Understanding the President’s Cabinet: HUD Secretary
Religion & Liberty Online

Understanding the President’s Cabinet: HUD Secretary

Note: This is the seventh in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.

Department:  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Current Secretary:  Dr. Ben S. Carson, Sr.

Succession: The HUD Secretary is 13th in the presidential line of succession.

Department Mission: “HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.” (Source)

Department Budget: The 2017 budget includes for HUD $48.9 billion in gross discretionary funding and $11.3 billion in mandatory spending over ten years.

Number of employees: HUD has approximately 8,000 employees.

Primary Duties of the Secretary: The Secretary has numerous functions that dictated by law but are normally delegated to one of the department’s assistant secretaries. There are currently eight designated secretaries:

• Assistant Secretary for Administration
• Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing
• Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development
• Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
• Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner
• Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
• Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research
• Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.

All powers, functions, and responsibilities of these secretaries are vested in the HUD Secretary.

Additionally, the Secretary is designated by statute and under executive orders to participate in numerous governmental bodies outside of the department, such as being the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Board.

Secretary Info

Secretary:  Dr. Ben S. Carson, Sr.

Previous occupation:  Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland (retired in 2013)

Education:  B.A. in psychology from Yale and M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Previous government experience:  Appointed to serve on The President’s Council on Bioethics in 2004.

Religious Affiliation:  Seventh-day Adventist

Notable achievements:

Author of six best-selling books, including Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.

Subject of the TV movie, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009).

Awarded Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama (2008).

Earned the designation Library of Congress Living Legend (2001).

Notable quotes:

On success: “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.”

On dignity: “Everyone in the world worth being nice to. Because God never creates inferior human beings, each person deserves respect and dignity.”

On leadership: “I think one of the keys to leadership is recognizing that everybody has gifts and talents. A good leader will learn how to harness those gifts toward the same goal.”

Previous and forthcoming posts in this series: Secretary of StateSecretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security


Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).