March 31, 2022
Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC) is pleased to announce that Paul Bernard has been unanimously selected as the organization’s new President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by the Board of Directors. He will join AHC in his new role on April 4.
Mr. Bernard brings nearly 30 years of experience in urban planning and real estate development, public finance and investing, community development and affordable housing. He has worked in both the public sector as well as the private sector and has extensive external leadership skills working with communities and government officials. Throughout his career, Mr. Bernard has demonstrated a commitment to addressing economic and social issues, including housing as the foundation for economic success. He has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a cornerstone of his leadership.
Most recently, Mr. Bernard was executive vice president of advisory and educational services at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit research and education organization focused on issues affecting urban communities, including housing. In that role, he managed four international and global-oriented programs and provided development services to municipalities, corporations, students, and real estate professionals. He also led a program that provided dozens of clients with solutions in affordable housing, sustainability/disaster recovery, economic development, mixed-use master planning, urban regeneration, parks and open space and other land-use issues.
Prior to ULI, Mr. Bernard was vice president at Enterprise Community Partners, a Washington, D.C nonprofit improving the lives of low-income residents through housing preservation, community development and by bridging the racial equity gap. While there, he grew a $45M national public sector advisory platform. The consulting practice included 288 diverse clients, including 48 municipalities, 187 public housing authorities, and 53 foundations/nonprofits and private organizations.
Mr. Bernard also worked for Walker & Dunlop, the largest provider of capital to the multifamily industry in the US, as senior vice president of principal investments and prior to that for MMA Realty Capital as a public pension fund advisor. He also was the planning director for the City of Detroit from 1988 to 2002, overseeing $8 billion in new construction projects. And early in his career, Mr. Bernard worked for the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, identifying sites for acquisition and development. He currently sits on the Board of Lotus, which houses and includes wrap-around services for formerly homeless residents.
“I am honored to join the AHC team and have long admired the organization’s mission of providing quality affordable housing and outstanding resident services. I am excited about the opportunity to work with local leaders, advocates, and partners to provide much-needed homes and services throughout the Virginia, Maryland, and DC region,” said Bernard.
“Paul has a history of tackling a variety of housing challenges and a track record of leading real change,” says David Barsky, AHC Board Chair. “With his perspective in economics, finance and urban planning — coupled with his passion for affordable housing and its potential to transform lives– we’re thrilled to have him lead AHC forward in its next chapter.”
Mr. Bernard will replace Susan Cunningham who served as Interim CEO since July 2021 and will support AHC as a senior adviser.
Mr. Bernard holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Finance from Georgetown University’s Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) in Urban Economics & Public Finance from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategy & Finance from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
About Affordable Homes & Communities
Affordable Homes & Communities (AHC), a nonprofit developer based in Arlington, VA, builds and preserves affordable and mixed-income housing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1975, AHC has developed more than 8,200 apartments in the mid-Atlantic region, including 3,400 in Arlington. AHC’s Resident Services program reaches thousands of children, teens, adults, and seniors each year through onsite education and social service programs and activities.
Media Contact: Jennifer K. Smith, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org/ 703-486‑0626 x1118