Co-chair of the Bipartisan Center's Immigration Task Force, former HUD secretary, and housing innovator Henry Cisneros is a testament to American leadership, diversity, and community building. His vision of a strong, resilient society starts with fair housing and stretches beyond race and class.
One of the first Hispanic Americans to run a major city, Cisneros came to national prominence when he was elected Mayor of San Antonio in 1981. During his four terms, Cisneros rebuilt the city’s economy by increasing tourism, attracting high-technology firms, and creating tens of thousands of jobs. The American Mayor named him one of the nation’s 15 best mayors of the 19th and 20th centuries.
On the BPC’s Immigration Task Force, along with co-chairs former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Governors Haley Barbour and Ed Rendell, Cisneros considers all aspects of immigration reform and encourages dialogue among key interest groups and decision makers.
In 1992, President Bill Clinton appointed Cisneros as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Cisneros initiated the revitalization of many of the nation's public housing developments, renovating 250 of the worst public housing units and demolishing another 43,000 vacant ones for reconstruction.
Cisneros founded CityView in 2000, focusing on urban real estate, in-city housing, and metropolitan infrastructure. As Executive Chairman, Cisneros is committed to innovative urban solutions, efficient land use, and housing affordability, investing in 45 communities across 13 states.
The recipient of the Penn IUR Urban Leadership Award and the Habitat for Humanity Visionary Award, Cisneros has been inducted into the National Association of Homebuilders' "Builders Hall of Fame."
Cisneros' books include Interwoven Destinies; Our Communities, Our Homes; and Latinos and the Nation’s Future. He co-wrote Opportunity and Progress with former HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, which won the Common Purpose Award for demonstrating the potential of bipartisan cooperation. His latest, Independent for Life, was published in 2012.
The former President and COO of Spanish-language channel Univision, Cisneros serves on the advisory boards of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, and the National Hispanic University. He has a PhD in Public Administration from The George Washington University and served as the President of the National League of cities. He has appeared on Fox Business, The Charlie Rose Show, and CNBC.
“Henry Cisneros, in the clearest and most focused way, set the agenda for all of us in the future.”
-The National Association of State Boards of Education