John B. Rhea was appointed Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on June 1, 2009 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America, providing decent and affordable housing for over 402,000 New Yorkers with low- and moderate-incomes within the five boroughs. The Authority’s Conventional Public Housing Program comprises 338 developments encompassing over 2,600 residential buildings and more than 178,000 apartments. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program, which provides vouchers for more than 95,000 households with apartments in the private rental market. The program has over 32,000 participating landlords. To enhance the quality of life for NYCHA residents, the Authority also provides a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs as well as employment and training initiatives.
Chairman Rhea has over 20 years of corporate experience having served as both an advisor and senior executive at a number of the world’s leading corporations. Most recently, he was a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers) and served as Co-Head of the Global Consumer & Retail Group. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers in 2005, Chairman Rhea spent eight years at JPMorgan and was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Consumer North America. In addition to his managerial duties, he completed more than $100 billion in transactions, covering corporate divestitures, Mergers & Acquisitions and debt and equity underwritings for global consumer products companies, retailers and government entities. Chairman Rhea has advised a number of leading private equity firms on public and private market transactions as well.
As a result of his leadership, Global Finance Magazine named Lehman Brothers the “Best Investment Bank in the Consumer Sector” in 2007. Chairman Rhea was also recognized by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.” Over the years, he has been a strong supporter of diversity initiatives in the financial services industry, receiving a Lehman Brothers Diversity Award for his efforts. He was a member of the Diversity Committee at JPMorgan, where he received the “Champions” award from the firm’s Inclusive Leadership Council. Much of Chairman Rhea’s work in the area of diversity has focused on building the pipeline of minority talent in the financial services industry. He has received many awards including the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. A strong supporter of “need-blind” college admission, Chairman Rhea helped to establish the Janina Montero Scholarship at Wesleyan University, his alma mater, which is given annually to economically-disadvantaged students of Latino heritage.
The Chairman is a founding member and director of the Council for Urban Professionals (CUP), a non-partisan, nonprofit organization representing the social, political and economic interests of urban-based professionals and entrepreneurs. He serves on the board of the New York Business Development Corporation – the largest originator of Small Business Loans in New York State. He has been a tireless advocate for early childhood education and arts and cultural programs for New York City’s youth as a Board member of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and as Board Chair of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Chairman Rhea is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council and a former David Rockefeller Fellow. An early supporter of President Barack Obama, Chairman Rhea was a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Chairman Rhea attended the Detroit Public Schools and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
He resides in Manhattan with his two children.
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