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2018 Legislative Conference Speakers





NALHFA Legislative Conference
Make Your Voice Heard!

October 2-4 | Washington D.C. | DCHFA

Hosted by District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency



Charlie E. Cook

Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal


Charlie Cook is the Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report, and a political analyst for the National Journal Group. 


In 1984, Charlie founded the independent, non-partisan Cook Political Report. Now, with a staff of six, it is a publication that the New York Times once said was “a newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative” while CBS News’ Bob Schieffer called it “the bible of the political community."


Al Hunt in the Wall Street Journal has referred to Cook as “the Picasso of election analysis.” The late David Broder of The Washington Post, long considered ‘the Dean’ of the Washington press corps, once wrote that Charlie Cook is “perhaps the best non-partisan tracker of Congressional races.”


Charlie has appeared frequently on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, and ABC’s This Week. Since the 1990s he has appeared over a dozen times on NBC’s Meet the Press. Over the years Charlie has served as an Election Night analyst for CBS, CNN and NBC and, since 1996, on NBC News Election Night Decision Desk in New York.


In 2010, Charlie was the co-recipient of the American Political Science Association’s prestigious Carey McWilliams Award to honor “a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics.” In 2013, Charlie served as a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.




Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14)

United States House of Representatives


NALHFA’s Washington Briefing Breakfast will feature keynote remarks from longtime affordable housing advocate Representative Kathy Castor (FL-14). Rep. Castor is the voice for the Tampa Bay area in the U.S. Congress and is currently serving her sixth term. Rep. Castor served as a Democrat representative on the tax conference committee last fall and fought to protect important affordable housing resources such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the tax exemption on private activity bonds in the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Attendees will receive insight from Rep. Castor on what it takes to effectively communicate the message of the affordable housing industry on Capitol Hill and will learn about the current atmosphere in Congress and the White House regarding affordable housing policy.  


Neal Rackleff

Assistant Secretary, Office of Community Planning & Development

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Neal Rackleff currently serves as Assistant Secretary of the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In that capacity, Assistant Secretary Rackleff is responsible for the administration of nearly $40.9 billion in HUD federal funding appropriated to help communities across America recover from disasters, alleviate homelessness, revitalize communities and develop high quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.  


Approximately $35.4 billion of CPD’s funds are appropriated to help rebuild areas devastated by the 2017 hurricanes impacting Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The remaining funds support the Community Development Block Grant program, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Solutions Grants, Technical Assistance and Capacity Building, and Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS), which address homelessness, community revitalization and affordable housing initiatives. 


To further advance his personal mission to assist America’s most vulnerable individuals and families, Mr. Rackleff chairs the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), an independent federal agency within the U.S. executive branch that works to prevent and end homelessness. He is also an Advisory Board member of the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which promotes economic revitalization and community development in low-income communities.

Mr. Rackleff has spent over 20 years working at the intersection of the public and private sectors, focusing on community revitalization and providing high-quality affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. Prior to joining HUD, he was a Partner at Locke Lord L.L.P., a nationally recognized law firm, where he focused his practice on community and economic development, affordable housing, inner-city revitalization, and public/private partnerships.


Previously, Mr. Rackleff served as Director for the City of Houston's Housing and Community Development Department, where he oversaw the production of approximately 10,000 high-quality affordable multifamily homes and assisted 1,700 single-family homeowners with reconstruction of hurricane-damaged homes. During his tenure, chronic homelessness declined in Houston over 70% and the City of Houston became the first major city to effectively end veterans’ homelessness.  


Mr. Rackleff graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University and received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California.  He currently resides in Arlington, VA with his wife, Christa, and has four children.



Ammar Askari

Director of Community Affairs Outreach
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency


Ammar Askari joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2010 and became the director of Community Affairs Outreach in 2017. In this role, he oversees the work of a team of community affairs officers located around the country. The officers support OCC supervision on matters related to community development and the Community Reinvestment Act. The officers also conduct bank consultations, training, and organize outreach events with bankers and community groups.


From 2010-2016, Askari was a community development expert, where he conducted research and developed publications on community development topics, such as financial innovation, the underbanked, Native American banking, and small business investment companies.


Prior to joining the OCC, Askari spent nine years in banking in various roles, ending with vice president of retail banking administration. He was a member of the bank’s community development team and was instrumental in formulating and executing the bank’s underbanked market strategy. Before joining the banking industry, Askari was a faculty member in the economics department and a director of the Center for Economic Education at Indiana University-Purdue University in Columbus, Indiana.


Askari earned a Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University, two master’s degrees in economics, and a bachelor’s degree in business.


