Our Founder

Debbi Hurd Baptist
1949-2000

A 15-year veteran of banking, finance and capital markets transactions, Debbi Hurd Baptist was the founding president and CEO of the first community development bank in Washington.  Prior to her death on November 6, 2000, Ms. Baptist served as one of City First’s organizing directors and shareholders, making an indelible imprint on the inaugural business planning, structuring and capitalization of the Bank. Prior to joining City First, Ms. Baptist served for six years as a director of community development investments in the Multifamily Division at Freddie Mac, where she was responsible for the development and management of housing tax credits and other mortgage products to increase the purchase volume of affordable rental housing. Under her leadership, the tax credit portfolio grew from $50 million to over $1.0 billion, providing capital to 1500 projects nationwide

She served on the board of, Christmas in April USA, the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders (NAAHL), Homes for America, and TRM Copy Center Corporation. She held a B.A. in economics from Smith College, a master’s degree in urban design and planning form the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and an M.B.A in finance from the George Washington University

Each year, City First honors partners who exemplify Ms. Baptist’s commitment to improving the economic health and access to capital in low-wealth Washington-area communities with the Baptist Award.  

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