NAR's 2023 Policy Forum was held on March 16 from 11:00am to 3:30pm ET at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20036

Check out below the speakers' lineup for the Policy Forum.

Review our agenda for the event.


Keynote Speaker

Sandra L. Thompson

Sandra Thompson

Director Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

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Sandra L. Thompson was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden to serve as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on December 17, 2021, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 25, 2022, and sworn in on June 22, 2022.

On June 23, 2021, the White House appointed Thompson as the Acting Director of FHFA. Before being named FHFA Acting Director, Thompson served as Deputy Director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG). Since March 2013, as the DHMG Deputy Director, Thompson oversaw FHFA’s housing and regulatory policy, capital policy, financial analysis, fair lending, and all mission activities for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

Prior to joining FHFA, Thompson worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), for more than 23 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as Director, Division of Risk Management Supervision. During her time at the FDIC, Thompson led the Agency’s examination and enforcement program for risk management and consumer protection at the height of the financial crisis. She also led the FDIC’s outreach initiatives in response to a crisis of consumer confidence in the banking system. Her experience ranges from supervision to consumer protection, risk management and consumer outreach activities.

Thompson is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C.


U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV)

Catherine Cortez Masto

U.S. Senator, Nevada

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Catherine Cortez Masto is the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Cortez Masto has spent her career protecting Nevada families. From 2007 to 2015, as Nevada’s Attorney General, Cortez Masto fought to protect seniors and combat drug crime, strengthened laws to end sex trafficking and violence against women, and took on the Big Banks in the wake of the financial crisis.

In the Senate, Cortez Masto has taken her fight for working Nevadans to Washington, D.C., by working to expand middle class housing in Nevada, protect Nevadans’ access to health care, hold banks accountable when they harm hardworking families and homeowners, defend Dreamers so they can continue to live in the only country they’ve ever called home, and grow Nevada’s innovation and renewable energy economy while also prioritizing workers and union families. She is a member of four U.S. Senate Committees: the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and the Committee on Indian Affairs. Cortez Masto currently serves as the Chair of the Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Cortez Masto earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986, and a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1990. She resides in Las Vegas with her husband Paul. 

Scott P. Brown

Scott P. Brown

Former US Senator and Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa

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Known as a builder of political bridges with deep expertise in both the public and private sector, Ambassador Scott Brown speaks from more than 30 years of experience as a diplomat, senator, military officer, trade negotiator and bestselling author. As the former Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa, he is considered an expert on all issues in the Indo-Pacific, including the U.S. relationship with China. In that region and beyond, Ambassador Brown brings high-level insights into the impact of geopolitics on trade and the business climate. He also shares an inspirational personal story of rising out of abuse and troubled beginnings to achieve success against all odds.

Completing his full four-year term as Ambassador, Brown returned to his native Massachusetts to briefly serve as the President, CEO and Dean of New England Law/Boston. Prior to his ambassadorship, he was the United States Senator of Massachusetts, elected as a Republican in a 2010 special election to fill the term of the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. During his time in the Senate, Ambassador Brown was considered its most bipartisan member, drawing upon many years of experience as a Republican in Democrat-majority Massachusetts politics. As Senator, Brown was the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. He also served as a member of the Veteran’s Committee and the Committee on Small Business. In 2011, he reached the top of the New York Times Best Sellers List with his powerful memoir, Against All Odds: My Life of Hardship, Fast Breaks and Second Chances.

In June 2017, Brown earned overwhelming bipartisan support and was confirmed by a 94-4 vote as the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa. During his term, Ambassador Brown focused on combatting terrorism, China’s expansionism in the Indo-Pacific region, enhancing trade opportunities, strengthening the United States’ “Five Eyes” relationship in New Zealand, expanding cooperation in the Antarctic,  and spearheading human, drug, and child trafficking prevention efforts. He also led the United States Embassy through the Christchurch Mosque attack, the White Island volcano eruption, and the repatriation of American citizens during the COVID-19.

Ambassador Brown’s career in public service began as an Assessor and Selectman for the Town of Wrentham, Massachusetts. He served as Massachusetts State Representative for the 9th Norfolk District for seven years and as State Senator for the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex District for five. For nearly four decades, Brown served in the enlisted and officer ranks of the Massachusetts and Maryland National Guard. He retired as a Colonel after three years as the Deputy to the Chief Counsel, to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon.

