Building strong neighborhoods with affordable housing and community programs

Executive Staff

Alexa Sewell, Presidentbecame Settlement Housing Fund's chief executive on February 1, 2014.  Ms. Sewell was previously Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategy and External Affairs at The Community Preservation Corporation, a nationally recognized leader in affordable housing finance.  Before that, she was Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Staff for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, responsible for policy development and external affairs.  She also worked in Washington as staff to the Appropriations Committee, as a policy analyst for The National Alliance to End Homelessness, and as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development.  Alexa has a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Southern California.

Garraud Etienne, Chief Operating Officer, joined Settlement Housing Fund in 2016. Garraud has extensive private sector, government, and nonprofit management experience. Garraud was a nonprofit consultant at BTQ Financial and spent nearly eight years at Women In Need (WIN, Inc.) where he ran transitional housing programs, fiscal operations and research and evaluation efforts. He holds a B.S from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a MBA from Columbia Business School. As Settlement Housing Fund COO Garraud is responsible for a broad management portfolio.

Lee Warshavsky, General Counsel, came to Settlement Housing Fund in 1999.  He holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and has over 25 years of experience in the affordable housing field.  Prior to joining Settlement Housing Fund, Lee worked in several capacities at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, including serving as Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Housing Production and Finance.  At Settlement Housing Fund, he is responsible for legal work pertaining to both housing development and overall organization operations.


Sheila Ravenel CarpenterDirector of Government Grants Management and General Services, has worked for Settlement Housing Fund since 1990.  She holds a Bachelor of Administration degree from Audrey Cohen College and has been certified in the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.  Ms. Carpenter is in charge of Settlement Housing Fund's human resources, government grants administration, general office management and MIS.

Nicole Clare, Director of Housing Developmentjoined Settlement Housing Fund in 2011 with over 10 years of experience in the government, private and non-profit sectors.  She holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Master’s in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Settlement Housing Fund, Nicole was a Community Development Project Manager at Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, where she was directly responsible for the development of affordable housing units.  Before that, she was an Associate in the NYC office of AECOM Economics (formerly Economics Research Associates), a well-respected real estate development consulting company, and held several positions at the City of New York / Parks & Recreation.  At Settlement Housing Fund, she has primary responsibility for all housing development projects, including new construction and rehabilitation, and oversees asset management.

Kathy Hecht, Director of Marketing and Compliance, started work at Settlement Housing Fund in 2011.  She holds a B.A. from Hamilton College and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law.  Previously, she worked at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where she was Director of Tax Incentive Programs, overseeing the J-51 tax abatement, the 421a Lower Income Housing Preservation and the Inclusionary Housing Programs.  She has also worked on transportation policy issues for both the New York City Mayor’s Office of Transportation Policy and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and served as a consultant to Columbia University on real estate matters.  At Settlement Housing Fund, she supervises marketing and rent-ups of affordable housing units.

Katharine McAulay, Director of Fund Development, joined Settlement Housing Fund in 2009 with over 20 years of nonprofit fundraising experience. She worked previously as Development Director for Goddard Riverside Community Center and the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and as a corporate and foundation relations fundraiser for Mount Sinai Medical Center and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Ms. McAulay, a graduate of George Washington University, works with Settlement Housing Fund's leadership to generate support through grants, individual gifts, and sponsored events.   


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