Former Obama HUD Secretary Donovan Announces Mayoral Run

Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. Photo from his Campaign website

Shaun Donovan, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and White House Budget Director for President Obama officially announced last week his for mayor joining an already crowded field.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Donovan served as commissioner of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) under the Bloomberg Administration. At HPD, he created the largest affordable housing plan in the nation and one of the earliest and most successful responses to the foreclosure crisis, The Center for New York City Neighborhoods. 

He also served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD and as acting Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner. 

“I am running for Mayor of New York City to repair the civic fabric of the city, pull New Yorkers together to rebuild from the damage brought by COVID-19, and reimagine an innovative city that truly works for everyone,” said Donovan. 

During his launch, Donovan discussed his unique combination of Obama Administration experience and work as a New York City housing advocate, organizer and public servant as he addressed the current COVID crisis, ongoing, systemic issues in public education, transportation, homelessness, the housing crisis, and the budget deficit. 

Donovan also vowed to appoint a Chief Equity Officer to help reform policing and the broken criminal justice system. In addition, Donovan will fight to create “15 minute neighborhoods” that will provide every New Yorker access to a great public school, fresh food, rapid transportation, and a public park.

The announcement featured an invocation from Reverend Johnny Ray Youngblood, a senior pastor at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn. Donovan and Rev. Youngblood have worked together for nearly three decades to help create affordable homes for working-class families.

“Shaun helped the Brownsville, East New York and South Bronx communities build Nehemiah, one of the most successful housing efforts in the nation that created more than 5,000 affordable homes,” said Reverend Youngblood. “His creativity made him a national pioneer in building and preserving wealth for people of color, which is why I am confident that he will lead this great city into a recovery that will make us stronger than ever.”

As HUD Secretary, Donovan helped families across the country rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities, fought discrimination and dramatically reduced homelessness. President Obama asked him to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit. 

At the White House as Budget Director, Donovan increased investment in key national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country and increased opportunity. He also oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education and fought climate change. 

“I am a public servant committed to building a diverse coalition of small business owners, local residents, faith leaders and community advocates to bring innovative ideas that will revitalize and create a more equitable New York City,” said Donovan.

For more information about Shaun Donovan visit