Access the latest Washington Report: Read More

Executive Director

Published on August 12, 2019
Organization: Washington State Housing Finance Commission


Washington State Housing Finance Commission

HCGA is conducting a search for the position of: Executive Director, Washington State Housing Finance Commission

Title: Executive Director
Organization: Washington State Housing Financing Commission (the Commission)
Reports to: Board of Commissioners
Direct Reports: Deputy Director, Executive Assistant, Communications Manager, Senior Policy Analyst and Executive Management Team
Employee Headcount: 80
Location: Seattle, Washington (Downtown Financial District)

The Washington State Housing Financing Commission was created in 1983 to act as a financial conduit which, without lending the credit of the state, can issue non-recourse revenue bonds; participate in federal, state, or local housing programs; and make additional funds available at affordable rates to help provide housing throughout the state.

The Commission is authorized to provide construction and permanent financing for low- and moderate-income housing, nonprofit facilities, capital equipment, beginning farmers and ranchers, energy efficiency and energy production within the state.

The Commission has eleven voting members. Two commissioners, the State Treasurer and the Director of the Department of Commerce, serve ex officio and eight commissioners are appointed by the Governor to four-year terms. The Chair of the Commission is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The Commissioners represent various geographic, business, and public interests.

In 1987, the Commission was designated as the state’s allocating agency for the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. In 1990, the Commission’s authority was expanded by the Legislature to finance nursing homes, as well as capital facilities and equipment owned by nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. In 2005, the Legislature gave the Commission the authority to issue bonds for beginning farmers and ranchers. Finally, in 2009, the Legislature empowered the Commission to create a Sustainable Energy Trust and to participate in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for housing and non-housing facilities.

The Commission works statewide and has a successful track record of serving very low-income persons and working in cooperation with housing authorities, Native American tribes, the state’s Housing Trust Fund, local governments, non-profit organizations, for-profit developers and other state agencies to meet statewide housing needs. Since 1983 the Commission has financed more than 80,000 single family homes and has financed more than 128,447 multifamily units/homes. From developing affordable apartments, to educating new homebuyers, to making organizations more energy-efficient, the Commission’s goal is to improve Washington’s quality of life and create real, positive changes for the state’s most vulnerable people.

By working for the Commission, you will be working in one of the best and most respected housing finance agencies in the country. You will be leading a team of outstanding professionals as they work tirelessly to provide significant benefits for the citizens of Washington. The Commission is one of the country’s most innovative housing finance agencies and has won numerous national awards for excellence.

The Commission is a market-driven and self-supporting organization, created to provide below-market rate financing for building, purchasing, or preserving affordable housing, nonprofit capital facilities, and community services. The Commission does not receive direct state funding or use tax-payer dollars. To achieve its goals, the Commission functions as a financing conduit between developers, lenders, first-time home buyers, real estate professionals, and nonprofit organizations to provide affordable financing for homes, rental housing, and cultural and social services facilities.

This position will provide an experienced executive with strong administrative and leadership skills, who understands and is passionate about affordable housing programs, with an ongoing platform to deliver creative solutions.

The Executive Director manages and directs the strategic planning and positioning of the Commission in the public and private sectors to achieve the Commission’s long-range mission and goals, by maximizing the positive impact of the Commission’s programs. The Executive Director conducts and guides external relations, builds organizational and financial alliances, and provides leadership in national and state housing policy.

The Executive Director is appointed by and reports to the Commission’s eleven member board. Some of the key duties of the Executive Director include:

  • Supervising the Executive Management Team
  • Providing executive leadership to the staff, key partners and customers
  • Controlling budget decisions involving trade-offs, priorities and resource allocations to maintain the Commission’s financial integrity and independence
  • Stewarding over $400 million in reserves working in communities through Program Related Investments (PRI)
  • Serving as the primary liaison to Commissioners, key clients and public entities
  • Representing the Commission in state and national legislative affairs

The Executive Director also serves as the Executive Director of two affiliate agencies, the Washington Higher Education Facilities Authority (WHEFA) and the Tobacco Settlement Authority (TSA), with similar duties.



