The Honorable Melvin L. Watt of Charlotte, N.C. was sworn in to a five-year term as the first Senate-confirmed Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The oath was administered by The Honorable Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation and former mayor of Charlotte, N.C. FHFA was created by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks and is responsible for oversight of the $5.5 trillion mortgage finance market.
“I am honored to serve as Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,” said Watt. “Today’s housing finance system is one of the keys to our economic recovery and I am grateful for the opportunity to help develop a strong foundation for moving this system forward for the benefit of all Americans at this critical point in our nation’s history.”
Director Watt, 68, represented the 12th congressional district of North Carolina as a member of the U.S. Congress for more than 21 years, being first elected to that office in 1992. As a member of Congress, Director Watt served on the Committee on Financial Services and its Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Director Watt also served on the House Judiciary Committee, where he was Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.
“Director Watt has been an effective leader in the U.S. House of Representatives for many years. His appointment by President Obama and his confirmation by the U.S. Senate is an important step at a critical time for the agency and the housing finance system,” said Financial Services Roundtable’s Housing Policy Council (HPC) President John Dalton. “We appreciate the thoughtful approach Director Watt applied to issues during his time on Capitol Hill. We look forward to working with him to smoothly transition into a reformed housing finance market for the future.”
Mel Watt is sworn in as FHFA Director (credit photo to Paul Morse)