Who Is Marcia Fudge?

Marcia Fudge is the current secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and a former Democratic congresswoman from Ohio. Then-President-elect Joe Biden nominated her in December 2020, and on Feb. 4, 2021, the Senate Banking Committee voted to approve Fudge's nomination.

Fudge was confirmed by the Senate on March 10, 2021, and was sworn into office that evening. Fudge is the first Black woman to hold this position since President Jimmy Carter appointed Patricia Roberts Harris in the 1970s.

Marcia Fudge

Alison Czinkota / Investopedia

Key Takeaways

  • Sec. Marcia L. Fudge is a former congresswoman (D-Ohio) from the 11th Congressional District of Ohio.
  • She was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and later Shaker Heights.
  • She served from 2008-2021 in the U.S. Congress.
  • Fudge serves in President Biden's cabinet as the secretary of the U.S. Housing and Development Office.
  • Fudge is an active member of Delta Theta Sigma.



Early Years and Education

Fudge was born on Oct. 29, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her family moved to Shaker Heights when she was a young child. She grew up, according to interviews, in a strong faith-based household and Fudge attended the Baptist Church with her grandmother, mother, and other family members.

By all accounts, she grew up in a loving, modest family with strong community roots. Her mother, Marian Saffold, was a labor organizer, raised her daughter, who graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1971. Fudge obtained her B.S. degree in business administration from The Ohio State University in Columbus in 1975.

She later received her J.D. degree from Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1980 and worked for Ohio's Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office.

Among many things, HUD advises homeowners and potential homeowners, offers services to veterans and the homeless, and enforces fair lending and housing discrimination laws.

Notable Accomplishments and Early Career

In 1999, she was elected the first female, Black mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She served two terms, and during her tenure, Fudge adopted one of the first vacant and abandoned property ordinances in Ohio.

In addition, she worked closely with officials to create and support a task force designed to protect vulnerable individuals against predatory lending, led the charge to develop more residential housing, addressed the foreclosure crisis in Warrensville Heights, and secured property maintenance grants to help revitalize Warrensville Heights. These accomplishments and experiences most likely help build some of the foundations for her future jobs in the U.S. Congress and her position in President Biden's cabinet.

Working in Washington

A lifelong Democrat, she was elected and served as a Representative for the 11th Congressional District of Ohio from 2008 to 2021. Before this seat, she worked for the late Stephanie Tubb Jones on her staff while Tubb Jones served in Congress. Fudge, who came to work in Washington D.C. as a member of Jones' team, was nominated after Tubb Jones' sudden death in 2008.

While a congresswoman, she was appointed and served on the Committee on House Administration, the House Committee on Agriculture, and the House Committee on Education and Labor. Additionally, Fudge was the chair of the Committee on House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and was also chair of the Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations. As a congresswoman, she was the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Fudge was confirmed as secretary of HUD on March 10, 2021. As the head of a roughly $50 billion department, her work in 2021 focused on handling a national housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which appears to continue into 2022. The office of HUD is notably a challenging office due in part to the complexities of the sprawling housing and rental markets in the United States.

Fudge plans to put serious work into HUD's programs to increase safe and affordable rental housing, reduce homelessness, and fight housing discrimination, which often impacts minority and at-risk communities.

Personal Life

Fudge is unmarried and does not have any children. However, she is an active mentor in the lives of many young women. She splits her time between the District of Columbia and her own outside of Cleveland, Ohio.

She is the former national president of Delta Sigma Theta, a prestigious sorority and the largest public service sorority primarily for college-educated Black women, who work together to improve the lives of Black community members and support women.

The Delta Sigma Theta network is strong, and Fudge has said in interviews that it was instrumental in helping shape her career in politics by providing mentorship and guidance in her early years. In turn, Fudge mentors and advocates for young women of color interested in law and politics.

In a 2020 interview in Washington's Roll Call, she discussed the strong bonds of Delta Sigma Theta's sisters and their lifelong commitment to the organization and its mission, helping young women gain the proverbial foot in the door to opportunities to build their careers.

Is Marcia Fudge in Congress?

Sec. Marcia L. Fudge is a former congresswoman (D-Ohio) from the 11th Congressional District of Ohio. She left her post to serve in President Biden's cabinet as the secretary of the U.S. Housing and Development Office.

What Is HUD?

Marcia L. Fudge is the secretary of the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, which operates programs to fight housing discrimination, reduce homelessness, especially for families, support the right to own a home, and increase opportunities for affordable and safe housing. The previous secretary of HUD was Dr. Ben Carson, who was appointed by former president, Donald Trump.

Is Marcia L. Fudge in Delta Theta Sigma?

Sec. Marcia L. Fudge is the former national president of Delta Theta Sigma, the largest public service sorority primarily for college-educated Black women.

Who Runs the U.S. Office of Housing and Development (HUD)?

Marcia L. Fudge, a former representative in Congress, was appointed to the role of secretary of HUD by President Joe Biden in March 2021.

The Bottom Line

Fudge has worked on the community, local and national levels of politics, and helms the office of HUD, which, already facing extreme challenges, was left in a state of disarray after the exit of former secretary, Carson.

Among the items on her agenda as secretary of HUD is fixing the housing challenges facing the United States. According to her official government bio, among her action items for HUD are plans to eradicate the growing homelessness issue in America, end to discriminatory practices, which frequently occur in the U.S. housing market, and "ensure that our fair housing rules are doing what they are supposed to do: opening the door for families who have been systematically locked out for generations to buy homes and have a fair shot at achieving the American dream."

Originally written by
Nathan Reiff
Nathan Reiff has been writing expert articles and news about financial topics such as investing and trading, cryptocurrency, ETFs, and alternative investments on Investopedia since 2016.
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  1. U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. "Brown’s Remarks During Executive Session on the Nominations of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and Dr. Cecilia Rouse."

  2. The New York Times. "Biden Picks Marcia Fudge for HUD and Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary."

  3. U.S. Congress. "PN78-6 — Marcia Louise Fudge — Department of Housing and Urban Development."

  4. NBCNews. "'Housing Is Infrastructure': Marcia Fudge's Vision for a HUD That Serves the People."

  5. USA Today. "A Historic Housing Crisis Has America in its Grip. Can Marcia Fudge Save the Day?"

  6. The History Makers. "The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge."

  7. Cleveland.com "Marcia Fudge, With Style of Her Own, Takes Congressional Seat."

  8. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "What We Do."

  9. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Secretary Marcia L. Fudge."

  10. BlackPast. "Marcia Fudge (1952- )."

  11. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Fiscal Year 2022 HUD Budget."

  12. Delta Theta Sigma. "Mission and Purpose."

  13. Roll Call. "Marcia Fudge on what it’s like to be a Delta Sigma Theta in DC."

  14. The New York Times. "Trump Chooses Ben Carson to Lead HUD."

  15. The New York Times. "Marcia Fudge, Biden’s Pick to Lead HUD, Is Confirmed by Senate."

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