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Fannie Mae has appointed Sharifa A. Anderson as its first diversity and inclusion officer, the enterprise said Monday. Anderson was also named senior vice president.
Company officials said the role signifies Fannie Mae's sustained commitment to promoting supplier diversity, enabling opportunities for minority- and women-owned firms in capital markets, and fostering an accessible, inclusive workplace that attracts, develops, and retains diverse talent. Anderson most recently served as chief diversity and inclusion officer at Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.
"Creating this role is a meaningful milestone on our diversity and inclusion journey, and Sharifa's impressive background and expertise in fair lending, affordable housing, and public policy make her well-suited to lead Fannie Mae's D&I programs and office of minority and woman inclusion," said Hugh R. Frater, Fannie Mae's CEO. "Sharifa will play an important role in helping us achieve our strategic priorities as we work with industry partners to foster greater representation of people of color and women throughout the housing industry."
As one of the largest financial institutions in the world, officials said, Fannie Mae has the ability and responsibility to promote a fairer housing system and to combat discriminatory housing policies. With nearly two decades of professional experience in housing, Anderson will lead Fannie Mae's ongoing efforts to create measurable, positive diversity and inclusion outcomes across the enterprise and with Fannie Mae's suppliers, business partners, and the people and communities it serves, officials said.
"I was proud to work at Fannie Mae early in my career journey, and I am honored and energized to be returning to the company during this pivotal time in the housing industry," Anderson said. "I look forward to working alongside Fannie Mae's leadership team to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and a housing industry that shares Fannie Mae's mission to facilitate equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and rental housing across the country."
Prior to Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, Anderson worked as an attorney at Relman Colfax in fair lending counseling and compliance; at Ballard Spahr in public finance and housing, and in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in the Office of General Counsel, finance division. Earlier in her career, she worked at Fannie Mae as a senior business manager responsible for a variety of affordable housing and community development matters.
Anderson holds a juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a Master of Arts in Public Policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Law and Society from Hood College in Frederick, Md. She is active with the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, where she has served on the Board of Directors and the association's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group.