March 4, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC - The American Society for Public Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration have chosen Theresa Parker, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), as one of two recipients for the jointly awarded 2008 National Public Service Award.

The award is given to an individual who has made a difference in public administration over a sustained period of time.

Parker was recognized for her 33 years of public service. She was nominated for the honor by Elizabeth G. Hill, California Legislative Analyst, and Dr. Chester A. Newland, a University of Southern California professor of public administration.

"Serving five governors from Jerry Brown to Arnold Schwarzenegger, she has demonstrated a sustained commitment to serving the public, particularly the least fortunate who often rely on public services for health care, social services and public assistance," Hill and Newland wrote in their nomination of Parker for the award.

Hill and Newland called her a risk taker in government service, "not content with maintaining the status quo."

Parker began working for the state of California in 1975 as a student assistant in the Department of Benefit Payments. Before her appointment as executive director of CalHFA in 1997, she served as the Chief Deputy Director for Policy at the California Department of Finance from 1993 to 1997 and Undersecretary for the California Health and Welfare Agency from 1991 to 1993. From 1986 to 1991, she served as a program budget manager for the Department of Finance. She holds a B.A. in Economics from California State University Sacramento.

At CalHFA, Hill and Newland highlighted Parker's continuous efforts to expand the agency's services to the people of California. CalHFA was founded in 1975 with the goal of helping more Californians live in a home they can afford. Since its founding, CalHFA has helped hundreds of thousands of families by funding mortgages for first-time homebuyers and affordable rental housing throughout the state.

"I am honored to receive this award, but I accept it on behalf of all the dedicated people who make CalHFA such a wonderful and giving organization," Parker said. "Through the years, we have been devoted to creating innovative solutions to help build communities. Our focus is making homeownership a truly reachable goal for more Californians, increasing affordable rental housing availability and housing homeless individuals or those with special housing needs."

Parker will accept the award at the 69th annual ASPA Conference in Dallas, which is expected to attract more than 1,200 federal, state and local government officials and employees, as well as scholars, practitioners, new professionals and students.

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