Christopher E. Herbert will step into the top post at the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, beginning Jan. 1.

C. Herbert
C. Herbert

He becomes managing director after serving as the center’s director of research since 2010. In that role, Herbert lead the team responsible for producing the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report, a popular resource that examines housing market conditions and demographic trends.

His own research focuses on the economic and demographic dimensions of homeownership, access to credit, and the persistent challenges to affordability and access in the wake of the recession, housing bust, and foreclosure crisis.

“Chris Herbert has extensive knowledge and research expertise at the critical intersection of housing markets, housing affordability, and public policy,” said David T. Ellwood, dean of Harvard Kennedy School, in a statement. “His leadership on these issues will continue to keep the Joint Center at the forefront of housing policy research and discussion in this country so that it can maximize its positive impact in the world.”

Herbert’s appointment includes an academic role at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he will teach a course in the Department of Urban Planning and Design in the spring. He will also oversee the center’s fellowship programs, as well as an array of public programs and events.

Eric Belsky, who recently served as the center's managing director, left earlier this year to join the Federal Reserve.

Herbert previously worked at the center in the 1990s and then rejoined the organization in 2010 from Abt Associates, where he was a senior associate in the housing and community development practice. He is co-editor of Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Community Development Research Advisory Council, and the Center for Responsible Lending Research Advisory Council.  He holds a doctorate and master’s in public policy from Harvard University, and received his undergraduate degree in history from Dartmouth College.