tax credit applications.

Prior to joining the CDFI Fund, Ms. Leung served as a Neighborhood and Community Investment Specialist for the Choice Neighborhoods program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her work to increase economic opportunities and investments for underserved populations and distressed communities includes launching new community development and affordable housing programs during post-Hurricane Katrina recovery work, providing technical assistance to state and local development agencies as well as improving the effectiveness of community developed financial institutions and nonprofits. Ms. Leung holds a Master of Public Policy degree from University of California, Berkeley, a Certificate in Urban Redevelopment from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts in English Writing from LaSalle University.


David Lloyd

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Director, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

David Lloyd is the Director of the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization in the EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Mr. Lloyd assumed this position in January of 2006. Prior to this, he held a variety of positions in the areas of private and Government legal practice, real estate operations, and development. Mr. Lloyd received his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1988. David is a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in Washington, DC and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


Jorge Morales

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Community Planning and Development Specialist
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Jorge Morales has been a Community Planning and Development Specialist and Loan Origination Officer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program since 2014. Jorge is an experienced Community and Economic Development professional with over 22 years in the CPD, Housing, and Economic Development programs. His extensive background includes the directing of Housing and Economic Development Departments in both large and small cities. He was instrumental in the development of a $40 million dollar convention center project which included $22 million of Section 108 funds and the establishment of a “municipal bank” using Community Development Block Grant funds. Jorge received his undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Additionally, he holds master’s degrees in public administration and in business administration from Webster University, St Louis. He also holds an Economic Development Finance Professional Certification from the National Development Council. Jorge is a former U.S. Air Force officer and a Desert Shield/Storm veteran.


Darnell Moses

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Tuesday April 14 2:15 - 4:00 PM

Vice President
Council of Development Finance Agencies

As Vice President of Development Finance with CDFA, Mr. Moses works within all facets of CDFA. His expertise enhances the work in Research and Technical Assistance, including working on CDFA Publications; Government Affairs including participating in the Federal Financing Webinar; and Programming with a focus on Course Advising all areas; but specifically Tax Credit financing. Mr. Moses will play a role in Operations, Budgeting and Professional Development. Additionally, Mr. Moses will work in certain areas with the Board of Directors of CDFA.

Prior to CDFA, Mr. Moses was the Administrator of Contracts and Compliance for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. In this role, he oversaw the administration of over 350 contracts that expensed in excess of $900 Million. He was also responsible for fiscal and corporate compliance of these contracts.

Mr. Moses spent 15 years with the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, of which 10 years were spent as the Manager of The Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, Allegheny County Industrial Development Authority, Hospital Development Authority, Higher Education Building Authority, Residential Finance Authority and The Authority for Improvements in Municipalities. He managed the day-to-day responsibilities of each of these Authorities while simultaneously overseeing various projects. Projects consisted of the issuance of over $5 billion dollars in Tax-Exempt/Tax Increment Financing; Management of a $50 million dollar loan fund; the creation of a $6 million dollar grant fund; and the creation of a Municipal Consolidation Fund.
Mr. Moses has spoken on the efficiencies of administering multiple Authorities while working with government entities. He provided consulting to development agencies, and more recently, he has spoken frequently on the importance of Non-Profit Management/Governance.

Mr. Moses has a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law.


Alex Mourant

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Underwriter, WIFIA Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

As an underwriter for the WIFIA program, Alex Mourant leads transactions through the WIFIA application process which consists of due diligence, negotiation, and loan agreement execution. To date, he has closed loans for water and wastewater infrastructure projects that are worth more than $185 million combined. He joined the WIFIA program in 2017 after two years in EPA’s Office of International and Tribal Affairs where he worked on multilateral development bank policy. Alex holds a Master of Arts degree with a concentration in International Development Finance from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Chad Parker

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Deputy Administrator, Community Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Chad Parker has worked with USDA Rural Development for 28 years and serves as the Deputy Administrator, Community Programs. He is presently responsible for the Community Facilities Direct Loans, Guaranteed Loans, and Grants; Economic Impact Initiative Grants, Tribal College Grants, and the Rural Community Development Initiative. Chad has previously administered USDA Rural Development’s Telecommunication Programs; Cooperative Programs; Business Programs; and Single Family Housing Programs.

Chad has also worked as pig farmer, bag boy, bell hop, printer’s assistant, welder, assistant mechanic, tree trimmer, and gravel pit water truck driver.

Chad holds a M.B.A. and a B.S. from the Pamplin School of Business at Virginia Tech. Chad has a wife and two sons, both presently students at Virginia Tech.