Ambassador Brown’s private sector experience includes working for the Boston law firm Nixon Peabody, LLP, focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions and Governmental Relations. He also served on numerous boards to include the Board of Directors and as an advisor to 1st Alliance Lending, LLP, an organization aimed at helping low-income citizens keep their homes. He is also remembered for his work as a paid contributor and occasional host on FOX and appearances on FOX National News and Fox Business. Brown has served on the Advisory Board for the J. Ron Terwilliger Foundation and is also on the Board of Advisors for the Bipartisan Housing Policy Center, in DC.  Brown is also the Chair of the Competitiveness Coalition, a group supporting innovation in the high-tech industry and sits on other Boards and organizations.

Scott has extensive experience mentoring young athletes and has coached youth sports for many years.  He was the Captain at Wakefield High School and Middlesex League MVP in 1977.  He went on to be Captain and a four-year starter at Tufts University.  He is the head coach for the Amesbury, MA Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team.

An active member on the Speaker’s circuit, Brown is a highly engaging speaker known for connecting with audiences through his eclectic life stories.  Ambassador Brown is also an All-American Triathlete, accomplished musician (he played guitar with Hall of Fame Inductees Cheap Trick 7 times) and has his own rock band – Scott Brown and the Diplomats.  Brown is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School. He is married to Gail Huff Brown, and they have 2 children, and two grandchildren.  Ayla Brown, morning co-host Country 102.5 in Boston and Dr. Arianna Brown Hendry, head veterinarian at Lafayette Animal Hospital in Portsmouth, NH.

Mark A. Calabria

Mark A. Calabria

Senior Advisor to the Cato Institute
Former Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)

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Dr. Mark A. Calabria is a Senior Advisor to the Cato Institute and author of Shelter from the Storm: How A COVID Mortgage Meltdown Was Averted. He previously served as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates and supervises Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks. Prior to his heading FHFA, Calabria served as Chief Economist to Vice President Mike Pence. He also served as a senior aide to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regulatory Affairs, in the Office of Housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has held positions with Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, the National Association of Realtors, and the National Association of Home Builders. He holds a doctorate in economics from George Mason University. He is an avid scuba diver, and an enthusiast for rescue cats and live music. He can be followed on Twitter @MarkCalabria.

Genger Charles

Genger Charles

Managing Director, Head of External Affairs and Impact Strategies, Amherst

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Genger Charles is Managing Director, Head of External Affairs and Impact Strategies at Amherst. In this role, Genger spearheads Amherst’s engagement with government entities and other housing stakeholders to identify scalable housing solutions, with a focus on the creation and preservation of affordable and workforce housing. Additionally, Genger leads efforts to implement social impact and sustainability principles across the Amherst portfolio, including developing data management techniques and oversight of Amherst’s Client Assessment Resource Empowerment Support (CARES) team, which empowers and educates residents to achieve greater housing stability through resource sharing, advocacy and social-emotional support.

Prior to joining Amherst, Genger served in a number of roles at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including as General Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing and Deputy Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), overseeing operations and policy for FHA’s single family, multifamily and healthcare mortgage insurance programs as well as subsidized rental housing programs and the housing counseling grant programs. She also previously served as a Director of Banking and Capital Markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she provided clients subject matter expertise in Third Party Risk Management and led practice development efforts for affordable and rental housing.

Genger holds a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University, a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School (admitted in New York). She also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and Civic Builders, a non-profit developer of charter schools. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Kenneth Chilton

Kenneth Chilton

Associate Professor of Public Administration & Policy
Tennessee State University, Nashville

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Dr. Chilton is an Associate Professor of Public Administration & Policy at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. His primary research interest is institutional investors—primarily Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and Private Equity (PE)—and their impacts on home ownership. He and a colleague (Dr. Rafael Harun) are currently working on a grant from the Payne Center for Social Justice & CBRE that explores home ownership rates for African Americans in neighborhoods with high concentrations of REIT/PE owned properties. Dr. Chilton has given numerous talks about Wall Street landlords, their business model, and the implications for intergenerational wealth creation.

Kevin Hassett

Kevin Hassett

Chairman, President's Council of Economic Advisers (2017-19)

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Kevin Hassett served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019.

Prior to becoming Chairman of the CEA, he was an economist at the American Enterprise Institute since 1997. His most recent titles at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) included James Q. Wilson Chair in American Culture and Politics and Director of Research for Domestic Policy. He also served as Director of Economic Policy Studies and Resident Scholar from 2003 through 2014, and currently serves on One River Digital Asset Management's Academic and Regulatory Advisory Council.

Prior to joining AEI, Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business of Columbia University. He has also served as a visiting professor at New York University’s Law School, as a consultant to the U.S. Treasury Department, and as an advisor to presidential campaigns. A noted expert in the field of public finance, Hassett has authored peer-reviewed articles in leading economics journals and has served as a columnist in leading media outlets. He received his bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and his PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Donna Leinwand Leger

Donna Leinwand Leger

President and Founder of DC Media Strategies LLC

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Donna Leinwand Leger is the president and founder of DC Media Strategies LLC and a senior advisor to Stanton Communications.

