Matt Ammon Joins PD&R's Leadership Team
Matt Ammon, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research
After being a partner with PD&R for over 20 years, I now have the honor of being part of its leadership team as General Deputy Assistant Secretary. It’s been a little over four months since I’ve moved from being a “superfan” of PD&R to my new role as the GDAS and I wanted to take this opportunity to say a few words to The Edge community. First, I wanted to thank Assistant Secretary Katherine O’Regan for her support as I’ve taken on this role. I am looking forward to working with her and learning from her immense talents and drive to advance PD&R every day.
Having been part of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) for over 20 years, the decision to leave the lead “family” was hard. I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to develop programs and initiatives that promote and fund housing repairs to address housing-based health and safety hazards that have been shown to contribute to a wide range of illnesses and injuries. To that end, these efforts have been instrumental in creating technical capacity around the country, and have resulted in a decrease of over 70 percent in the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels among children ages 1-6 nationwide. In addition, OLHCHH pioneered the “healthy home” approach to mitigating housing-related health hazards, developing a more efficient and cost-effective way to identify and mitigate multiple health hazards in high-risk housing, rather than follow the traditional approach of addressing individual hazards through categorical programs.
Like PD&R, a core element of the OLHCHH is research and evaluation. OLHCHH’s Technical Studies grants have contributed significantly to the understanding of housing conditions and their connection to residents’ health, identified effective interventions and preventive measures, and demonstrated the health benefits of targeting interventions to reduce or eliminate health hazards in homes. So I have always valued the importance of research and evaluation, and its vital role in learning from and refining our work.
One of the strengths that sets PD&R apart is its ability to “translate” data to provide practitioners and decision-makers at all levels, in and outside of government, with evidence to make informed decisions. It’s a key to ensuring the best outcomes for the individuals and communities we support; we are in a moment of continued emphasis on evidence-based policymaking that makes this a particularly exciting time to join PD&R. It goes without saying that I have always had great respect for PD&R, its staff, and its place within HUD, and I look forward to my continued work with the PD&R team and its partners in the field.