Executive Team

TRACEY SCOTT, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

On March 30, 2020, the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Board appointed Tracey Scott as Chief Executive Officer.  In this role, Ms. Scott brings over 30 years of public and private sector experience to lead the Authority into its next chapter.

Before coming to CHA, Ms. Scott served as interim executive director/CEO of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA). During her three-year tenure, which included an earlier role as deputy executive director, she co-created a 20-year strategic vision and capital plan focused on preserving MPHA’s portfolio of 42 highrise buildings and 700 single family homes. Under her leadership MPHA secured its first Low Income Housing Tax Credits and approval for a 184-unit RAD project and completed a new development for formerly homeless families.

During nine years as vice president of innovation at the Atlanta Housing Authority, Ms. Scott introduced private sector business practices and design thinking to implement innovative programs using the “Moving to Work” (MTW) program. Like CHA, Atlanta Housing is one of only 39 MTW agencies, out of 3,400 public housing authorities nationwide, afforded flexibility in providing housing assistance under agreement with HUD. Through Ms. Scott’s collaborations with other government agencies, private philanthropy and non-profit service providers, Atlanta Housing introduced unique initiatives that combined housing and services to stabilize families.

Ms. Scott’s additional professional experience includes senior global strategy positions at Visa International and AT&T. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and an Executive MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

A Leadership Atlanta graduate, Ms. Scott has served in volunteer leadership roles with Partners for Home Atlanta, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ community advisory board, and Patelco Credit Union. She serves on the board of the Moving to Work Collaborative, a newly formed industry association for MTW agencies.

JAMES L. BEBLEY, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

jbebley@thecha.org

Mr. Bebley serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Chicago Housing Authority. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations that ensure CHA delivers on its mission to provide affordable housing opportunities for low-income families across the city through CHA’s various programs and Resident Services initiatives.

From September 2019 through April 2020, he served as Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO). During that time, he was responsible for the overall operation and direction of the agency.

Mr. Bebley has over 30 years of experience practicing law in the public and private sectors. In his most recent legal post, he served as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the Chicago Housing Authority. In addition, he was responsible for the Housing Choice Voucher hearing process and the Ethics Policy functions and served as a Trustee and Secretary to the Chicago Housing Authority Employees’ Retirement Plan and Trust. 

Prior to joining the Authority, Mr. Bebley served as General Counsel for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, where he was responsible for all legal matters, labor and certain employee relations functions and ethics functions for the Chicago Public Schools. 

He previously practiced law at the private law firms of Carney & Brothers and Ice Miller. In private practice he concentrated on municipal and public finance, commercial contracts and real estate.

Mr. Bebley has served on various committees examining a host of legal, social and financial issues including economic development in the Republic of Cuba, restorative justice in public education, and First and Fourth Constitutional Amendment issues in public schools.

Currently Mr. Bebley serves on the University of Illinois Student Affairs Advisory committee, the Finance Committee of the Chicago Jesuit Academy and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Board of Ethics and Credentialing.  Mr. Bebley is a member of the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association.  Mr. Bebley earned his law degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he also received his Bachelor of Science in Finance. 

CHERYL COLSTON, CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER

Cheryl Colston is the Chief Legal Officer at the Chicago Housing Authority, and has more than 32 years of corporate, compliance, management, labor and litigation experience.  She is responsible for all legal matters of the agency.  Ms. Colston joined CHA in 2015 as Deputy Chief Legal Officer.

Before arriving at CHA, Ms. Colston served as First Deputy General Counsel for the Board of Education of the City of Chicago, where she advised the Board, Chief Executive Officer and senior leaders on contracts, policies and legislation, and directed a staff of 45 attorneys and 30 support staff. She was also Director of Employee Relations and Assistant General Counsel while at the Board of Education. Prior to that, she was an attorney in private practice. She began her career at the City of Chicago.

Ms. Colston’s trial experience includes obtaining favorable verdicts and rulings in state and federal court actions involving multi-million dollar liability exposure.  She has negotiated historical five-year collective bargaining agreements between the Board of Education of Chicago and seven labor unions.  She has also created and implemented effective investigative protocol for Title IX and Title VII investigations.

