Executive Director Biography, Barbara Fields
Named Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing in March 2015, Barbara Fields has nearly 30 years of experience in expanding access to affordable housing, building livable communities and leading economic development efforts. Fields has deep expertise in affordable housing finance and community real estate development as well as a strong track record of developing successful collaborations among government, private sector, nonprofit and community partners.
Previously, Fields held executive positions in federal government as well as with a leading national nonprofit.
Fields most recently served as a Presidential appointee in the Obama administration. She served as HUD’s New England Regional Administrator representing the HUD Secretary as liaison to mayors, state and local officials, members of Congress, private and non-profit developers, public housing authorities and the media. Her achievements include implementing HUD's innovative Sustainable Communities and Choice Neighborhoods initiatives.
Prior to HUD, Fields served for 20 years as the founding Executive Director of the Rhode Island office of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development financial intermediary. While at LISC, Fields managed $300 million in real estate and community investments. She also established a track record of successfully linking affordable housing development with strategic community economic development, education and public safety initiatives.
Fields has served on many boards, including leadership positions at the Providence Housing Authority and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Commission on Lead Paint. She holds degrees from Tufts University and MIT and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.