On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs met to conduct a hearing on the nominations of Sandra L. Thompson as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Lael Brainard as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
“If confirmed, it would be an honor for me to serve as the FHFA Director, and I will continue to be fair, balanced, and transparent,” said Thompson in her testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.
In mid-December, President Joseph R. Biden nominated Thompson, who has been serving as Acting Director of the FHFA since June 2021, to the serve as the Director of the Agency.
“As a longtime public servant at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Sandra Thompson is immensely qualified to lead the agency and continue its critical work,” said U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “I applaud President Biden’s nomination of Acting Director Thompson and it is my hope that the Senate will move quickly to confirm her.”
Before being named FHFA Acting Director, Thompson served as Deputy Director of the FHFA’s Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG), overseeing the Agency’s housing and regulatory policy, capital policy, financial analysis, fair lending, and all mission activities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.
“My nomination for Director of the FHFA is a great privilege,” said Thompson in her testimony. “I recognize that it is rare for a career public servant to have the opportunity to lead a federal agency, and, as the first African-American woman nominated for this position, I appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate my expertise, good judgement, and leadership in this position.”
Prior to joining the FHFA, Thompson worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for more than 23 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as Director, Division of Risk Management Supervision. During her time at the FDIC, Thompson led the examination and enforcement program for risk management and consumer protection at the height of the financial crisis. She also led the FDIC’s outreach initiatives in response to a crisis of consumer confidence in the banking system.
“I am proud of the work we have done at FHFA in my eight years there,” noted Thompson in her testimony. “The Agency plays a vital role in both promoting access to mortgage credit nationwide and protecting the safety and soundness of the housing finance system through our supervision of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Bank System.”
In her time as Acting Director, Ms. Thompson has taken meaningful steps to put renters, homeowners, and families first.
In his opening statement at today’s hearing, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, voiced his approval for Thompson, noting that, over the past six months, she has:
- Directed the GSEs to strengthen their plans to preserve affordable housing and support manufactured housing and housing in rural areas;
- Expanded opportunities for middle class and low-income homeowners to save money on their mortgages through refinancing; and
- Increased the focus on fair housing at the GSEs.
“I can think of no other nominee as qualified to work to make homes more available and affordable for families throughout the country while strengthening the financial standing of the GSEs,” said Sen. Brown. “More than two dozen consumer advocates, civil rights organizations, and housing advocates have all written to this Committee supporting her.”