Katie wraps up her conversation with ChangeMaker, Patricia Wells, the Executive Director of the Oakland Housing Authority, one of the largest housing authorities in California, providing housing opportunities to over 16,000 families. Also, she is currently the President of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).
About Patricia Wells: Patricia Wells was appointed OHA Executive Director in October 2019, after 21 years of service to the agency in a variety of progressively responsible roles. With her tenure at OHA, plus another six years with Habitat for Humanity and with the District of Columbia, Patricia brings nearly three decades of public service to her role— including leadership positions in OHA’s resident services, property operations, capital improvements, human resources and information technology departments. During the five years preceding her appointment, Patricia’s focus was on special agency initiatives and inter-government partnerships, bringing high profile projects and events to fruition and tackling some of the nation’s most controversial topics.
Wells joined OHA in 1998, after being the Associate Director for Habitat for Humanity International – West Region, and the Senior Policy Coordinator and Analyst as a Mayoral appointee with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs in Washington D.C. During this period she also began cultivating relationships with government and industry leaders, as well as community-based organizations, that have grown and been strengthened to enable the type of life-changing services and programs through which OHA clients benefit. That work, in part, has led to her involvement in the affordable housing industry’s largest advocacy group, the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), where she has been active in association governance. In addition to being named OHA’s new Executive Director, in October 2019, Wells was also elected to serve as National Senior Vice President of NAHRO. Her work with NAHRO provides a platform to foster, alongside her industry peers, new and creative ways to improve the services being offered in Oakland, while simultaneously sharing the successes of OHA, one of the nation’s most revered housing authorities, with agencies across the country. Ms.
Wells is also a passionate supporter for the community and environment as she and her family have volunteered to support a variety of efforts including Soroptimist International of the East Bay, Children’s Fairyland, Lake Merritt, Oakland Parks, the Alameda County Food Bank, Jack London Estuary, the Monterey Bay, local zoos and schools. Wells holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from The Ohio State University and a Bachelors of Arts from Wittenberg University