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Introducing Priority Projects and Innovation Division Director, Pam Blumenthal


Keywords: PD&R, Priority Projects and Innovation Division, Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Program

Message From PD&R Senior Leadership
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Introducing Priority Projects and Innovation Division Director, Pam Blumenthal

Pam Blumenthal.Pam Blumenthal, Director of the Priority Projects and Innovation Division in the Office of Policy Development and Research.

Hello! I am the new director of the Priority Projects and Innovation Division in the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). The Priority Projects and Innovation Division, created in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024, unites talented policy staff from diverse backgrounds to design and implement new programs, including the Eviction Protection Grant Program, and contribute to projects such as the Disaster Recovery Data Portal.

I first joined PD&R in 2009, working in the Policy Development Division. After working as a banking regulatory lawyer specializing in housing finance issues in both the private and public sectors, I wanted to focus on housing policy. To assist with the transition, I earned a doctorate in public policy from George Washington University. My work in the Policy Development Division gave me insights into the budget process, how research is integrated into policy and program improvements, and so much more. I brought my legal and policy experience to my next opportunity: spending a year developing improved mortgage lending disclosures at the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In 2014, I joined the Urban Institute as part of a new team, now called the Research to Action Lab, that was created to encourage the integration of research in local action. The importance of designing and communicating research that can guide the development of housing policy and programs continues to inform my work. I returned to PD&R in 2019 to lead HUD's work on the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. Since then, I've continued to work on short-term, high-priority projects that extend throughout HUD and across federal agencies.

One of my current projects is designing and implementing HUD’s Thriving Communities Technical Assistance (TCTA) program. The TCTA program supports local governments in coordinating and integrating transportation and housing as they implement historic infrastructure investments. Several U.S. cities are receiving TCTA as they address displacement concerns arising from the addition of new transit stations, develop a community-informed housing plan for land newly available following the removal of a community-dividing highway, and other situations in which city staff are seeking guidance and models to help them solve local housing challenges that accompany transportation investments.

TCTA is part of a suite of resources available to local governments; through the Thriving Communities Network, we are working with our federal partners to better coordinate our many resources and help communities access the funding and support they need. The Thriving Communities Network helps Cabinet agencies coordinate strategy, collaborate across initiatives, and target deployment of a full range of federal place-based technical assistance and capacity-building resources to urban, rural, and Tribal communities with a history of economic distress and systemic disinvestment. Bringing these additional resources to communities makes my work with TCTA particularly rewarding.

I am excited to be working with the skilled and creative Priority Projects and Innovation Division team as we design programs, improve systems, and find ways to better serve the American people.

Published Date: 16 April 2024

The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.