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Henry Cisneros

Former Secretary, Housing and Urban Development

Headshot of Henry Cisneros

Henry Cisneros, a BPC board member, co-chairs its Housing Commission, Immigration Task Force, and Senior Health and Housing Task Force. He served as the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in President Bill Clinton’s administration. Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and formulating policies which contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate.

He is currently chairman of the CityView companies, which work with urban homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families, and chairman of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., L.L.C., a leading public finance firm.

Cisneros was elected mayor of San Antonio, Texas in 1981, becoming the first Hispanic-American mayor of a major U.S. city. During his four terms as mayor, he helped rebuild the city’s economic base and spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure and downtown improvements. He was selected as the “Outstanding Mayor” in the nation by City and State Magazine in 1986.

After leaving HUD in 1997, Cisneros was president and chief operating officer of Univision Communications, the Spanish-language broadcasting company, and currently serves on its board of directors.

Cisneros holds degrees from Texas A&M University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The George Washington University. He also has been awarded more than 20 honorary doctorates from leading universities. He has authored and edited several books, and was presented the Common Purpose Award with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp for demonstrating the potential of bipartisan cooperation.