Patricia Burke

Acting Director, Office of Multifamily Production 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Patricia Burke has 30-years’ experience in real estate finance in lending, acquisition, and asset-management. Positions she has held over her career include:

  • President of Nationwide Capital, a subsidiary of HomeFed Bank of San Diego, where she managed four offices in originating, underwriting, and closing construction and permanent loans and created a $2.5 billion portfolio.
  • Director at Freddie Mac Multifamily, where she was responsible for affordable housing and conventional lending policy and new program development for Freddie Mac’s book of business which averaged $30 billion annually.
  • Senior Development Director at the US Department of HUD, where she developed the policy standards and regulations for the Mark-to-Market Program; and where she negotiated participating loans for public-private partnerships under the Urban Development Action Grant Program.

Ms. Burke has a B.A. from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.


Emily Cadik

Executive Director

Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition


Emily Cadik is the Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition (AHTCC), a trade organization of housing professionals who advocate for affordable rental housing financed using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). Prior to joining the AHTCC, she was a Senior Director of Public Policy at Enterprise Community Partners, where she led policy and advocacy related to the Housing Credit and other affordable housing and community development issues, and served on the board of the AHTCC.


While at Enterprise she helped to lead the A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign, the nationwide coalition of more than 2,000 organizations and businesses advocating on behalf of the Housing Credit, and remains active in this nationwide advocacy effort. In 2017 she received the NHP Foundation’s inaugural Advocacy Award, and in 2016 was named one of Affordable Housing Finance's Young Leaders. Before joining Enterprise she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she served as a program coordinator for the Moving to Work demonstration and in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.


She earned a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin.


Adam Carasso

Senior Tax and Economic Advisor

Senate Finance Committee

Adam Carasso is Senior Tax and Economic Advisor for the Senate Finance Committee Democratic staff since 2013, where he handles individual income tax issues, including tax benefits for working families, housing and homeownership, higher education, and capital gains.  Previously, he spent five years as chief economist and revenue analyst for the House Budget Committee.  And before coming to the Hill, he was a research director at the New America Foundation and a research associate for ten years at the Urban Institute. 

Mr. Carasso has written extensively on how government programs affect incentives and the distribution of wealth, income, and taxation. His research has been featured on NPR and in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. He received his master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.


Thomas Davis

Director, Office of Recapitalization
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Tom Davis is the Director of the Office of Recapitalization, within HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs.  The Office of Recapitalization oversees the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, the Mark to Market (M2M) program, the Post-Mark to Market program (PM2M), the Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRAC) program and other housing preservation programs as needed. The RAD program, the largest program in the Office of Recapitalization portfolio, is a demonstration of how a change in a property’s regulatory platform can open the door to recapitalization or preservation of at-risk affordable housing properties.


Throughout his career, Tom has integrated his experience in transactional legal work, development project management, affordable housing finance, asset management, resident services and property operations in an effort to maximize the value of affordable housing – as homes and as a platform from which to offer resources which families can access to achieve their own success.

Tom moved to Washington, DC, to assume the position at HUD.  Prior to his move, Tom lived in Boston MA.  He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Urban Edge Housing Corporation, a NeighborWorks community development corporation serving the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roxbury.  He also served on the Board of the Boston Public Market Association, promoting small, local-food industries as an economic driver for both urban and rural communities.  Tom received his undergraduate degree from Brown University, his Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and his JD from the New York University School of Law.


Marion Mollegen McFadden

Vice President, Public Policy

Enterprise Community Partners


Marion Mollegen McFadden serves as vice president of public policy at Enterprise. Previously, she served as deputy assistant secretary for Grant Programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Housing (HUD). At HUD, she oversaw affordable housing and community development programs, including the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Housing Trust Fund, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and CDBG Disaster Recovery funds, including the recent National Disaster Resilience Competition grants.


In this role, she formed and facilitated multiple public-private partnerships, including with the Rockefeller Foundation to support communities planning for disaster resilience, with the Silicon Valley-based company GitHub to bring tech education and resources to residents of public housing, and with the nonprofit organization KaBOOM! to create a design competition to retrofit cities and other built spaces to accommodate play for better health of residents.


Marion holds a J.D., magna cum laude, from Howard University School of Law (2000) and a B.A. from Northwestern University (1994). 


Doug Rice

Senior Policy Analyst

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities


As a Senior Policy Analyst, Rice's work focuses on the impact of federal housing policy on low-income families. Rice came to the Center in 2005 with a wide range of experience in policy analysis, advocacy, and education.


Most recently, he was Director of Housing and Community Development Policy at Catholic Charities USA, which represents one of the nation’s largest networks of housing and social service providers. Prior to that, he worked as a consultant and taught at the University of San Francisco.


Rice has a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


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