Episode 57 | Part One: Barbara Fields, Vice President, Housing and Asset Building, Abt Associates

Episode Information

Katie welcomes ChangeMaker, Barbara Fields, the Vice President of Housing and Asset Building at Abt Associates, a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. Barbara brings 30 years of experience in executive roles in federal and state government and nonprofit organizations.

About Barbara Fields: Barbara is an innovative housing and community economic development leader with over 30 years in executive roles in federal and state government, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. Fields is a strategic partner and trusted advisor to key Abt clients including HUD, state and local governments, nonprofit and philanthropic partners. Fields works with Abt’s customers to access and harness our five core capabilities – research, monitoring, evaluation; technical assistance and implementation; digital transformations; data capture and surveys; and equity – to address housing and community development issues and serves as a senior advisor on selected projects.

Prior to joining Abt, Fields was the President and CEO at the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, where she managed a $180 million endowment. In 18 months, she tripled the organization’s annual fund and raised an unprecedented $12 million for COVID-19 relief in Central Massachusetts.

Previously, Fields was CEO and Executive Director at RIHousing, Rhode Island’s $2 billion housing finance agency. In that role, she oversaw the issuance of tax and tax-exempt housing bonds; mortgage loan servicing; real estate development; and a variety of HUD programs. She also was elected to the Executive Committee of the National Council of State Housing Agencies.

In 2011, Fields was appointed by President Obama as Regional Administrator for six New England field offices and 280 employees. She led the first regional effort to integrate HUD investments, breaking down silos and delivering resources more efficiently to communities.

During her 20-year tenure as the founding Executive Director of the Rhode Island office of LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corp.), Fields championed several successful high-profile community initiatives and real estate investments (including housing and childcare facilities) as well as a nationally recognized community-police partnership. She successfully managed real estate investments in affordable housing and childcare facilities, raised millions from corporate and government partners and championed a nationally recognized community-police partnership.