For the first time since its founding 54 years ago, Ginnie Mae hosted a roundtable discussion with former Senate confirmed presidents of the agency who shared their unique experiences and perspectives on leading a critical organization in the U.S. housing finance system. The former presidents panel included John Dalton (1977-1979), Ronald Rosenfeld (2001-2004), Robert Couch (2006-2007), Joseph Murin (2008-2009), and Ted Tozer (2010-2017).
Ginnie Mae’s significant role in supporting the housing finance market and creating liquidity is not well known. President McCargo wants to change that perception and more closely tie Ginnie Mae and its mission to support and expand affordable and equitable housing finance to the rest of the U.S. housing finance system in an intentional way.
The April 28 closed-door event was kicked-off off with welcoming remarks from Department of Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. Secretary Fudge commended Ginnie Mae for managing historic growth levels, having ended its fiscal year 2021 with a record $2.13 trillion in securities outstanding.
During the roundtable, moderated by President McCargo, the former presidents highlighted challenges and shared important lessons learned from their tenures. From inflation and high interest rates to the 2008 financial crisis, each president faced unique obstacles — and led successes — during their time at the agency. Ultimately, these five Ginnie Mae leaders shared a common goal: they never lost sight of their mission to make homeownership accessible and affordable for more Americans across the country, in a way that only Ginnie Mae can.
“The challenges the mortgage market faces today — rising home prices and mortgage rates, rapid technological change, and liquidity of our base of issuers — are cyclical and not entirely new from what past leaders experienced and managed,” McCargo said. “Tapping into the experience of the past presidents helps to inform today’s decisions and ensure that Ginnie Mae, and the consumers it serves, will thrive in the future. I look forward to building upon the great legacy of this agency.”
During the discussion, President McCargo also emphasized the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to equity in housing, increasing the supply of affordable housing, technological innovation, and the expansion of industry partnerships to break down systemic barriers and enable all Americans to safely secure the American dream.
With past and present Ginnie Mae employees in attendance, the event had the feel of a family reunion. Attendees enjoyed seeing each other in person again, as Ginnie Mae’s office has recently reopened post-pandemic. The former presidents and employees expressed their gratitude for one another and celebrated their collective hard work. “It truly takes a village,” President McCargo said in her closing remarks.
The roundtable builds on Ginnie Mae’s continuing role as the government’s leading source of liquidity for America’s housing programs that serve first-time homebuyers, low- and moderate-income borrowers, veterans, and rural and tribal communities. The roundtable is the first in a yearlong series of presentations called “The Ginnie Mae Summit Series”. Ginnie Mae will gather leaders and subject matter experts to discuss how the industry can meet the opportunities and challenges of the nation’s dynamic housing finance market and to learn from stakeholders on key topics and initiatives such as digital collateral, expanded environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures, securitization platform transformation efforts and an international investor forum.
The advice and insight gained through this event from former presidents will help Ginnie Mae continue to exercise industry leadership, while working with the housing finance industry to face today’s current headwinds of increasing inflation, rising mortgage rates, and accelerating home prices. Despite these challenges, Ginnie Mae is steadfast in its commitment to supporting all Americans who benefit from the federal housing finance programs.
“The reason we’re all here is because we want more affordable and accessible homeownership,” McCargo said.
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Michael Drayne is Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Policy