  • In conjunction with the Commissioners, sets and leads the Commission’s short and long-term vision and strategies
  • Envisions and secures optimal positioning for the Commission in the financial markets;
  • Guides the Commission’s political outreach and engagement
  • Develops the 2 -year Financial Plan to optimally deploy Commission resources to maximize the performance of its programs and capitalize on new opportunities.
  • Focuses on strategic planning and positioning of the Commission to meet future needs of residents and community partners
  • Builds and guides strategic partnerships and external relations to increase affordable housing capacity across the state
  • Advances the organization’s mission and ensures the Commission is leveraging all resources to serve the mission effectively
  • Assimilates diverse client perspectives and identifies mutual needs of clients
  • Develops and maintains relations with key customers, partners, allies, funders and authorizers to create new investment capital for housing
  • Serves as an ex-officio member of the Affordable Housing Advisory Board, a voting member of the National Council of State Housing Agencies, among other influential groups
  • Leads with an entrepreneurial spirit yet manages risk appropriately
  • Maintains a collaborative, team-oriented environment where consensus is built and partnerships leveraged


  • The Executive Director is hired by the Board of Commissioners and reports directly to the Chair
  • Collaborates and communicates regularly with the Board Chair and Audit Committee
  • Serves as the primary liaison to active and engaged Commissioners
  • Keeps the Commissioners informed on financial, leadership and major external matters that may pose an opportunity or risk for the organization
  • Works with the Board of Commissioners to develop a vision and strategic direction to guide the organization.
  • Engages the Commissioners to leverage their expertise and knowledge, while maintaining regular communication
  • Participates in Board development activities to continue the strength and commitment of the Board
  • Plans, sets agenda, attends and provides support to the Chair at monthly Commission meetings


  • Provides effective leadership, direction, and support to staff to ensure that organizational and individual strategic and tactical objectives are met in a changing environment
  • Leads, motivates, and develops staff, fostering pride in what the organization has achieved as well as a passion for continual improvement
  • Ensures the organization has a high caliber staff with skills appropriate to meet the needs of their position and the ability to meet agency objectives
  • Ensures an effective performance management system for all employees that includes setting annual business objective , coaching, feedback, and evaluation
  • Ensures a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy to support the Commission’s commitment to build a sustainable organization
  • Guides and supports the Commission’s strategic outreach and program development
  • Works within a team concept to improve products and services to ensure the Commission’s ability to fulfill its mission effectively
  • Ensures a high level of accountability while responding timely and effectively to ensure programs and products are effectively serving the state


  • Steers relations with and may serve as primary Commission liaison with Congress, the Washington State Legislature, the Office of the Governor and executive cabinet; provides consultation and direction in housing finance and related programs
  • Provides leadership in state housing policy in cooperation with other state and local housing organizations
  • Oversees relationships with other state and local funders
  • Oversees the relationship with the state Bond Cap Allocation Program and other bond cap recipients
  • Leverages the Commission’s unique strengths—its flexibility, intermediary position between business and government, and statewide credibility—to lead and influence state housing policy and develop successful partnerships
  • Keeps abreast of developments in federal and state legislation that have opportunities and/or implications for the Commission


  • Provides sufficient oversight and understanding to ensure the Commission maintains its reputation for excellent fiscal management
  • Continues to operate the Commission as a self-supporting business, financially dependent on the success of its programs and revenues
  • Anticipates and responds to changes in factors influencing the Commission’s resources and opportunities such as restructuring of the banking industry, changes in tax law, public policy shifts, housing-market dynamics and competition, among others
  • Identifies emerging opportunities and reconfigures the organization and resources to meet new demands
  • Ensures and protects the Commission’s ability to raise and manage capital to serve Washington’s residents


  • Serves as the Commission’s primary spokesperson and sustains an appropriate presence at all levels of government, within the business and non-profit communities, the media and other external organizations
  • Ensures appropriate involvement in the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) and its legislative and regulatory priorities regarding preservation and protection of state housing finance agency (HFA) federal programs, among other things
  • Takes a proactive approach to partner with businesses, outside philanthropy and state and local constituents

