A Littleton native and former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regional director has been named executive director of New Hampshire's Community Development Finance Authority. The CDFA board of directors said Thursday Taylor Caswell is set to take over next month.
Caswell was a HUD New England regional administrator from 2005 to 2009. Previously honored as one of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News "40 Under 40" leaders who were making a difference in the Granite State, he has also worked for KeySpan Energy, Farmers Insurance Group, and for former N.H. Congressman Bill Zeliff.
Most recently, he has operated Caswell Strategies, an affordable housing and energy solutions consulting firm he founded in 2009. Caswell was also managing director for CleanGen Partners, which funds and develops solar photovoltaic systems.
Caswell said he's eager to take on leadership of the authority, a quasi-government entity that operates a number of programs aimed at providing funds and other resources for nonprofits and municipalities to creating community development projects that include affordable housing and job creation. CDFA also operates the state Investment Tax Credit program and administers the federal Community Development Block Grant program for New Hampshire. "CDFA is well positioned to be a key resource in revitalizing New Hampshire's economy — community by community," Caswell said in a news release. "I look forward to working with community, nonprofit and business leaders across the state to recognize and promote the deep-seated value New Hampshire places in its communities."
Originally from Littleton in New Hampshire's North Country, Caswell now lives in Hollis. He is chairman of the New Hampshire CleanTech Council, and steering committee chairman for the state's Energy & Climate Collaborative. He has also served on the Hollis Land Protection Committee, the Greater Boston Federal Executive Board, the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Interagency Regional Council on Homelessness.
He replaces former CDFA Executive Director Kathy Bogle Shields, who retired in January."We have a great deal of confidence in Taylor," Janet Ackerman, CDFA board chairwoman, said in the release. "He has a rare balance of public and private experience, covering community development, affordable housing, and energy efficiency. We anticipate he'll challenge the organization and take it in new directions that will further strengthen New Hampshire's communities."
Caswell has also received the Outstanding Public Service Award from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and the Young Alumni Achievement Award from Gettysburg College. He received special leadership recognition from the American Federation of Government Employees for his leadership at HUD.
He enjoys alpine skiing and is a competitive road cyclist and coach. He's also an avid backcountry hiker, having scaled 29 of New Hampshire's 48 "4,000 footers."
In the past six years, funds from CDFA programs have: created and/or retained nearly 2,599 livable wage jobs with benefits; improved or supported creation of over 3,514 affordable and workforce housing units; and improved the lives of more than 62,518 people in the state through water and sewer system improvements, transitional and homeless shelters, and neighborhood or community centers, according to the authority's administrators.