Meet Shaun

A lifelong New Yorker, Shaun Donovan served as a member of Barack Obama’s Cabinet, where he developed a close partnership with President Obama and was trusted by him and Joe Biden to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our country.

As New York City Mayor, Donovan will again work in partnership with President-elect Biden – ensuring that New York City’s voice is heard in the White House, and that New York’s needs are met.

Shaun Donovan believes that your zip code should not predict your chances for success or how long you live. As a nationally-respected affordable housing expert, he knows it is critical for families to live in fair, safe, and affordable housing and that every neighborhood has equal access to the jobs, opportunities, and benefits New York City has to offer.

Shaun is a proven leader and manager. As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Cabinet, Shaun led the nation out of the Great Recession’s housing crisis and reduced veterans homelessness by 50 percent. And he successfully managed the four-trillion-dollar federal budget as Director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Obama/Biden administration.

From January, 2009 to July, 2014, Shaun was the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he led the fight against the nation’s unprecedented foreclosure crisis. Under his leadership, HUD helped families rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities, fought discrimination and dramatically reduced homelessness. After Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown, President Obama asked him to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.

Shaun served in President Obama’s Cabinet for his full eight years in office.

In July, 2014, he was sworn in as the 40th Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, Shaun increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country and increased opportunity. And he oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education and fought climate change. While OMB Director, Shaun played a pivotal role in managing the nation’s response to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Donovan served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Bloomberg, where he led the most aggressive affordable housing program in the nation. He also served in the Clinton administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multi-family Housing at HUD and as acting FHA Commissioner.

Deeply affected by the crisis he saw around him growing up, he volunteered in a homeless shelter during college and interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless when he graduated. After studying housing in graduate school, he returned to work for the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation in the Bronx and across New York City.

Donovan holds a B.A. and Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University. Shaun was born and grew up in New York City, and is married to Liza Gilbert, a landscape architect who has designed and restored parks in New York City and across the country. Shaun and Liza live in Brooklyn, where they raised their sons Milo and Lucas.