Featured Speakers: Federal Resources and Creative Community Development Webinar

Learn from these experts at the Federal Resources, Creative Community Development and HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program webinar on Thursday, December 9, 2021, from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern.


Robin Keegan
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development

U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Robin Keegan is a sought-after policy thought leader and practitioner committed to transforming communities through proven strategies in resilience and economic equity. As the former executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority and Office of Community Development and founder of Spring Industries, LLC, Keegan is skilled in solving intractable problems through tactical knowledge of federal, state and local policies and funding to create innovative and transformative strategies to rebuild and strengthen communities. Robin’s work is rooted in the fact that equitable and inclusive communities provide the strongest outcomes.

Keegan has a history of designing successful strategies for multiple multi-billion-dollar responses to natural and human-caused disasters for communities for the states of Louisiana, New York and California, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other communities across the country. This includes more than $500 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding in economic development programs that helped small main street businesses, fishers and farmers rebuild and grow as well as plans to strengthen major industry sectors. Keegan has overseen strategic economic planning efforts, including being lead planner and author of ProsperityNOLA, the first comprehensive economic development strategy for the City of New Orleans. She has designed innovative strategies to support small businesses throughout urban and rural communities. Most recently, she supported multiple counties across the country to increase economic security through the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Keegan has actively trained the next generation of community real estate developers and disaster resilience experts through a dual position as adjunct lecturer in Tulane University’s Master of Sustainable Real Estate Program, housed in the School of Architecture, and senior fellow in the School of Social Work’s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy.


Paul Webster
Director, Financial Management Division

HUD Office of Community Planning and Development

For more than four decades, Paul Webster has overseen the implementation of the Section 108 loan guarantee program, developing innovative financing mechanisms resulting in almost $10 billion in approvals and more than 119,000 jobs created and retained. He also provides financial management guidance, advice, and technical assistance for CPD programs and the Community Development Block Grant Program. Webster has received numerous awards at HUD, including the Distinguished Service Award, Certificate of Merit, HUD’s highest group award, as well as the 2015 Federal Leadership in Economic Development Programs Award from the International Economic Development Council and the 2012 Council of Development Finance Agencies Excellence in Development Finance Awards. He holds an M.B.A. with a specialization in finance and investments and a B.S. in business administration.


Seema Thomas
Deputy Director, Financial Management Division

HUD Office of Community Planning and Development

Seema Thomas is the deputy director for HUD’s Financial Management Division, which administers the agency’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program. She has been working on community development challenges for the past two decades. Her career has focused on developing and expanding innovative and inclusive initiatives to support communities from the neighborhood to the metropolitan scale, both domestically and internationally. Before joining FMD, Thomas was an adjunct professor of urban sustainability at the University of the District of Columbia. In the past, she has consulted and worked for the World Bank, DHS’s Science & Technology Directorate, Freddie Mac, the Urban Institute, and Oliver Wyman & Co. She holds a B.S.E. in engineering, an M.U.P. in urban planning and an M.P.A. in public affairs.


Mairi Albertson
Deputy Director

City of Memphis, Division of Housing and Community Development

Mairi Albertson has has more than 20 years of experience with the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, providing oversight and alignment of programs across the division, managing neighborhood and citywide planning efforts, and coordinating research and resource development related to housing and community development. In her role as deputy director, she recommends policies around programs and funding based on the needs identified for the community, with an emphasis on providing access to housing and services to the most vulnerable populations in Memphis. A significant part of this work involves understanding Memphis communities and facilitating strategic partnerships that will leverage the resources necessary to meet the community’s needs.


Dr. Todd Richards
President, Crosstown Concourse, and

Cofounder, Crosstown Arts

Since 2010, Todd Richardson has led the transformation of the historic, 1.5 million-square-foot Sears Crosstown building in Memphis into a vertical urban village anchored in arts, education and health care. Now known as Crosstown Concourse, the $210 million project is fully leased and recently received the Rudy Bruner Gold Medal Award for Urban Excellence and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and was a finalist for the 2019 Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence. From 2009-2019, Richardson was associate professor of Renaissance art history at the University of Memphis and codirector of Crosstown Arts.