Michael Pehur

Federal Grant Writing Workshop
Tuesday April 14 2:15 - 4:00 PM

Development Finance Consulting Director
Duane Morris Government Strategies

As the Development Finance Director at DMGS, Michael brings over a decade of experience in economic development financing and project management. Since joining DMGS, Michael has been responsible for providing consulting strategies for real estate, business and municipal clients. He primarily works to identify grants, loans, tax incentives and other public financing programs available for complex development projects.

Previously Project Finance Coordinator at Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED), Michael facilitated project financing and managed the technical components of various funding programs. Michael managed over $55 million of Federal and State contracts. He facilitated project financing for site preparation, public infrastructure, environmental remediation, transit oriented development, commercial redevelopment and general business development assistance within Allegheny County. His work included a wide range of notable projects that have generated vast economic impact to the region, including Dick’s Sporting Goods Headquarters, Clinton Commerce Park, Westport Development and McCandless Crossing. Michael also authored the first ever evaluation of the County’s Tax Increment Financing program.

Michael received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council. As a member of the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), Michael is a frequent speaker on Tax Increment Financing and other development finance programs. He was a contributing author of the CDFA Advanced Tax Increment Financing Reference Guide published in 2009. Michael supports CDFA’s efforts to provide education, resource development and research on development finance as part of the CDFA Pennsylvania Financing Roundtable Advisory Committee and CDFA/EPA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program. Michael was appointed to the CDFA Board of Directors at the 2013 Annual National Development Finance Summit. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Regional Development Funding Corporation, a non-profit SBA lender in Southwestern Pennsylvania.


Robert C. Peterson

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Acting Director, CDBG State and Small Cities Division
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Robert Peterson was recently appointed Acting Director of the State Division of the Office of Block Grant Assistance. His office administers the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. CDBG is the broadest domestic development grant program in the U.S. government portfolio, assisting states and local governments across the entire U.S. on a range of projects such as water/sewer, housing, energy, economic development, health services, public facilities, etcetera. Additionally, his office is currently launching a pilot program for temporary housing for persons in recovery from substance-use disorders, authorized by the Support for Patients and Communities Act. Prior to coming to HUD, Robert Peterson worked in the field of environmental testing and regulation; he volunteered with Peace Corps in Honduras in the area of water and sanitation; and, he received his Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of New Orleans.


Edna Primrose

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Assistant Administrator, Water & Environmental Programs
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Edna Primrose was named Rural Development’s Assistant Administrator for Water and Environmental Programs in April 2018. In this role, Ms. Primrose leads multi-billion dollar direct and guaranteed loan, grant, and loan guarantee programs to benefit water and waste disposal systems in rural communities. These programs contribute to critical national strategies to enhance rural infrastructure in the United States and U.S. territories.

Prior to assuming her new position, Ms. Primrose served as Rural Development’s Chief Operating Officer since 2012. She was responsible for providing executive leadership in administering all administrative management program policies and operational support for the entire Rural Development Mission Area. In addition to managing Rural Development operations, she led the agency’s 2017 disaster relief and recovery efforts.

Ms. Primrose served as the National Director for the Office of Job Corps, managing large-scale programs at the U.S. Department of Labor. She has served in executive leadership roles in both the public and private sectors for over 20 years. Ms. Primrose earned a Bachelor’s degree from Towson University, Towson, MD.


Megan Quinn

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Program Analyst
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Megan Quinn has worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for eleven years and has been with the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Office for seven years. She currently manages the National Revolving Loan Fund Program, the National Multi-Purpose Pilot Program and the Assessment and Cleanup Grant Programs. She is also the Project Officer on the newly awarded Technical Assistance grant to CDFA.  In 2010, Megan was a Brookings Institute Fellow on the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment. She graduated from Indiana University with a B.A. in Political Science and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC.


Linda Reilly

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Chief, 504 Loan Division
U.S. Small Business Administration

Linda Reilly has been the Chief of the 504 Program Branch at SBA since June 2012 and with SBA since 2010. Linda has more than 35 years experience in economic development finance at the federal, state and local levels and has worked with loan programs, grant programs, infrastructure projects, economic impact studies, small business incubators, bond issues, historic revitalization projects, and environmental reviews. She has worked Certified Development Companies, lenders and economic development offices and lenders across the U.S. She represents SBA at interagency meetings with other Federal agencies and national trade associations.


Rachel Reilly

Impact of Opportunity Zones: Two Years Out
Wednesday April 15 9:00 - 10:30 AM

Director of Impact Strategy
Economic Innovation Group

Rachel Reilly serves as EIG's Director of Impact Strategy, leading the organizations work to support communities, policymakers and investors in their efforts to catalyze sustainable economic growth across the country through Opportunity Zones and other forward-thinking initiatives. Previously, Rachel was the Director of Impact Investing at Enterprise Community Partners where she expanded community investment opportunities for people and businesses. Rachel was at the helm of Enterprise’s engagement with Opportunity Zones, and her portfolio of work included leading Enterprise’s $100 million debt offering – the Impact Note – in addition to policy and advocacy activities related to impact investing. She has a Master’s in Real Estate Development from the University of Maryland, and served two terms as an elected representative in Washington, D.C.


