ESQ. Senior Director• Standard & Poor’s • New York, N.Y.
In 1999, the financial power of Wall Street intersected with Valerie D. White’s love for communities of color when Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, the world’s foremost provider of independent credit ratings and risk evaluation, tapped her to join its new Public Housing Authority business. “This put me ‘at the table’ to impact the communities I love most,” states White, S&P’s director housing and head of the public housing sector within the public finance group. “I assess and articulate the value of public housing units—which are home to a disproportionately high number of minorities—for the purpose of helping others invest in these neighborhoods,” she explains.
A member of S&P’s corporate and government ratings division, White is recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in providing top-notch analytical information about the public housing industry. The Fordham University Law School graduate recently was selected as one of a 25-member U.S. delegation to the Tri-Country Housing Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. While she appreciates such acclaim, White insists that she wants to be known for her efforts to improve her community. “Giving back to the community isn’t only about mentoring disadvantaged youth or taking a position at an inner-city nonprofit; the best way professionals can give back is to apply their education, skills, perspective and experiences, whatever they may be, for the benefit of others,” she says.
White previously worked for New York City’s Housing Authority and Department of Personnel, serving in key advisory roles during her combined 14-year tenure with these agencies. Among her roles were: executive policy assistant for the board of commissioners at the Housing Authority and deputy director of management planning and analysis at personnel. When not on the job, she devotes time to her daughters, Joslynn and Monica, and co-chairs the Audit, Founders Day and Teen Lift executive committees of the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She hopes to volunteer in developing countries to establish private and capital investment infrastructures for community development projects.