She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but at the age of 12 her family moved to Atlanta, Ga. She received a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Wellesley College, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a M.P.P. in business and government policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
During the Obama Campaign for President, Patience served on the Obama/Biden Metropolitan and Urban Policy Advisory Committee and the Economy, Globalization, and Trade Policy Advisory Committee. In this role, she worked alongside others to provide local information to campaign leads. She downplays her role saying there were several people on the committee but whether there were 5 or 100 members we’re certain Patience contributed greatly.
In addition to working on policy Committees, Patience beat the
pavement locally, working on BWFO4Change phone banks and
volunteering in Virginia evenings and weekends to help elect Senator Barack Obama to the Presidency. When the campaign came to a close, she did not lose steam—she informed the campaign office that she was willing to go anywhere in Virginia to help out on Election Day. She didn’t expect them to say, “Great, we need help in Martinsville, VA.” It is important to note that Martinsville is 300 miles from Washington, DC and only 13 miles from the North Carolina border.
Consider the litany of responses that might run through one’s mind – “gas prices are too high,”…“I do not have that much time”….“I know I said anywhere, but if he wins how will I get back to DC in time to celebrate”.
Not Patience. She drove down to Martinsville, VA alone. She spent Election Day working at the polls, watching grandmothers bring in grandsons, voters visiting multiple polling locations to get to the right one and Martinsville locals volunteering to drop off doorknockers in their respective neighborhoods. She speaks of the kindness and hospitality the older southern black women extended to her.
Not once does she complain.
Rather than attempt to drive back to DC, Patience watched the election results at a local lodge in Martinsville, complete with Southern fare. She describes seeing the announcement of the first Black president through the eyes of older southern black women – women who had spent years sacrificing for this very occasion. As Patience shares this, it occurs to me – she was merely in like company – amongst fellow steady rocks who, like Patience, will tell you their work and their sacrifices were no big deal – “just the thing that needed to get done”.
After the election Patience was rewarded with a political appointment and now serves as an Advisor to Shaun Donovan, Secretary, U.S. Housing and Urban Development. She is also a member of the Obama Administration’s interagency housing stability team that focuses on initiatives to prevent foreclosures, preserve homeownership through refinancing and modify mortgages to affordable and sustainable levels, as well as to mitigate the impact of foreclosed and abandoned properties on local neighborhoods and the broader economy.
She is very qualified for these positions having spent more than 10 years advising senior Democratic Members of Congress on consumer banking, affordable housing, community development, and economic inclusion policy matters. Most recently, she was a Counsel on the House Financial Services Committee where she advised Representative Barney Frank on a number of issues including abusive and predatory lending, credit card industry reform, and financial literacy/education initiatives.
She served more than 8 years as Counsel on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee where she advised Senator Paul Sarbanes on issues ranging from anti-predatory lending legislation to bank regulatory reform measures. She also served as the chief policy expert on the Community Reinvestment Act, In recognition of her service and commitment, she the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, and initiatives to reach the unbanked. In recognition of her service and commitment, she received the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders’ “Making a Difference Award.”
Patience brings education, extensive experience and commitment to her work. She also brings a more tacit character trait that becomes apparent as you hear her talk about her background and her campaign volunteer experience.
During her career, Patience has advised senators and representatives and now HUD.
There is one stop left – Advisor to the President of the United States. I cannot think of anyone better suited for the position.
Patience says Obama becoming President renewed her faith in America. Knowing someone like her works for the Obama Administration renews mine.
By Tiffany Quivers