Testimony of Diane Leneghan Tomb
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs - Designate
before the Senate Committee on
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
December 18, 2001
Mr. Chairman, Senator Gramm, and Distinguished Senators:
It is a privilege to appear before you today as the nominee for
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development. And thank you Congressman Portman
for your kind introduction.
I am honored that Secretary Martinez and President Bush nominated
me to serve in this position, and that you are taking the time to
consider my nomination.
Joining me are my husband, parents, and in-laws. As proud as I
am to be here, they're pretty excited, too.
My parents came to this country from Ireland in 1959 in search
of opportunities. My parents chose America on my behalf. I could
not be more grateful for that choice than I am today.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's core mission
is to help families find affordable decent housing and to find solutions
to the housing and community development challenges in America.
Creating opportunities for all Americans to become homeowners is
a fundamental component of HUD's mission.
The public affairs office at HUD plays an essential role in educating
the public about HUD's initiatives. If confirmed, I look forward
to keeping the media and all interested parties informed on HUD's
work. I believe an informed public is crucial to the democratic
process and leads to better policymaking.
My career has been centered on communications, and most often on
public education campaigns. As the senior vice president of communications
at the Fannie Mae Foundation, I have spent the last four years developing
ways to communicate the importance of homeownership and demonstrating
how owning a home is a gateway to opportunity and improvement for
individuals, families, and communities. It is an honor to continue
to focus on these important issues.
America is now in a renaissance of homeownership. More than 70
million families own their own home. This is as high as that number
has ever been, and it encourages us to spread the opportunity to
even more people. In particular, I look forward to being a part
of HUD's effort to reach out to America's minority communities that
do not yet share in the same high level of homeownership. Secretary
Martinez asserted that one of HUD's top priorities will be just
that, and it will be worth the effort.
Work in the realm of housing becomes a lot more personal when we
remember that it all boils down not to numbers and reports, but
to a real and unmistakable impact on the lives of individuals, families,
and kids. At the end of the day, HUD exists for one reason only:
to make life better for people.
With your approval, my role will be to keep the public informed
of this agenda as directed by the Administration.
Thank you again for this opportunity to address you today. This
concludes my testimony. I am prepared to answer any questions or
comments you may have.
Last modified: December 31, 2001
Content Archived: March 17, 2010