By Matthew Kredell
USC Price School of Public Policy professor Raphael Bostic has been elected to the board of directors for Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance company.
Bostic, who also directs the Price School’s Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise, brings to the board his significant experience in academics, government and community development, as well as his reputation as a leading real-estate economist.
“This is an exciting opportunity to be part of an organization that has a long, very positive history in shaping housing in the U.S.,” Bostic said. “It’s an important organization, and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”
For Bostic, it’s another step in his quest to make a positive difference in the housing market in the wake of the 2008 crash. Bostic, who earned a PhD in economics from Stanford, has taught at USC since 2001. He left for three years in 2009 to serve in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We’re kind of at a crossroads in housing,” Bostic said. “Hopefully Freddie Mac will be an important piece of how housing markets evolve moving forward.”
Freddie Mac (fully titled the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. It participates in the secondary mortgage market by purchasing mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities for investment and by issuing guaranteed mortgage-related securities.
“We are very pleased that Raphael is joining the Freddie Mac Board of Directors,” Christopher S. Lynch, Freddie Mac’s non-executive chairman, said in a statement. “He is an expert on housing policy with a deep understanding of housing finance, as well as community and economic development. We anticipate that Raphael will bring valuable insights to the board during a critical time for the national housing finance industry.”
In his role at the USC Price School as a professor and director of the Bedrosian Center, Bostic indicated that the position will allow him to provide current insights to USC Price students as to how policy is being formulated.
“For the Price School, it will mean someone on the faculty grappling in real time on policy issues and concerns,” Bostic said. “It’s another reason why the faculty is so highly regarded and continues to impact policy making across the country.”
Bostic is flying out to the organization’s Virginia headquarters this week for an orientation. He will be one of two academics on the 12-person board.
Although he’s going in with an impressive background in the area, Bostic noted that it will take time for him to learn more about the organization from the inside in order to figure out the places where he can provide the most value.
“I’m an academic, so it’s definitely a different profile from most of the other board members and I think that’s an asset,” he said. “The hope is to help the company be a positive force in the mortgage and housing market, and to do so in a way that doesn’t expose tax payers to significant risks.”