Wooster Trustee to serve as special assistant to President Biden for Housing and Urban Policy

Erika Poethig ’93 offers perspective to Biden Administration based on years of experience in urban policy and development

March 5, 2021   /  
Erika Poethig ’93
Erika Poethig ’93

The Biden Administration announced the appointment of Wooster Alumna and Trustee Erika Poethig ’93, as special assistant to the President for Housing and Urban Policy. Poethig had also served as the head of the Biden-Harris transition team on Housing and Urban Development issues. The White House announcement noted that she would serve among several “qualified, impressive, and dedicated individuals [that] reflect the diversity and strength of America and will play critical roles advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling the crises we face and building back our country better.”

“Excited to join such a fabulous @WhiteHouse policy team under the incredible leadership of @AmbRice46, serving @POTUS and working everyday on behalf of the American people,” Poethig said in a comment on Twitter on March 5, referencing the announcement from the White House and Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Advisor.

Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Erika Poethig was chief innovation officer and vice president for the research to action lab at the Urban Institute, a social and economic policy research organization founded by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. In the Obama-Biden Administration, she held several positions including acting assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was a leading architect of the White House Council for Strong Cities, Strong Communities. Poethig led housing policy portfolios at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and at the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing.

After earning her degree at Wooster in political science, she completed her master’s at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Poethig has served on Wooster’s Board of Trustees, as an Alumni Trustee, and as a member of the Alumni Board. She acts an alumni leader in Washington, D.C. and as an Alumni Admissions Advocate, helping to identify, recruit, and welcome new Wooster students. She previously served as president of the Alumni Board, as a Presidential Fellow, as an alumni leader in Chicago, and as a reunion committee member.