This week’s guest is Mark Thiele, the CEO of NAHRO, an organization that empowers housing and community development agencies and officials to make a difference in people’s lives. With over 20,000 members, NAHRO is one of the largest and most respected housing organizations in the world, and Mark is at the forefront of this vital work. Mark’s extensive experience as an interim CEO of the Houston Housing Authority and as a long-time leader in various housing agencies make him the perfect guest to inspire us all to make a change in our communities. He’s worked with small, mid-sized, and rural housing agencies, and his dedication to improving people’s lives through affordable housing is truly inspirational. Join Katie Goar as she talks to Mark about his journey, his experience, and the work he’s doing at NAHRO. We’re sure that his story will encourage you to make a difference in your community, no matter how big or small. So sit back, relax, and get ready to be inspired by this week’s ChangeMaker, Mark Thiele.
More information and important NAHRO Links:
About Mark Thiele: Mark is a houser who stands in awe of his colleagues. “Safe, stable, affordable housing is the foundation on which we build healthy, happy and productive lives,” he says. “Despite significant headwinds, housers nationwide continue to provide the most vulnerable Americans with shelter and supportive services in sustainable communities. We need them to succeed. We need to invest in their success.”
Before joining NAHRO, Thiele was the Interim President and CEO of the Houston Housing Authority (HHA). During his tenure, HHA focused on safety, increasing affordable housing, and innovation. The agency hosted numerous COVID-19 testing and vaccination events with local partners. It also added thousands of units of affordable housing through acquisition and development and earning the coveted Moving to Work (MTW) designation.
Prior to that Thiele served as HHA’s Senior Vice President (SVP), overseeing Program Operations, Real Estate, Investment and Development, Policy as well as all of the agency’s support functions, including Finance, Legal, Procurement, Human Resources and Information Technology. During his time as SVP, Thiele worked with the agency’s more than 200 staff members to be the premier provider of quality, affordable housing in Houston.
For the previous eight years of his lengthy year career in affordable housing, Thiele served as the Vice President of the award-winning Housing Choice Voucher Program at HHA, which provides more than $155 million in housing subsidies each year, and is one of the largest voucher programs in the country. In that role he supervised more than 120 staff dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing options for more than 18,000 Houston households via the regular Housing Choice Voucher, VASH, Mainstream, NED and Mod Rehab programs, as well as a plethora of initiatives funded by the City, County and other entities. The HCVP department played a significant role in Houston’s award-winning efforts to end homelessness. Thiele also worked in the affordable housing sector as a consultant at Quadel Consulting Corporation.
Thiele has been a devoted NAHRO member for years, taking on a variety of leadership roles at the state, regional and national levels. At national NAHRO, he served on the Board of Governors, as the Chair of the Board of Ethics and Credentialling Trustees, and as the Vice President of the Community Revitalization and Development Committee. Thiele also served as the Senior Vice President of the NAHRO Southwest Regional Council, and as the President of Texas NAHRO. He is a proud member of the Board of the National Public Housing Museum (NPHM).
Thiele holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago.