Henry Cisneros

Henry Cisneros

Henry Gabriel Cisneros (born June 11, 1947) is an American politician and businessman. He came into the national spotlight as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 1981 to 1989--the first Hispanic mayor of a major American city. A Democrat, Cisneros served as the 10th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the administration of President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. As HUD Secretary, Cisneros was credited with initiating the revitalization of many of the nation’s public housing developments and with formulating policies that contributed to achieving the nation’s highest ever homeownership rate. In his role as the President’s chief representative to the nation’s cities, Cisneros personally worked in more than 200 U.S. cities in every one of the 50 states. Cisneros' decision to leave his Secretary position, and not serve a second term with Clinton, was overshadowed by controversy involving payments to his former mistress.

Prior to his cabinet position, Cisneros served four terms as the second Hispanic mayor of a major U.S. city, (the first being Alfonso Cervantes of St. Louis, Missouri 1965–1973) his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. As mayor, Cisneros rebuilt the city's economic base, recruiting convention business, attracting high tech industries, increasing tourism and creating jobs in San Antonio. Before being elected mayor, he was elected to three terms in the San Antonio city council.

Throughout his career in politics and business, Cisneros has remained actively involved with creating housing and development to result in urban revitalization for this country’s large cities. Cisneros is also a diligent advocate for the Latino community. He has and continues to serve on corporate boards, as well as chairing and serving on several non-profit boards to promote Latinos and the immigrant population, in addition to furthering the efforts for fair housing policy. Cisneros has authored, edited and collaborated on several books, and is an in-demand public speaker.

After public office, Cisneros served as President and COO for the Spanish-language network Univision from 1997 to 2000 before forming American City Vista to work the nation’s leading homebuilders to create homes priced within the range of average families. That company evolved to become CityView where Cisneros is currently Executive Chairman. His duties at CityView include overseeing the urban institutional investment firm which finances commercial and residential developers, with more than $2 billion in transactions from 45 projects in 30 markets across 13 states.

Cisneros serves as a co-chair of the Housing Commission at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Read more about Henry Cisneros:  Personal Background, Early Career, Political Career Beginnings, Mayor of San Antonio, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, After Leaving Public Office, Honors and Awards, Books, Writings, Speeches, Affiliations

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