HUD Promotes Controversial Ginnie Mae Exec

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has promoted Eric Blankenstein to the position of the acting executive vice president at the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA, or “Ginnie Mae”), according to an internal agency email obtained by Politico. Blankenstein’s current role is in HUD’s Office of General Counsel on Ginnie Mae matters.

Blankenstein’s promotion comes on the heels of the recent resignation of Maren Kasper, who previously served as executive vice president and chief operations officer of the organization before resigning in mid-October to seek a new position in the private sector. Blankenstein has been at the center of controversy for the past year when the Washington Post uncovered a series of racially-charged blog posts allegedly written by him in the early 2000s.

At the time of the Post report, Blankenstein was working as a policy director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which he resigned from shortly thereafter. When Blankenstein was hired by HUD earlier this year, the department received scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers including Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, who called for his removal.

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In his new position at Ginnie Mae, Blankenstein will report to HUD Assistant Secretary Seth Appleton, currently serving as Ginnie Mae’s principal executive vice president.

“Secretary [Ben] Carson and I have confidence in Eric as he assumes this new role,” Appleton wrote in an email to staff Thursday, as reported by Politico. “I am certain that Eric will be a strong advocate for the important work that you do before HUD’s leadership and within the administration.”

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