Alphonso Jackson was sworn in Thursday as the 13th Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Jackson, confirmed by the U.S. Senate Wednesday, was sworn in at a private HUD ceremony late Thursday afternoon. He promised to continue building on the nation’s record home ownership rate, increasing access to affordable housing for low-income families and improving sound management practices within HUD.

Jackson had served as acting HUD secretary after Mel Martinez resigned in December 2003 to run for state senator in his home state of Florida.

Previously, Jackson served as HUD’s deputy secretary, working as the department’s COO and managing day-to-day operations of a department with 9,300 employees and an annual budget of $32 billion.

Jackson has extensive housing, finance and management experience. He directed public housing authorities in St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. He also served as chairman of two redevelopment agencies in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis.

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