A successful candidate for the Executive Director position will possess at minimum a significant number of years of relevant affordable housing industry experience with corporate and/or non-profit institutions. This includes but is not limited to the following required knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Minimum of 15+ years of progressively responsible and relevant affordable housing industry experience; extensive knowledge of federal housing programs, laws and regulations, federal, state, and local government housing policies and the principles of municipal bond financing and lending;
  • A demonstrated passion for the Commission’s mission as well as a proven track record of strategic visioning, planning, and financial stewardship
  • 10+ years of staff/team/large group management experience coupled with exceptional listening, engagement, and consensus-building skills; mentoring, coaching, and development spirit and mentality; adaptable, approachable, accountable and decisive; a highly collaborative, nimble, intuitive, and energetic intellect that inspires, empowers and motivates outstanding performance; diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership style
  • Strong understanding of legislative and congressional policymaking as well as the economic and political factors influencing the Commission’s future; ability to build, cultivate, and maintain positive and productive relationships with state, local, and federal government officials, industry lobbyists, and legislators
  • Exceptional communication (oral and written), presentation, negotiation, persuasiveness, influencing, diplomacy, interpersonal, and Board/constituent/stakeholder relationship management skills; a commitment to and focus on delivering excellent customer and client service; the ability to communicate succinctly and effectively to diverse audiences in a positive, diplomatic manner where all messages can be articulated in layman terms that inspire a high level of confidence
  • Demonstrated organizational assessment, development and change management capabilities; continuous process and performance improvement orientation; innovative, creative, solutions-focused and technologically savvy

The ideal candidate will be an intelligent, well-rounded, energetic and confident individual. He/she must be a team player who works well with sector/industry peers and constituents, as well as members of the Board of Commissioners to achieve the Commission’s goals and objectives. Towards these ends, we seek candidates with the following personal attributes critical for success, including but not limited to:

  • Ability to inspire and motivate others
  • Executive presence, results-orientation, and competitive drive
  • Collaborative style and skill in building teams and developing people
  • Balanced processing of and respect for differing/disparate perspectives
  • Self-awareness and emotional intelligence/EQ skills
  • High ethical standards and integrity aligning with the Commission’s values
  • Self-confidence and humility; low ego
  • Authenticity and transparency
  • High integrity; fair and honest
  • Strategic planner and experienced tactician
  • Ability to adapt to the Commission’s culture and effectively assimilate into its organization
  • Analytical thinker, who synthesizes complex policy matters, identifies related business impacts and develops/executes communication strategies
  • Exhibit strong judgment and focused decision-making skills, with a blend of intelligence, knowledge and understanding of people
  • Ability to work at all levels of the organization and develop a close rapport with other colleagues, constituents, and employees
  • A warm, personal style with a good sense of humor


  • Establishes familiarity, comfort and trust with the Commissioners, staff, industry leaders, constituents, and community partners
  • Fosters a smooth transition by listening, learning, and deliberately and strategically managing change
  • Builds, cultivates, and maintains relationships with staff; maintains staff morale and retains key staff as needed
  • Gains a mastery of the Commission’s award winning programs
  • Establishes credibility with federal, state, and local elected officials
  • Successfully participates in the 2020 Legislative session
  • Recruits and retains a Government Relations staff member, as applicable
  • Articulates a clear and cogent vision for the Commission
  • Reviews and digests the Commission’s existing Finance Plan
  • Refreshes and updates the Commission’s strategic direction based on new data, insights, and vision
  • Maintains operational excellence
  • Ensures the Commission’s programs continue to meet or exceed their goals
  • Effectively manages change stemming from the planned or prospective retirement or resignation of key staff


  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably, in a field related to housing and community development, real estate development and finance, leadership, management or government/political science; MBA or equivalent advanced degree a plus

The Commission offers a competitive base salary as well as excellent benefits and perks including but not limited to:

  • Family Medical
  • Dental
  • Life and Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • State Retirement Plan
  • Deferred Compensation
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Vacation
  • Sick & Medical Leave
  • Credit Union Memberships

Seattle, a city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by water, mountains, and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. Washington State’s largest city, it’s home to a large tech industry, with Microsoft and Amazon headquartered in its metropolitan area. The futuristic Space Needle, a 1962 World’s Fair legacy, is its most iconic landmark.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is committed to providing equal employment, job assignments and promotional opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, all honorably discharged veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.

To qualify and receive veteran’s preference, you must attach a copy of the discharge, DD214 or NGB Form 22, with your application materials.

All Interested and Qualified parties are encouraged to contact the Commission’s Search Partner:

Mr. Tracy V. McMillan
Managing Partner
HCGA Consulting Partners LLC

Print Friendly, PDF & Email