Jodie Harris, Director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), announced on February 23 that she will be stepping down as Director of the agency at the end of April. She has accepted a position as the next president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. Deputy Director of Policy and Programs Marcia Sigal will serve as Acting Director until a new Director is named.
Harris has served as the director of the CDFI Fund since 2019, overseeing the agency’s mission of promoting economic revitalization and community development through investment in and assistance to Community Development Financial Institutions, including CDFI credit unions.
The director’s departure comes amid controversial changes to the CDFI certification process and a prolonged pause on certifications, and congressional questions. The Fund announced in late January that the planned early April rollout of the updated Certification Application, as well as the pause on CDFI Certification Application submissions, was extended for an indefinite amount of time.
That announcement indicated that the extension was at least in part due to concerns from stakeholders submitted in the last round of public comments in November 2022. During this pause period new CDFI applications have not been accepted and those institutions that had already submitted applications have received no information on their status.
This leadership change leaves in question those revisions that credit unions and other CDFI stakeholders said were detrimental to existing CDFIs and communities they serve.