HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-017
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
February 18, 2011

Community development leader tapped for key role

BOSTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced President Barack Obama's selection of Barbara Fields to serve as HUD's Regional Administrator for the six states in HUD's New England Region including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Fields most recently served as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation's leading community development intermediary. Created by the Ford Foundation, LISC finances urban and rural revitalization efforts nationwide by leveraging philanthropic dollars with private and public investment capital to stimulate economic recovery of depressed communities.

Under Fields' leadership, a LISC office was established in Rhode Island in 1991 as a single person operation. Since then, Rhode Island LISC has become a significant local institution investing more than $280 million to support nearly $1 billion of development in communities across the state. In addition to her proven record of building a strong community development sector that produces affordable housing, Fields has successfully linked housing development in low income communities with strategic community economic development, education and public safety initiatives.

"Barbara's extensive knowledge of affordable housing and her comprehensive approach to community revitalization are a perfect complement to the Obama Administration," said Donovan. "When you look at Barbara's track record, her commitment to helping those in need comes across loud and clear. She will be a tremendous asset to us in carrying out HUD's mission to build strong, sustainable communities that offer affordable and healthy housing options for all Americans."

Since Fields' arrival in 1991, LISC's National Equity Fund has invested nearly $180 million equity in multifamily housing and $30 million equity in New Markets projects throughout Rhode Island. In addition to numerous high profile housing and commercial development projects, Rhode Island LISC has become a key partner in youth programming, child care, workforce development, and community safety efforts. One LISC targeted community, Providence's Olneyville neighborhood, became the subject of a Department of Justice book, Building Your Way Out of Crime, when calls for police service dropped 80% in five years.

"This is a tremendous honor. I share President Obama and Secretary Donovan's vision and enthusiasm for creating strong and sustainable communities of choice," said Fields. "During this important time of economic challenge and opportunity, I look forward to applying my expertise to help address the housing and community development challenges confronting the people and places of New England. I am determined to bring people to the table, link agendas and get results."

In her new position, Fields will serve as HUD's liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, members of Congress, private and non-profit developers, stakeholders and customers. Fields is one of 10 regional administrators in the United States.

Prior to her service at LISC, Fields worked for the Massachusetts Government Land Bank, a quasi-public state development finance agency, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the City's main redevelopment agency.

Fields has served in leadership positions on many professional and community boards, including serving as Vice Chair
of the Providence Housing Authority and Chairwoman of the Rhode Island Attorney General's Advisory Commission on Lead Paint. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the newly formed Institute for Comprehensive Community Development and to the New England Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Ms. Fields has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and German from Tufts University and a Masters degree
in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: May 30, 2012