Kristin Leahy Fontenot

Kristin Leahy Fontenot

Director, Office of Environment and Energy, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Kristin Leahy Fontenot currently serves as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Director for the Office of Environment and Energy. With nearly 20 years of experience, Fontenot has dedicated her career to navigating the complex environmental and historic preservation aspects of community development, disaster recovery, resilience and capability building and find ways to ensure these process improve outcomes in timely and efficient ways.

In support of HUD’s mission to ensure housing for all people nationwide, she is leading several of the Department’s efforts associated with the climate crisis intended to increase the safety, comfort, and resilience of homes and community services across the nation with several noteworthy developments over the last months.

This includes HUD’s first radon contamination policy, the determination to update HUD’s minimum energy standards for new construction on April 26, and the advancement of HUD’s requirements, published on April 23, for a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, which will ensure increased protections to new construction and substantial improvement investments from current and future flood risk. Through such efforts, HUD is ensuring that communities have safe, affordable housing and are not left behind as the nation adapts to extreme heat, increased flood, and other natural hazards.

Prior to joining HUD, Fontenot worked at FEMA as the Director of the Office of Environment and Historic Preservation, where she regularly engaged in the national and local discussions regarding environmental and cultural resources challenges associated with disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation. While at FEMA, she grew the agency’s environmental program to rise to the challenges of increasing disaster frequency, supported agency efforts to increase community resilience, and supported the response and recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the OEHP receipt of DHS’s Environmental Cutting-Edge Environmental Program of the Year in 2021.