Sunday, November 30, 2014
Mel Watt-Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Melvin Luther "Mel" Watt (born August 26, 1945) is an American politician who has been Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency since 2014. Previously he served as the United States Representative for North Carolina's 12th congressional district from 1993 to 2014. He is a member of the Democratic Party. An attorney from Charlotte, North Carolina, Watt also served one term as a state Senator and served as campaign manager for Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt. On May 1, 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Watt as the next head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which among other agencies, administers or has oversight for the FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. The U.S. Senate confirmed Watt on December 10, 2013. Watt was born in Steele Creek, located in Mecklenburg County. He is the son of Evelyn and Graham Edward Watt. Watt is a graduate of York Road High School in Charlotte. He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. In 1970, he received a J.D. from Yale Law School and was a published member of the Yale Law Journal. Watt practiced law from 1970 to 1992, specializing in minority business and economic development law. He has been a partner in several small businesses. Watt served one term in the North Carolina Senate. In 1992, Watt entered the Democratic primary for the newly created 12th District, a 64% black-majority district stretching from Gastonia to Durham. He won the primary with 47% of the vote. He then easily won the general election with 70% of the vote, becoming the 1st Democrat to represent a significant portion of Charlotte since 1953.