Mark A. Willis

Member of the NYSERDA Board
Appointed 05/04/2010

Mark A Willis
Mark A. Willis

Work History

Mark Willis is a Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy following the completion of his tenure as a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation where he worked on community development and the financial services sector. Mr. Willis also teaches housing and community development policy jointly at New York University’s Law and Wagner schools.

Previously, Mr. Willis spent 19 years in community-development banking at JPMorgan Chase overseeing its community development programs and products to help strengthen low and moderate income communities. He founded the Chase Community Development Corporation and became executive vice president and head of the Community Development Group with a staff of 250, outstandings in excess of $3 billion, and revenues of $30 million. During that time, he had responsibility for the development and implementation of innovative lending and investment programs for affordable housing, community economic development, small businesses, and affordable home mortgages; community relations; and corporate oversight of Fair Lending and Community Reinvestment Act compliance. Mr. Willis also served as the president of the Chase Manhattan Foundation from 1998 to 1999.

Before joining Chase, Mr. Willis held various positions in economic development and tax policy with the City of New York. From 1986 to 1989, he was deputy commissioner for development of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Before joining the City, he was an urban economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Nonprofit Boards

Mr. Willis co-chairs Housing First! in New York City and has previously chaired the New York Community Investment Company and the Consumer Bankers Association’s Community Reinvestment Committee, and co-chaired Living Cities: The National Community Development Initiative. Mr. Willis has also served as a member of the Bankers/Community Collaborative Council of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

He currently serves on a number of boards including the executive committees of the Center for Housing Policy and the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce as well as the advisory board of the Office of Financial Empowerment of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and the boards of the Skyscraper Museum and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.


Mr. Willis has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University, a juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School, and a doctorate in urban economics and industrial organization from Yale University.

Last Updated: 08/13/2014