10 Things You Didn't Know About Shaun Donovan

Barack Obama selected Shaun Donovan to be secretary of housing and urban development.

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1. Shaun Donovan was born Jan. 24, 1966, in New York.

2. While in school, Donovan enjoyed studying science and math. He also liked building model cars as a hobby.

3. Donovan earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Harvard in 1987. In 1995, he added two more Harvard degrees to his résumé: a master's in architecture and a master's in public administration.

4. Donovan has worked as an architect in Italy and New York.

5. During the Clinton administration, Donovan worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing. Later, he was also the acting commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration during the transition to the Bush administration.

6. After leaving the public sector, Donovan spent a year as a visiting scholar at New York University and then worked for Prudential Mortgage Capital for two years. He worked on FHA and affordable housing issues there.

7. Donovan has worked as a consultant for Congress's Millennial Housing Commission and has written about housing policy for Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

8. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chose Donovan to serve as commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 2004. In that job, Donovan emphasized making affordable housing available.

9. In 2008, Donovan took a professional leave of absence to work for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

10. Donovan is married to landscape architect Liza Gilbert. They have two sons, Milo and Lucas.


  • Associated Press
  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times