White House Names Sandra L. Thompson Acting FHFA Director

(Sandra Thompson testifies before Senate Banking Committee in 2011. Image courtesy C-SPAN.)

The White House last week appointed Sandra L. Thompson as Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency effective immediately.

Sandra Thompson

Thompson’s appointment comes following a June 23 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Collins v. Yellen in which the Court held that the FHFA Director is removable at will by the President before the expiration of his/her statutory five-year term, contrary to language in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act.

Within hours of the ruling, the Biden Administration removed Mark Calabria as FHFA Director and announced Thompson’s appointment.

“I am honored that President Biden has designated me to be Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency until a permanent Director is confirmed,” Thompson said. “I look forward to serving in this role at this crucial time.”

Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB, issued a statement on Thursday in support of Thompson’s appointment.

“MBA congratulates Sandra Thompson on her appointment as the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” Broeksmit said. “Her experience, expertise, and deep knowledge of housing finance will serve her well in this role. We fully agree with the Acting Director’s stated goals of operating the regulated entities in a safe and sound manner while supporting their missions to increase the availability of affordable housing and extend access to credit.”

“MBA has worked with the Acting Director extensively in the past and looks forward to continuing this relationship as she addresses a variety of housing finance issues, including the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Broeksmit added. “This will include protecting taxpayers, serving the GSEs’ affordable housing mission, and ensuring a stable secondary mortgage market for a wide variety of single-family and multifamily lenders, regardless of size or business model.” 

Since 2013, Thompson has served as Deputy Director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals. As Deputy Director, she 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, she worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for more than 23 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as Director of Division of Risk Management Supervision.

“As a longtime regulator, I am committed to making sure our nation’s housing finance systems and our regulated entities operate in a safe and sound manner,” Thompson said. “We can accomplish this, and at the same time have a laser focus on mission and community investment. There is a widespread lack of affordable housing and access to credit, especially in communities of color. It is FHFA’s duty through our regulated entities to ensure that all Americans have equal access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.”