Press Releases

Donald H. Layton to Join NYU Furman Center as Senior Visiting Fellow

June 21st 2022

Former Freddie Mac CEO Covers GSE Reform and Housing Finance; Will Strengthen Furman Collaboration with NYU Stern’s Center for Real Estate Finance Research

New York - The NYU Furman Center announced today the appointment, effective July 1, of Donald H. Layton as Senior Visiting Fellow from Practice. Layton brings decades of financial experience to the Furman Center. Most recently, he served as a Senior Industry Fellow at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, where he wrote extensively about the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE) of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and more broadly on housing finance. Prior to academia, Layton was the CEO of Freddie Mac from May 2012 until June 2019, where he championed the development of Credit Risk Transfers, one of the most significant reforms to the housing finance system in decades.

“The role of GSEs in shaping housing markets and affordability is largely hidden yet crucially important,” said Mark Wills, Senior Policy Fellow at the NYU Furman Center. “Don’s deep understanding of housing finance, and his ability to make its role clear and accessible, will be a boon to the Furman Center’s researchers and audience.”

As a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Furman Center, Layton will continue to study and write about the GSEs and housing finance. His work will be published regularly on The Stoop, and in Furman Center publications that blend rigorous data analysis with practical insights and recommendations for reform. Layton will also collaborate with faculty at the Center for Real Estate Finance Research at NYU’s Stern School of Business, where colleagues will benefit from his long experience in finance.

“We are delighted to welcome Don to NYU and are excited for this opportunity to deepen Stern Real Estate’s collaboration with the Furman Center,” said Sam Chandan, Director of NYU Stern’s Center for Real Estate Finance Research. “Our two Centers share an interest in housing development, investment, and market structures and will benefit tremendously from Don’s participation in our research dialogue and industry engagement.”

“I look forward to working with my new colleagues, and to continuing my research and writing at the NYU Furman Center,” said Don Layton. Housing finance generally, and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in particular, meaningfully impact the vast majority of American households, making a real difference in housing affordability and access, as well as being critical to the stability of our financial system. My goal is to educate policymakers and the housing community about policies that promote the best possible housing finance system.”

Layton worked for nearly 30 years at JPMorgan Chase and its predecessors, starting out as a trainee and retiring in 2004 as Vice Chairman and one of its top three executives. His experience ranged from leading businesses in global capital markets, investment banking, and US consumer banking, with extensive experience as a general manager of a large financial institution.

He was Chairman and then CEO of E*TRADE Financial from 2007 to 2009, shepherding it successfully through the financial crisis. Since 2004, he has served on several corporate boards, including being appointed to the board of AIG by the US Treasury. He served as a senior advisor to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association from 2006 to 2008.  He currently serves on the board of the Enterprise Community Partners, a non-profit specializing in affordable rental housing, and as Chairman Emeritus of the board of the Partnership for the Homeless, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing homelessness in New York City, after having been its chair for nearly a decade.

Layton received simultaneous Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar.  

About the Furman Center
The NYU Furman Center advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy. Established in 1995, it is a joint center of the New York University School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. More information can be found at and @FurmanCenterNYU.

About the Center for Real Estate Finance Research
Established in 2012, the Center for Real Estate Finance Research at the NYU Stern School of Business is a global leader in real estate business education, research, and industry engagement. Stern’s MBA concentration in real estate is ranking #2 among business schools by US News and World Report. More information can be found at and @NYUSternCRE.