Brenda Donald is, by her own admission, still pretty new to the world of real estate. Yet she finds herself at the helm of D.C.’s largest landlord, becoming the latest executive charged with engineering a turnaround for the D.C. Housing Authority.
“I wasn’t a social worker either and I ran D.C.’s child welfare agency,” Donald said, referring to her three separate stints running the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency. “I’m not trying to become an expert in terms of housing development. But I do understand the issues and what it takes to move on big projects…It’s all about understanding the right questions to ask.”
Donald says she only accepted entreaties from members of DCHA’s Board of Commissioners to stay on as the agency’s director because she saw a real chance to do some good. She had retired from CFSA just three days before signing up as DCHA’s interim director, after all.
But moving into retirement and a life of consulting gigs would’ve meant “a missed opportunity to make a difference right now for the tens of thousands of people we serve,” she said.
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