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PHFA’s board names new executive director and CEO

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s board of directors today announced that Robin Wiessmann is the new executive director and CEO at the agency. She started in her position at PHFA today.

PHFA is a state-affiliated agency that works to expand affordable housing options for Pennsylvanians. It has a staff of 322 who manage a variety of statewide housing initiatives. Its main program areas address affordable rental housing, homeownership, consumer counseling and education, and foreclosure prevention. Its programs are overseen by a 14-member board, and it’s primarily self-funded, receiving only occasional state funding.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to lead PHFA, which does so much good work across the state making sure that people have quality, affordable places to live,” said Wiessmann. “During its 47 years of existence the agency has established a stellar reputation for addressing housing needs across Pennsylvania, and I look to continue building on that strong record of accomplishment.”

Wiessmann has been secretary at the state Department of Banking and Securities since 2015. During that time she managed the supervision of nearly 200 depository institutions, 24,000 non-depository licensees, and 230,000 securities professionals, advocated for robust cybersecurity awareness internally and by external entities, and strengthened the department’s commitment to consumer protection and financial capability efforts through innovative and collaborative programs such as PA $AFE, Successful Reentry, and the Next Generation Banker’s Academy.

Under her leadership the department passed landmark legislation overseeing the non-bank mortgage servicing industry, promulgated comprehensive regulations for the securities industry, and advanced principles-based regulation of fintech that was lauded by peer state banking supervisors. Additionally, the department increased its enforcement of unlicensed and unregistered activity leading to fines of more than $13 million and restitution to consumers in excess of $3 million.

From 2007 to 2009, Wiessmann served as the Pennsylvania State Treasurer, during which time she was the primary fiduciary and custodian of $120 billion of state funds. Much earlier in her career, she served as a deputy director of finance for the City of Philadelphia where she managed the city’s debt offerings.

Wiessmann was a founding principal and president of Artemis Capital Group, the first women-owned investment banking firm on Wall Street. Prior to co-founding Artemis, she served as a vice president of public finance at Goldman Sachs.

Wiessmann previously served as chairman of a mutual fund board, Vantagepoint Funds Mutual Fund. She chaired the Nominating Committee and served on the Steering Committee and Audit Committee of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, has served on the boards of the International City Managers Retirement Corporation and Met-Pro and Lumesis (a cloud-based financial technology company), as well as the board of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.

Wiessmann has also served as a commissioner on the Delaware River Port Authority, on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council, chaired the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Financial Advisory Board, and served as vice chair of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.

Among her honors, the Women’s City Club of New York awarded Wiessmann the Civic Spirit Award in 1996. The National Women Executives in State Government Association awarded her the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award in 1999. In 2014, Women in Public Finance honored Wiessmann with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her representation of women in the financial industry. In 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer recognized her contribution to finance with a lifetime achievement award as an Influencer of Finance.

Wiessmann graduated with honors from Lafayette College and received her law degree from Rutgers University. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She and her husband Kenneth Jarin live in Bucks County and have two grown children, Alexander and Karley.

Brian Hudson was the previous executive director and CEO at PHFA. He retired on Feb. 7 after 45 years at the agency.

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