The White House announced September 15 that AAFE Co-Executive Director Jennifer Sun is among nine new members appointed by President Biden to serve on the Community Development Advisory Board. Members of the board provide advice to the director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), which is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve on the Community Development Advisory Board, providing my perspective on the unique needs of low-income and immigrant communities in New York City and beyond,” said Sun. “These under-represented communities, which AAFE has served for nearly a half century, are poised to grow and thrive with equitable federal resources for economic development and affordable housing development. In particular, I look forward to offering the perspective of Asian and Latinx small business owners, who are so important to the vitality of our diverse communities.”
The CDFI Fund helps create economic growth and opportunity in distressed communities nationwide. It invests federal dollars alongside private sector capital to support mission driven financial institutions that support immigrant small business owners and first-time homebuyers, build affordable housing and promote economic development in underserved neighborhoods.
The Community Development Advisory Board consists of 15 members, 9 of them private citizens. Jennifer Sun is one of two designated members of a national public interest organization. Appointees serve four year terms.
Sun has served as co-executive director of AAFE since 2018. In her role, she oversees one of New York City’s leading community development organizations and its affiliates, including Renaissance Economic Development Corporation and AAFE Community Development Fund. She is treasurer on the Board of Directors of Renaissance, which has unlocked millions of dollars in capital for NYC small businesses, including approximately $8 million in emergency funding during the pandemic to sustain devastated businesses in Manhattan’s Chinatown and immigrant neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn.
From 2008 to 2014, Sun served as Senior Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and in 2015 she was appointed Executive Director of Sunset Park at EDC, overseeing the modernization of 6 million square feet of industrial property along the Brooklyn waterfront to support urban manufacturing. From 2004 to 2008, Sun served as a policy advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office, guiding public investment in affordable housing, commercial development and nonprofit cultural institutions in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx. She holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics and east asian studies from UCLA and a Masters of Science in urban planning from Columbia University. In addition to her recent appointment to the Community Development Advisory Board, Sun serves on the New York Federal Reserve’s Community Advisory Group.
AAFE’s mission is to advance racial, social and economic justice for Asian Americans and other systematically disadvantaged communities. Since the late 1980s, AAFE has created more than 1,000 affordable rental apartments in Manhattan and Queens and provided over $400 million in mortgage financing for first-time homebuyers. Renaissance EDC supports immigrant entrepreneurs, offering low-interest loans and training programs. AAFE provides an array of multilingual counseling and educational programs in support of low-income tenants, seniors and immigrant youth.