Pamela Patenaude was sworn in as deputy secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday, ending an extended vacancy at the position and filling out the department’s senior ranks.
Vice President Mike Pence presided over the ceremony in Washington, with Patenaude’s daughter Meghan holding the bible.
Patenaude had previously served as the assistant secretary for community planning and development in George W. Bush’s HUD, and most recently worked as the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, a nonprofit that focuses on affordable rental housing.
The Senate confirmed Patenaude’s nomination on September 14, nearly five months after President Trump announced his intention to nominate her for the position.
The newly-minted deputy secretary will focus on coordinating relief efforts in the wakes of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, HUD said in a release announcing Patenaude’s swearing-in; while working in the second Bush administration, Patenaude helped lead recovery efforts after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, according to HUD.
The executive team at HUD is slowly filling up after an extended period with just secretary Ben Carson in charge: In addition to Patenaude taking her post in the deputy’s chair, the Trump administration earlier this month announced its intention to nominate former FHA commissioner Brian Montgomery for a second tour of duty at the position. That position also comes with the title of assistant secretary of housing and urban development.
Written by Alex Spanko