Mark A. Willis

Member of the NYSERDA Board
Appointed 05/04/2010

Work History

Mark A Willis

Mark Willis is the Senior Policy Fellow at New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy where he has also served as the executive director. He also teaches housing and community development policy at New York University’s Wagner School.

Prior to the Furman Center, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Ford Foundation where he worked on community development and the financial services sector.

Mr. Willis spent the previous 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 currently serves on the executive committees of the National Housing Conference (chairs its Research Committee), the New York Housing Conference (Treasurer), and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (Treasurer). He also serves on a number of other boards including the Citizens Budget Commission (co-chair of the Economic Development and Housing Committee), the National Community Investment Fund, the Community Service Society, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, and the Skyscraper Museum


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.