C. Owen Highfill: 2008 PMF
I began work at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) on July 21, 2008, as a planning analyst on the performance and planning team. Nine days later, President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) by combining the staffs of OFHEO, the Federal Housing Finance Board, and a mission office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was an incredible opportunity to be a part of the winding down of two agencies and the start up of a new federal regulator. As a planning analyst, I helped create FHFA's first planning and performance documents, including the Agency Strategic Plan, the annual Agency Performance Plan, and the Performance and Accountability Report. During my fellowship, I also completed several internal rotations in FHFA's mission offices and was able to see first-hand how FHFA regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.
At the conclusion of my fellowship, I accepted a position in the Office of Conservatorship Operations (OCO) as a conservatorship operations specialist. FHFA created the office after placing the Enterprises in conservatorship on September 6, 2008. OCO facilitates communication and decision-making between the Enterprises and FHFA management and oversees the Enterprises' roles in the Making Home Affordable program. My experience working in OCO during this unprecedented time in our nation's housing finance system has been invaluable, filled with challenges and fantastic learning opportunities. It has been exciting and rewarding to be a part of an agency and an office that play such strong leadership roles in the national response to the housing finance crisis.