Four major affordable housing organizations—Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), National Housing Trust (NHT), National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), and MassHousing—are starting the year with new leaders.

Most of the changes come as longtime executives have decided to retire or step down from their posts.

LIIF, one of the largest investors in low-income neighborhoods throughout the U.S., has named Daniel A. Nissenbaum, a longtime LIIF board member and Goldman Sachs executive, as its new president and CEO.

Daniel A. Nissenbaum
Mark McQueen Daniel A. Nissenbaum

He succeeds Nancy O. Andrews who announced last summer that she is stepping down after 20 years of service at LIIF.

For 34 years, LIIF has been a successful and innovative conduit for private capital, financing community development projects like affordable housing, charter schools, and child-care centers in underserved communities throughout the U.S. During that period, it has invested $2.2 billion, which leveraged another $8 billion to fund projects that benefited an estimated 2.1 million people.

“After conducting a national search, we are thrilled that Dan has agreed to lead LIIF to the next level of growth and financial sophistication that we will need to continue our vital role as a bridge between private capital markets and low-income neighborhoods,” said Derek R. B. Douglas, LIIF’s chairman and vice president for civic engagement and external affairs at the University of Chicago. “As a 27-year veteran of the industry and an accomplished investment professional, Dan has the skills and experience to advance LIIF’s mission of creating pathways of opportunity for low-income people and communities.”

Nissenbaum has served twice on LIIF’s board for a total of 10 years, serving as chairman in 2010 and 2011. He is a former chair of the National Housing Conference, a former vice chair of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, and currently serves on the boards of the Primary Care Development Corp. and the Community Restoration Corp., a national nonprofit established to address residential mortgage foreclosures.

Nissenbaum has helped finance LIIF and other organizations from the various positions he has held in the banking industry. As a managing director at Goldman Sachs, he oversees the Community Reinvestment Act compliance for the Urban Investment Group and the capital component of the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” program.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 2009, he was a senior vice president overseeing an affordable housing finance team in HSBC Bank’s real estate division. Before that, he focused on real estate and community development finance at Chemical Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P. Morgan, and Merrill Lynch.

NHT appoints Jayachandran president

Industry veteran Priya Jayachandran has been appointed president of NHT. Effective Feb. 1, she will succeed Michael Bodaken, who has led the Washington, D.C.,-based organization for nearly 25 years.

“I am honored to lead such a talented group of people, many of whom I have worked closely with throughout my career,” said Jayachandran. “I look forward to maintaining the Trust’s impact in the affordable housing world and expanding our work through new strategies and partnerships.”

Jayachandran is currently senior vice president of affordable housing development at Volunteers of America (VOA), where she creates and implements strategy for affordable housing development, acquisition, and recapitalizations as well as manages the development pipeline and budget.

Prior to joining VOA, she was the deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), managing the largest department within HUD and some of the department’s most important programs.

Earlier in her career, Jayachandran spent more than 15 years in community development and real estate banking in New York and Washington, D.C., at both Citi and Bank of America Merrill Lynch

“I want to thank Michael for his invaluable leadership over the past 25 years. Through affordable housing’s peaks and valleys, he continued to push new and innovative ideas that led directly to the preservation of more than 36,000 affordable homes,” said NHT’s founder and board chair Marilyn Melkonian. “Priya combines the talents of public service and the private sector to lead the Trust forward. She brings new perspectives to meet the nation’s affordable housing challenges and, no doubt, will help expand our impact."

Rieman becomes NCSHA interim executive director

Garth B. Rieman will serve as interim executive director of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA).

Garth Rieman
Garth Rieman

Rieman has worked at NCSHA for almost 25 years, most recently as the director of housing advocacy and strategic initiatives. In that role, he helped NCSHA formulate and execute its policies on the housing credit, housing bonds, housing finance reform, federal appropriations, and other affordable housing issues and led NCSHA's advocacy efforts.

Previously, Rieman worked for the U.S. Senate Housing Subcommittee, National Association of Realtors, HUD, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Former executive director Barbara J. Thompson stepped down on Dec. 31 after 30 years with NCSHA, serving the last 16 years in the role of executive director.

MassHousing hires Kornegay

Chrystal Kornegay has been appointed executive director of MassHousing.

An affordable housing veteran, Kornegay has served in the Baker-Polito administration as undersecretary of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) since 2015. She will assume her new post following a brief transition period.

Chrystal Kornegay
Mike Ritter Chrystal Kornegay

She succeeds Tom Lyons, MassHousing’s managing director of government affairs and communications, who has been serving as acting executive director, and Tim Sullivan, who previously stepped down as executive director to pursue a private-sector employment opportunity.

“Chrystal Kornegay is a tremendous leader in the affordable housing arena, and the depth and breadth of her knowledge and experience in nonprofit and governmental settings make her one of the most qualified candidates for executive director in the agency’s history,” said Michael J. Dirrane, board chairman of MassHousing. “Chrystal is a natural leader who possesses a clear sense of purpose and a deep belief in the cause that all our employees have dedicated themselves to—the cause of affordable housing. I am confident in Chrystal’s ability to take MassHousing to the next level and deeply proud that she will become the first woman and the first person of color ever to lead this agency.”

At DHCD, Kornegay has played a leadership role in crafting the Baker-Polito administration’s Housing Choice Initiative, a coordinated effort by the commonwealth to add 135,000 new housing units by the year 2025. She launched an ambitious effort to redevelop state-aided public housing properties into mixed-income communities. And she has spearheaded a multipronged initiative to build economic prosperity, by expanding educational and job training opportunities to residents of public housing and reducing cliff effects for low-income households receiving housing benefits.

Prior to joining the DHCD, she served as president and CEO of the community development corporation Urban Edge.

MassHousing (The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency) is an independent, quasi-public agency created in 1966 and charged with providing financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. The agency raises capital by selling bonds and lends the proceeds to low- and moderate-income homebuyers and homeowners as well as to developers who build or preserve affordable and/or mixed-income rental housing.