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Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary, Public and Indian Housing Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary, Public and Indian Housing

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Housing and Urban Development Department

Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary, Public and Indian Housing

Someone once told Henriquez that managing public housing or affordable housing was "doing the Lord's work." Throughout her long career, she has drawn strength from her conviction that safe and decent housing is the foundation upon which people build their lives. "As I've learned more and more in my career, housing is an economic driver," she said. Henriquez, 63, has held her position at HUD since 2009. She has overseen programs ranging from the distribution of stimulus funds to the launch of a demonstration project aimed at leveraging private capital to preserve public housing. In Obama's second term, her department will continue to focus on improving housing stock, reducing homelessness, and streamlining programs. Henriquez came to HUD after 13 years as the administrator and chief executive officer of the Boston Housing Authority. She has also led the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities. A native of Spencerport, N.Y., Henriquez has spent most of her life in Boston. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an obstetrician; as an undergraduate at Boston University, she considered teaching. While pursuing an M.A. in teaching at Harvard, she started working part time for a relocation consultant. Soon, she was working full time at a property-management firm. The M.A. fell by the wayside, and Henriquez never looked back.

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