Shaun Donovan was a candidate for New York City mayor as a Democrat as of April 2021. Before that, his career took him from nonprofits to the highest reaches of the federal government, as well as segways into urban planning and advocacy.
Donovan was commissioner of the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development from 2004 to 2009. He then served for more than five years as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and three years as director of the federal Office of Management and Budget.
The Upper East Side of Manhattan native earned three degrees from Harvard, including masters in architecture and urban planning, and started his career at the National Coalition for the Homeless and the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation. Most recently, before launching his campaign for mayor, he worked as an adviser to Harvard’s president on the school’s development plans in Boston’s Allston neighborhood.
Donovan told Commercial Observer in February 2021 that he would streamline New York City’s affordable housing approvals process and overhaul its property tax system, among other changes if he were mayor.