Edward Rios

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Senior Investment Analyst
U.S. Department of Energy

Edward Rios hails from Lake City, FL. He attended the University of Florida where he completed his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Industrial & Systems Engineering respectively.

He has seventeen years of professional experience and has held positions in production engineering, manufacturing development, and manufacturing facility energy auditing. He arrived in Washington, DC in March 2004 where he provided technical consulting to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He later was assigned to DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, WV.

In October 2010, Mr. Rios joined the federal staff at DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO). He leads the LPO’s Application Intake Division and conducts financial screening for fossil energy, biofuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency applications while coordinating the applications’ technical reviews with LPO’s Technical Project Management Division.


Toby Rittner

Modernizing the Federal Economic Development Delivery System
Tuesday April 14 4:00 - 5:00 PM

President & CEO
Council of Development Finance Agencies

Toby Rittner is the President & CEO of Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing hundreds of public, private and non-profit development entities. Members are state, county and municipal development finance agencies and authorities that provide or otherwise support economic development financing programs. Mr. Rittner runs the day-to-day operations of the Council including the organization’s various educational, advocacy, research, resources and networking initiatives.

Rittner is one of the most vocal and recognized leaders of the development finance industry nationwide and has advised state and federal government leaders, including President Obama’s Administration Transition Team, on economic development finance policy. Through his leadership and guidance, CDFA was successful in preserving private activity bonds and other critical development finance tools during the 2017 tax reform deliberations.

Rittner focuses on sustainable finance with an emphasis on infrastructure, clean energy food systems, small business and innovations in the development finance industry to drive sustainable outcomes. He has written extensively about impact ready initiatives that leverage and engage capital in ways that drive local sustainability in both the environment and economy.

Rittner is a frequent speaker at local, state and national conferences and events focused on economic development finance. He has been featured in The Bond Buyer, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NPR and other national media publications concerning the advancement of development finance tools. He is the author of CDFA's highly acclaimed Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance and co-author of CDFA's Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency.

Rittner is an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University teaching planning and finance for sustainable economic development. He is also a Development Finance Certified Professional (DFCP) and has completed the prestigious Oxford University Sustainable Finance Foundation Course.

Prior to joining CDFA, Mr. Rittner was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Mr. Rittner has also worked for the Franklin County, Ohio Board of Commissioners and the City of Gahanna, Ohio. Mr. Rittner previously served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board and is a member of the Advisory Board for the National Community Fund I. Mr. Rittner holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master's of City and Regional Planning degree from The Ohio State University. Mr. Rittner was awarded the Ohio State University College of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016.


Mark Sullivan

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Financing Sustainable Infrastructure Today
Wednesday April 15 3:00 - 4:30 PM

Director, Center for Innovative Finance Support
Federal Highway Administration




Carey Whitehead

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Lead Program Counsel, CDBG-DR
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Ms. Whitehead joined the Community Development Division in Office of General Counsel at the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2009. She serves as lead program counsel to the office administering Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery and advises other HUD programs. In 2016, while detailed as Deputy Associate Director for Climate Equity at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, she worked with the interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and other stakeholders to advance whole community disaster planning and the nation’s resilience to flooding, extreme weather, and other climate-related risks. Ms. Whitehead holds a J.D., cum laude, with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resource Law from Lewis and Clark Law School (2009) and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary (2000). She is the Treasurer of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters Board of Directors.


Brett Wiler

Impact of Opportunity Zones: Two Years Out
Wednesday April 15 9:00 - 10:30 AM

VP Capital Formation
Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership




Julie Zavala

Lunch with Federal Agencies
Tuesday April 14 12:30 - 2:00 PM

Senior Policy and Program Officer, NMTC Program
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Julie Zavala serves as a Senior Policy and Program Officer for the New Markets Tax Credit Program at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), an office within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this role, Ms. Zavala supports the CDFI Fund’s mission of increasing economic opportunity and promoting community development investments for underserved populations and distressed communities throughout the United States. Ms. Zavala reviews and provides funding recommendations for tax credit applications from community development entities and conducts policy analysis relevant to program administration.

Prior to joining Treasury, she worked as a Development Officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development and as a Program Examiner for the Office of Management and Budget. She joined the federal government in 2010 as a Presidential Management Fellow, and also previously worked for several private international development organizations. Ms. Zavala has a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Stanford University.



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