Today’s guest is a housing and community development professional with diverse, multi-sector experience. Early in his career he was an AmeriCorps*VISTA for two years which is where he launched an “Urban Service Experience” series and led efforts to conduct a neighborhood risk and resource assessment.

His interest in urban planning led him to The Heller School at Brandeis University where he received his Master’s in Public Policy and then to work for 5 years as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He led efforts in Massachusetts to implement HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program, a program that allows expiring use multifamily properties to be preserved as long-term affordable housing. He also provided strategic support to State partners on high-level issues such as public housing governance reform and addressing Veteran’s homelessness statewide.

He was a New Leaders Council Fellow in 2010 and Director of the Boston Chapter from 2012-2014. This interview was recorded when he was Director of Policy at Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. He recently became Assistant Director of Leased Housing & Rental Services at Rhode Island Housing.

Please join me in welcoming Charley Francis.

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In this episode we explore:

  • What leadership means to him – “…the trick is getting buy-in for those ideas, getting people aligned with those ideas, and figuring out how to implement them”,
  • how he's the kind of person that tends to take on leadership roles whenever he joins a group,
  • the skills needed to lead when you don’t have formal authority,
  • the importance of setting boundaries, even if it feels a little selfish, and
  • the advice he'd tell his younger self around being open to new opportunities.

Stay tuned until the end of episode to hear what I thought were the key take-aways you could put into practice this week and benefit from for years to come.


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