FHFA Announces Three Top Staff Position Changes

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced three personnel updates to its executive staff.

Charles Yi is joining FHFA as its senior advisor for legal affairs and policy. In addition to advising Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson, Yi will provide expertise, guidance and coordination in recommending actions to ensure the agency’s goals and obligations are met.

“Charles is an accomplished and knowledgeable legal professional, and I look forward to working with him to advance FHFA’s important mission,” says Thompson. “His expertise with legal issues related to finance and housing will support the agency’s capacity to ensure the agency’s regulated entities serve as the backbone of a fair, equitable, and sustainable housing finance system.” 

Acting COO Katrina Jones has been named the permanent COO to oversee the agency’s support operations, mentions Thompson.

Lynn Fisher, deputy director for the Division of Research and Statistics (DRS) has decided to pursue new opportunities. Daniel E. Coates, Ph.D., who currently serves as senior advisor to the acting director will assume this role.

“Lynn was instrumental in standing up DRS, and I value her contributions to expanding the agency’s research and analytic capacity,” remarks Thompson. “I look forward to Dan’s continued leadership of the division as it produces high quality data and research in support of FHFA’s objectives. Charles, Dan and Katrina will bring experience and commitment to their work supporting FHFA’s mission.”

For nearly 20 years, Yi has practiced law and provided counsel in the private and public sectors on a range of regulatory, legislative and financial issues. Most recently, he was a partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. From 2015 to 2019, Yi served as general counsel at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He has provided counsel to lawmakers on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the House Committee on Financial Services, most notably for the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Yi was also deputy assistant secretary for banking and finance at the U.S. Treasury Department where he assisted in the implementation of provisions under the Dodd-Frank Act. Before practicing law, he served as an armored cavalry officer in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Bosnia as part of a NATO peacekeeping mission.

Jones has experience managing FHFA’s operations, including building operations, physical and personnel security programs, emergency and disaster readiness, space utilization management, mail operations, logistics and transportation management, contract management, and catering and conference planning. Prior to being named acting COO, she served as associate director for agency operations since 2012. She has also served as a contracting officer with a level three certification where she awarded and administered contracts for real estate broker services, real estate legal services and the lease of more than 340,000 square feet of class A (LEED Gold) office space. She has over 35 years of federal service that includes the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Jones is chair of Building Development for the Delta Housing Corporation of the District of Columbia.

Before becoming a senior advisor in the Office of the Director, Coates served as a senior associate director at FHFA, where he led a team of economists and financial analysts. His team was responsible for targeted credit and market risk examinations to support FHFA’s examinations of the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks). Additionally, Coates led a team of financial analysts who evaluated the financial condition and performance of the FHLBanks. He serves as the chairman of the FHFA Reference Rate Transition Steering Committee, which oversees FHFA’s regulated entities’ transitions away from LIBOR and other reference rates. Coates is also the FHFA representative to the Alternative Reference Rates Committee. He also serves as the executive sponsor of FHFA’s Climate Change and ESG working group. Before joining FHFA, Coates worked as an economist at the U.S. General Accounting Office and the Federal Housing Finance Board.

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