Profiles in Diversity Journal First Quarter 2021

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LATINO

2021

Vice President, Single-Family Credit Risk Transfer Capital Markets

LEADERS Worth Watching

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Education: MBA, finance, University of Maryland–Robert H. Smith School of Business; BS, business and finance, University of West Florida Company Name: Freddie Mac Industry: Financial services Company CEO: Michael Hutchins, President Company Headquarters Location: McLean, Virginia Number of Employees: Approximately 6,900 Words you live by: It’s all about attitude. Who is your personal hero? N/A What book are you reading? Leading with Questions: How Leaders Find the Right Solutions by Knowing What to Ask by Michael J. Marquardt What was your first job? My first job out of college was as a loan officer. Before that, I was a tennis coach. Favorite charity: Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative Interests: Tennis, triathlons, and travel Family: I am married to my wife, Kerri, and have three children: Sebastian (18), Rafael (16), and Sofia (12).

The Importance of Staying Positive and Flexible My career, and much of my life, has been defined by movement and change. Being flexible and adaptable, along with maintaining a positive attitude, has helped me discover and take advantage of new opportunities to grow professionally. I emigrated from Ecuador to the United States to study and play tennis at the University of West Florida. I arrived by myself and I had to quickly adapt to my new surroundings and a different culture. My early career began at a small Florida bank. After earning my MBA, I worked at government-sponsored enterprises in the housing sector, including Freddie Mac. With the experience I gained from the 2008 mortgage crisis, my career journey led me to help develop structured transactions in Latin America—working at the Inter-American Development Bank and then, as CFO at

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a securitization company back in my home country of Ecuador. In 2014, I returned to the United States to work on the newly created credit risk transfer program at Freddie Mac. Over the years, I’ve taken on more senior roles and led some of major enhancements to the structures that transfer single-family credit risk to private investors. My journey has led me away from home and back, only to leave again. The ability to grow into leadership roles amid so much change was only possible because of my positive outlook, flexibility, and adaptability. Looking back, however, I realize that I should have created my business network earlier in my career. It is something I tell others, particularly younger employees with similar backgrounds—building your network is critical. That’s why, at Freddie Mac,

I am actively engaged with the Hispanic/Latino business resource group and have served as co-chair and chair. The group supports, guides, and mentors Latinx and minorities who need that first bump to help their careers flourish. I mentor several individuals at Freddie Mac and, throughout the pandemic we’ve stayed in touch regularly. During these times, it is critical for Latinx people new to the business to continue to find ways to highlight their skills and grow within an organization. Given today’s social climate, and having lived and worked in both the United States and Ecuador, I realize there is a commonality in the challenges of bringing people together to promote positive change. My hope is that there is a way we can work together to provide more opportunities for minorities to lead and succeed.

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Christian Valencia