U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Visited Chile and Biobio Post-Reconstruction Area

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Minister of Housing Pérez shows Secretary Donovan a plan with the recovery efforts in Dichato

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan visited Chile from January 4-7, 2014 at the invitation of Chilean Minister of Housing and Urban Development Rodrigo Pérez Mackenna. The Secretary met with President Sebastian Piñera and other officials in Santiago and toured reconstruction projects completed in the wake of Chile’s 2010 earthquake and tsunami in the Biobio Region.

The primary purpose of this visit was to gather best practices related to disaster reconstruction efforts and building resilient cities that can be applied in the United States, particularly in the aftermath of  Hurricane Sandy. Secretary Donovan also learned about how Chile’s new rental housing voucher program can inform similar domestic efforts in the United States.

Secretary Donovan is a leader in U.S. efforts to address resiliency in the face of natural disasters and climate change. In 2012, President Obama asked the Secretary to chair a special task force on Hurricane Sandy to bring Cabinet-level focus to the government’s long-term response and recovery from the storm. As Chairman of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, the Secretary is working to bring a new approach to long-term reconstruction that helps build stronger and more resilient communities.

Secretary Shaun Donovan

On January 26, 2009, Shaun Donovan was sworn in as the 15th United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development. Secretary Donovan has a long history of working to provide affordable housing to American families. He previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

Before his service as HPD Commissioner, Secretary Donovan worked in the private sector to finance affordable housing, and was a visiting scholar at New York University, where he researched and wrote about the preservation of federally-assisted housing. Secretary Donovan was also a consultant to the Millennial Housing Commission working on strategies for increasing the production of multifamily housing. The Commission was created by the United States Congress to recommend ways to expand housing opportunities across the nation. Secretary Donovan has also researched and written about housing policy at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, and has worked as an architect.

Secretary Donovan holds a B.A. and Master’s degree in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard.