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Community Development Finance Authority announced new executive director

The Community Development Finance Authority has a new executive director.

Taylor Caswell of Hollis will start the job May 5, the board of directors announced yesterday. Created by the Legislature in 1983, the CDFA administers resources that include the state Investment Tax Credits program and the federal Community Development Block Grant program for New Hampshire. Those resources in turn support community development projects such as affordable housing and job creation.

“I have been kind of bouncing back and forth between the public and private sector almost my entire career. . . . (The CDFA) became pretty quickly an appeal to me,” Caswell said yesterday.

Most of that career has been in issues close to CDFA’s mission.

Caswell served as the New England Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2005 to 2009, according to a press release. He has also worked for KeySpan Energy, Farmers Insurance Group and former Republican congressman Bill Zeliff.

Most recently, he operated Caswell Strategies, an affordable housing and energy solutions consulting firm he founded in 2009, and he was the managing director for an energy consulting and solar development firm called CleanGen Partners.

Janet Ackerman, chairwoman of the CDFA board of directors, said in a statement yesterday that Caswell inspired in them “a great deal of confidence.”

“He has a rare balance of public and private experience, covering community development projects, affordable housing and energy efficiency,” she said. “We anticipate he’ll challenge the organization and take it in a new direction that will further strengthen New Hampshire’s communities.”

Whether a development is an affordable housing project or the rehabilitation of a public building, Caswell said he would like to see energy-efficient projects be a priority for the CDFA going forward.

“When you’re talking about investing taxpayer dollars in a development . . . I’d like to be able to say that we’re trying to make the long-term value . . . as ‘future-proof’ as possible,” he said. “The way you future-proof that is that you make that property or that project run as efficiently as possible.”

Caswell will succeed former executive director Kathy Bogle Shields, who retired in January. Spokesman Kevin Flynn said Bogle Shields joined the CDFA board of directors in 1996 and was appointed executive director in 2006.

“I’m very excited to get going on this,” Caswell said.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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