Henry G. Cisneros

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Henry G. Cisneros was nominated by President Clinton to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on December 17, 1992. He was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on January 21, 1993, and sworn into office by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on January 22, 1993.

As a member of the President's Cabinet, Secretary Cisneros is America's foremost federal housing and community development official. He is responsible for administering fair housing activities as well as federally assisted housing and economic development programs throughout the nation.

Mr. Cisneros began his career in public service working as an administrative assistant in the San Antonio City Manager's office. In 1971, he was selected as a White House Fellow and worked as an assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson. In 1975, he was elected to the San Antonio City Council, serving until 1981.

In 1981, Mr. Cisneros became the first Hispanic mayor of a major U.S. city when he was elected Mayor of San Antonio, the nation's 10th largest city. As a four-term mayor of San Antonio from 1981 to 1989, Mr. Cisneros rebuilt the city's economic base, recruiting convention business, attracting high tech industries, increasing tourism and creating jobs in San Antonio. In 1985, he was elected president of the National League of Cities.

Mr. Cisneros left public service in 1989, and became chairman of his newly organized Cisneros Asset Management Company, a national fixed-income asset management firm for tax-exempt institutions. For a three year period following his departure from the mayor's office, he also hosted Texans, a one-hour television show produced quarterly in Texas, and Adelante, a national daily Spanish-language radio commentary.

Mr. Cisneros recently served as deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Until he was named Secretary of HUD, he served as a board member of the Rockefeller Foundation, chairman of the National Civic League and chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Construction of San Antonio's Alamodome.

Mr. Cisneros graduated from Texas A&M with a B.A. and a masters of urban and regional planning. He earned an M.P.A. in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a doctorate in public administration from the George Washington University.

Mr. Cisneros has received numerous awards and honors. In 1982, he was selected as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Men of America" by the U.S. Jaycees. Four years later, City and State Magazine named him Outstanding Mayor, and in 1991, VISTA Magazine awarded him with its Hispanic Man of the Year honor.

Born on June 11, 1947 in San Antonio, Mr. Cisneros married Mary Alice Perez in 1969. They have two daughters, Teresa and Mercedes, and a son John Paul.

Return to Creating a Government That Works Better and Costs Less

Return to Success Stories Directory