John A. Courson, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), has announced that Barbara Van Allen has been named senior vice president of communications and marketing of the MBA, effective Nov. 1, 2010. In this role, Van Allen is responsible for MBA's external and internal communications programs, including marketing of the association's products; services and membership; directing relations with the national media; developing speeches and presentations for MBA's leadership; and overseeing all aspects of publishing the association's monthly magazine and daily and weekly online newsletters. "MBA is very fortunate to have someone with Barbara's expertise in corporate marketing leading MBA's communications efforts," said Courson. "Barbara brings with her valuable experience and knowledge which she will put to use on the industry's behalf." Van Allen joins MBA from NISH, a national non-profit agency focused on creating employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities where she was chief marketing officer. At NISH, she was responsible for marketing, corporate communications, government affairs, grassroots advocacy and customer engagement. "I am very excited to join the MBA at such a critical time in the industry's history," said Van Allen. "The residential, commercial and multifamily real estate finance industry has seen some tough times in recent years, and I look forward to playing a role in its future." Prior to NISH, Van Allen served in senior management positions in New York and California with major corporations, including ITT Corporation and Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Earlier, she had a seven-year career on Capitol Hill serving as a senior legislative advisor to several different members of Congress. Van Allen graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds an MBA in Marketing from New York University and an MA in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University. For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.