She previously served as managing editor of USA TODAY, the nation’s largest circulation daily newspaper and a top distributor of digital news. Leinwand Leger previously served as managing editor for breaking news.

Before becoming an editor, she worked as a reporter covering breaking news, national and international crime, terrorism and disasters. Her reporting assignments have taken her to Europe in the path of the 9/11 terrorists, Jerusalem in the wake of suicide bombings, Iraq to cover the war, Indonesia and Thailand after the tsunami, and Haiti after the massive earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince. She has covered more than 20 hurricanes. Leinwand Leger is a past president of the National Press Club and has previously served as chairman of the Board of Governors. She is vice chair of the National Press Foundation and a proud graduate of its Paul Miller Fellowship. She also serves on the Board of Advisers for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism.  She has completed Journalist Law School at Loyola University Los Angeles, the Senior Journalist Seminar at the East West Center at the University of Hawaii and the Casey Fellowship at University of Maryland. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Callum Williams

Callum Williams

Senior Economics Writer, The Economist

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Callum Williams is Senior Economics Writer at The Economist, an author and a speaker on economics, politics and global trends.

As Senior Economics Writer at The Economist, he covers global economic trends including the labour market, political economy and housing. In April 2021, Callum authored a highly popular “special report” on the future of work, which focused on the future of working from home and corporate strategy, the prospects for automation and robotics, and the chances of an economic bounce-back post covid, and beyond. He is also the author of a special report on global housing markets.

He has written or co-written a number of The Economist’s most popular pieces, from “the 90% economy” (about the long-term economic impacts of lockdowns) to “will inflation return?” and the future of working from home. He is also the author of ‘The Classical School: The Birth of Economics in 20 Enlightened Lives’ (2020), which explores the history of economic thought.

Callum’s economic insights are highly sought after and he has been interviewed by the BBC World Service, Sky News and Al Jazeera, among others.

Callum has studied at Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard, where he was supervised by Amartya Sen.

Noerema Limon

Noerena Limon

Mariposa Strategies LLC

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Noerena Limon leads Mariposa Strategies LLC, which is an advisory firm focused on housing supply, homeownership, and bridging the racial and ethnic wealth gap.  Noerena is also a Housing Fellow at the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Most recently, Noerena served as Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Industry Relations at the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), where she founded the organization’s first policy department and its corresponding National Advocacy Committee--NAHREP’s grassroots network. At NAHREP, Noerena led the organization’s research efforts, authoring the annual publications of both the State of Hispanic Homeownership Report and the State of Hispanic Wealth Report. Additionally, Noerena led the Hispanic Wealth Project, an initiative that sought to triple median household wealth for Latinos through homeownership, entrepreneurship, and the diversification of assets.

Prior to joining NAHREP, Noerena spent six years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, both in the Office of the Director and the Office of Mortgage Markets. Prior to that, she worked in the Office of Political Affairs at the White House, served as Deputy Communications Director for Spanish Language Media for the Obama-Biden 2008 Presidential Campaign, and as a Legislative Fellow for the Office of former U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra. Noerena received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Currently, Noerena serves as a board member for the MAAC Project, a San Diego-based non-profit focused on poverty alleviation, as an Executive Committee Board Member for Up For Growth, and as a board member for California YIMBY's Education Fund.

Pete Kopf

Pete Kopf

2023 Vice President of Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS®

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Pete Kopf (AHWD, C2EX), a REALTOR® from Cincinnati, Ohio, is the 2023 Vice President of Advocacy for the National Association of REALTORS®.

A graduate of Miami University and licensed since 1996, Pete is a third-generation practitioner and the principal broker and owner of Kopf Hunter Haas REALTORS® in Cincinnati.

At the national level, Pete served as the 2018 RPAC Participation Council Chair, the 2019 NAR Member Services Liaison, the 2020 REALTOR® Party Director and the 2022 NAR Region 6 (Michigan & Ohio) Regional Vice President.

Pete served as the 2011 President of the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® and was the 2017 President of Ohio REALTORS®.

Advocacy and philanthropy are core beliefs that drive Pete through life. One of Pete’s greatest accomplishments has been creating a nonprofit, the Cincinnati Golfers for Charity, with four high school friends. CGC is responsible for raising and donating close to $1,500,000 for local Greater Cincinnati children’s charities.

Pete also has active roles with the Arthritis Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and REALTORS® with Heart.

