President-elect Donald J. Trump’s team announced today his intent to nominate Dr. Ben Carson to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).Dr. Carson ran for the Republican nomination this past election year based on his history as a noted neursuergon and his notable life story. The Library of Congress selected Dr. Carson as one of its "Living Legends" in 2000, and in 2001 CNN and Time magazine named Dr. Carson as one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists. In 2006, he received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, and in 2008 President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ben Carson was the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1984 until his retirement in 2013. Dr. Carson has an outstanding resume as a physician, and he was one of the most enduring candidates for the Republican Party nomination this past election. Still, his career path is a new direction when it comes to a HUD nominee. Most past HUD Secretaries have been lawyers, several have been mayors or heads of other governmental bodies, and several had experience or expertise in housing, community development or urban planning at the time they were nominated. Here are some brief resumes of his predecessors:
Lyndon Johnson, had 2 HUD Secretaries, the first two:
Robert C. Weaver, the first HUD secretary was a former Roosevelt administration official, former vice-chairman of the New York City Housing and Redevelopment Board, and former Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, one of the predecessor constituent agencies that became HUD.
Robert C. Wood, was HUD Under Secretary and served for just a few weeks.
Richard Nixon had 1:
George W. Romney, auto exec, was Governor of Michigan and presidential aspirant.
Gerald Ford had 2:
James T. Lynn, was an attorney, General Counsel and Under Secretary at the Department of Commerce.
Carla A. Hills was an attorney and Assistant Attorney General.
Jimmy Carter had 2:Patricia Harris was a U.S. Attorney, an ambassador, and dean of Howard School of Law. She served as Secretary of HUD until she moved on to become Secretary of Health Education and Welfare (and then Health and Human Services).Maurice (“Moon”) Landrieu was Mayor of New Orleans. He was famous for taking on the KKK in his election campaign and desegregating city government. He authorized the 1972 New Orleans Housing Study and accomplished most of its recommendations, making extensive use of federal tax incentives.Ronald Regan had 1:
Samuel Pierce was a lawyer. He was a partner in a NY law firm, general counsel to the U.S. Treasury, and he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. George H.W. Bush had 1:Jack Kemp was a Congressman from upstate NY and a former professional football player. He was an active candidate for president before becoming a member of the President’s cabinet.Bill Clinton had 2:Henry Cisneros was mayor of San Antonio for 8 years, and then served as deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He managed an investment firm for the 3 years prior to being appointed to HUD. He has several post-graduate degrees, including a Masters in urban and regional planning and a PhD in public administration.Andrew Cuomo was chair of HELP (Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged) in NYC, and then chair of the NYC Homeless Commission. He was Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development for 4 years when he replaced Henry Cisneros. George W. Bush had 3:Mel Martinez is a lawyer. He was mayor of Orange County, FL.Alphonso Jackson was executive director of the St. Louis Housing Authority, director of the U.S. Department of Public and Assisted Housing for Washington, D.C., and president of the Housing Authority of the City of Dallas. Steve Preston was a senior executive in financial companies. He was the administrator of the Small Business Administration at the time of his appointment, where he was praised for improving the SBA. Barack Obama had 2 HUD Secretaries: Shaun Donovan was the commissioner of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development. He has Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture. He was also the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily housing at HUD and acting FHA commissioner.Julian Castro is a lawyer. He was mayor of San Antonio.
There were also four acting Secretaries over the years, all were prior HUD officials: J. Michael Dorsey, William C. Apgar, Roy A. Bernardi, Brian D. Montgomery