This appointment is felt by our community as both as a significant gain for the Federal Reserve and the southeastern region (given Raphael’s combination of policy experience, government service, and his distinguished academic record) and as a loss. We will miss our colleague, leader and friend immensely.
Raphael served as the Director of the Bedrosian Center from 2011 through 2015. He remains active with Center activities while serving as the chair of the Department of Governance, Management and the Policy Process. He joined the Price School as a professor in 2001 after working at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.
His academic research has shed light on the challenge of creating affordable housing, discrimination in the rental market, how institutions influence policy and other important social and economic issues. He served as director of USC’s Master of Real Estate Development degree program and was founding director of the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast.
From 2009 to 2012, Raphael took a leave of absence from Price to work in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). During his tenure in this Senate-confirmed position, he served as principal adviser to the Secretary on policy and research and led a team of 150. His impact through HUD was enormous and can be seen most publicly through the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (or AFFH) rule.
During his tenure as Director, the Bedrosian Center supported research on governance issues, established itself as a prominent voice in policy discussions at the federal, state, and local levels, and expanded the Price School’s presence in serving the community through programs that demonstrate the relevance and importance of governance for everyone.
The impact Raphael has made on the leadership and scholarship here at the Bedrosian Center, the Price School, and USC will endure.
USC Price School’s Dean Knott said, “Raphael’s return to public service is more than a prestigious appointment. He is making history as the first African-American to be named president of one of the 12 Federal Reserve banks. He is also stepping into his new role at a politically volatile time. Interest rates are poised to be raised as the economy recovers from the recession, and he will be part of the critical discussions and decisions made to maintain a robust economy. His achievements and expertise make him an excellent choice for his new position.”
While we are sorry to see Raphael move on, we remain privileged to have benefited from his academic expertise, his experience as a public servant and the depth of his humanity. We know this strength will follow him to Atlanta, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will be all the better for this historic (Jeopardy-worthy) appointment.