A lifelong Cincinnatian, Pete and his wife Heather, also a REALTOR®, are proud parents of Georgia, Gus, and Lilee.

Mark McArdle

Mark McArdle

Assistant Director, Mortgage Markets
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

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Mark McArdle is the Assistant Director, Mortgage Markets at the Bureau. In this role he leads a team that works closely with industry and other stakeholders to help inform the Bureau and the public on current and future trends in the mortgage origination and servicing markets.

Before CFPB, McArdle was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this role, he led the office that managed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), including its remaining investment and homeownership preservation programs, and advised the Department on access to credit issues. He also held previous roles at Treasury including Chief Homeownership Preservation Officer and Director of the Hardest Hit Fund. McArdle has played a key role in policy development for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), and oversaw the creation of the Hardest Hit Fund, which provided funding to state housing finance agencies (HFAs) for foreclosure prevention efforts.

McArdle has a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin, and has spent twenty years working on issues related to housing, mortgage lending, and homeownership in nonprofits and government in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.  

Nate Shultz

Nate Shultz

Chief of Staff, Office of Housing and the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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Nathan A. (Nate) Shultz serves as Chief of Staff for the Office of Housing – Federal Housing Administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In this capacity, he provides leadership and strategic direction for all Office of Housing programs. This includes directing policy and programmatic activities for the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Single Family, Multifamily and Healthcare mortgage insurance programs, which insure approximately $1.3 trillion in mortgages serving more than 7.6 million homeowners, some 890,000 renters, and approximately 4,000 healthcare facilities across the U.S. and its territories.

Mr. Shultz also oversees other Office of Housing programs, including HUD’s multifamily assisted housing portfolio which serves more than 1.2 million low-income residents, HUD’s housing counseling program that provides funding and oversight for more than 1,500 housing counseling agencies and 4,000 HUD-certified housing counselors throughout the country, and a manufactured housing program which sets standards and provides oversight for the construction and installation of homes that house more than 20 million households.

This is Mr. Shultz’s second leadership role at HUD, having previously served during the tenure of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Prior to rejoining HUD, Mr. Shultz most recently led Fannie Mae’s single family Affordable Housing Preservation work under the Duty to Serve initiative. He has also held leadership roles at mortgage lender and servicer TMS and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Bryan Greene headshot

Bryan Greene

Vice President, Policy Advocacy
National Association of REALTORS®

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Bryan Greene is Vice President of Policy Advocacy at the National Association of REALTORS® where he oversees all legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of the association's 1.4 million members. Bryan joined NAR in November 2019, and spent his first year at NAR raising the association's profile in Washington and nationwide on all fair-housing-related policy matters as NAR's first Director of Fair Housing Policy.

Before joining NAR, Bryan served for ten years as the highest-ranking career official in HUD's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), where he oversaw the policy direction and operational management of the 600-person office enforcing the nation's housing anti-discrimination laws. Under Bryan's leadership as FHEO General Deputy Assistant Secretary, HUD pursued large-scale, high-profile cases that addressed systemic discrimination and provided widespread relief. Bryan also managed HUD's Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and HUD's Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which together provide over $70 million to state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations fighting discrimination in local communities.

Bryan has held other senior positions at HUD during his three decades at the agency, including a stint as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs in HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), where he worked to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing.

Bryan was the 2007 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award, the highest federal honor bestowed upon federal senior executives for outstanding service.

Bryan earned his degree in Government from Harvard University.

Shannon McGahn

Shannon McGahn

Chief Advocacy Officer
National Association of REALTORS®

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Shannon McGahn is the Chief Advocacy Officer for the National Association of REALTORS®, which represents more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

McGahn is responsible for managing NAR’s Federal Legislative and Political Affairs and Political Representative teams. She provides strategic advice on public policy issues impacting NAR and helps direct its Independent Expenditure and Public Advocacy programs.

Before joining America’s largest trade association, McGahn served as the staff director for the House Financial Services Committee and, prior to that, as a counselor to the United States Treasury Secretary. She also held communications roles for three members of House Leadership during her near 20-year Capitol Hill career.

In addition, McGahn served as Vice President for a D.C.-based public affairs firm, and held the same position for a consulting firm focused on grassroots communication in major national media markets.

The first woman to hold the Chief Advocacy and formerly Senior Vice President of Government Affairs positions in NAR’s 110-year history, McGahn brings with her nearly two decades of experience working with or for the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. As she continues her career at NAR, she is focused on working on behalf of America’s 1.5 million REALTORS® to promote and protect property ownership for people across the United States.

McGahn earned her B.A. in History from The George Washington University. A native of Westerville, Ohio, she currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and two sons.