Ruth Jones Nichols Joins LISC as EVP

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has named Ruth Jones Nichols, Ph.D., a senior housing official in the Biden-Harris Administration with decades of community leadership experience, as executive vice president of programs. She will oversee LISC’s 37 metro-area program offices, the national Rural LISC investment program and a dozen sector-specific LISC programs designed to fuel economic opportunity across the country.

LISC is one of the nation’s largest community development organizations, investing more than $2 billion annually to fuel affordable housing, small businesses, health, safety, education and jobs.

Jones Nichols most recently served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, having previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for public engagement at HUD. In these roles, she worked as a strategist helping design and implement housing policies, while also collaborating with public, private and nonprofit stakeholders on programs that fuel healthy communities and expand quality housing across the country.

In addition to her federal leadership, Jones Nichols spent decades working at the local level on critical issues related to housing, jobs, racial and gender equity, education and food access. Her leadership positions span such high-impact organizations as Feeding America; Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore; YWCA South Hampton Roads; District of Columbia Public Schools; Communities In Schools; as well as a range of neighborhood-based groups focused on youth and underserved populations.
She also served as an international management consultant for 17 years supporting the efforts of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in Ghana and Haiti.

“Ruth’s remarkable range of experience, not to mention her deep personal commitment to equity and opportunity, will enrich LISC’s program work and help energize the communities that we serve,” said Michael T. Pugh, LISC president and CEO.

“She understands how to manage significant national strategies, as well as targeted local efforts,” he continued. “Whether leading critical federal housing strategies, raising $150 million for D.C. public schools or helping at-risk people access emergency housing, food, childcare and counseling, she has been at the forefront of comprehensive community development for decades. We are thrilled to have her directing our program work,” he said.

In addition to her significant professional accomplishments, Jones Nichols has volunteered her time on a number of boards, including the African American Cultural Center of VirginiaHampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Hampton Roads Workforce Council and YMCA of South Hampton Roads.

She has also been honored with numerous awards, like the Inside Business Top 40 Under 40 and Women in Business Achievement Awards; Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities; and the Golden Hanger Award from Dress for Success Hampton Roads.

Jones Nichols earned her Ph.D. in social work from Catholic University of America as well as a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College of William and Mary.

She can be reached at

About LISC
LISC is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. LISC works with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since its founding in 1979, LISC has invested $32 billion to create more than 506,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 82.5 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space, and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances. For more, visit