Ms. Colston received her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law where she served on Law Review, and her bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Buffalo. She won the 2011 Orchid Women of Vision award, and was a finalist for the 2009 Kathy Osterman Award. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association and BWLA of Greater Chicago.

MICHAEL MORAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Michael Moran is a financial professional with over 30 years of experience in developing and driving strategic goals with a focus on financial reporting and analysis, including consolidations, forecasting, capital and operating budgets, systems implementation, treasury functions, and risk management oversight.  He has a record of developing and implementing innovative solutions utilizing a highly motivated team approach resulting in increased efficiency, internal control and overall performance for private, public and nonprofit organizations.

As Chief Finance Officer at CHA, Mr. Moran directs a staff of 62 and oversees the agency’s $1 billion operating budget. He manages the agency’s accounting and financial reporting function, along with multiple top tier audit firm relationships on the financial and compliance audits, to ensure proper policies, internal controls and reporting results are in place. He is also responsible for developing the operating and capital expenditure budgets and forecasts to ensure the agency’s needs are appropriately planned for and the associated reporting is shared with stakeholders. Mr. Moran serves as a member of CHA’s Investment Committee which establishes the policies and strategic oversight of the investment portfolio including decision-making relating to financing, debt strategy, and policy governance and sits on the Board of the Chicago Housing Authority Employees’ Retirement Plan. Additionally, he oversees the Risk Management group responsible for all property, liability, and healthcare coverages.

Prior to coming to CHA in 2012, where he  first served as Budget Director and later as Deputy Chief Financial Officer before being named Chief Financial Officer in June 2017, Mr. Moran worked in the private and nonprofit sectors in a variety of industries as an accountant, treasurer and controller.  He was the Treasurer/Director of Internal Reporting for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago where he was responsible for banking relationships, cash management, budgeting and served as an employee-member of the Investment Committee.  Additionally, he served as the Controller at The Habitat Company, a major real estate development and management company headquartered in Chicago, where he was responsible for financial reporting, forecasting and directing annual audit and tax return preparation by multiple audit firms for over 100 real estate limited partnerships.  

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and an MBA in Finance from the University of Illinois, Chicago and is a State of Illinois Certified Public Accountant.

MARY HOWARD, CHIEF RESIDENT SERVICES OFFICER

Ms. Howard currently serves as the Chief Resident Services Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority.  She is responsible for implementing 2 Gen programs that foster economic independence, increase earning power, support academic achievement, and enhance housing stability and quality of life for residents. 

Since joining CHA, Ms. Howard has developed and strengthened programming to include evidenced based models that have led to over 7,000 job placements for adults and more than 8,000 paid work experiences for youth; assisted in the creation and launch of CHA’s nonprofit affiliate, Springboard 2 Success, and has designed and implemented research based programming such as Housing Opportunities and Services Together (HOST) with the Urban Institute, and the groundbreaking advance earned income tax credit pilot. Ms. Howard is a board member of Springboard 2 Success and the Chicago Continuum of Care.

Ms. Howard has more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit and housing service industry including management, program design, evaluation, coaching, and training. She has worked on issues that impact vulnerable populations such as addiction, homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as implemented a variety of workforce development, housing, and anti-poverty programs.

Ms. Howard is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois and earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from Capella University.

CHERYL BURNS, CHIEF HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER OFFICER

Cheryl Burns is the Chief Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority.

Ms. Burns is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly known as Section 8), the second-largest public housing voucher program in the United States with 47,000 vouchers. She also oversees the development and implementation of policies and procedures to ensure effective and efficient HCV operations.

Ms. Burns served as CHA’s Program Integrity Manager, Senior Director and Deputy Chief Housing Officer for Operations and Compliance in which she managed the HCV budget, audits and procurement of Contracts and Supplies. She developed and monitored annual operating budgets and oversaw administrative processes such as software transition and training for CHA’s systems of record.

Prior to joining CHA, Ms. Burns spent more than 10 years working in housing authority management, gaining extensive experience in program administration,  evaluation, coaching, training and staff development.  She served as Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Park Forest’s HCV program and as Manager of Admissions and Occupancy for the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority, where she led the agency to a high-performer status on the SEMAP. 

Ms. Burns holds a master’s degree in Communications and Training from Governor's State University and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Columbia College in Chicago.

ANN MCKENZIE, CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

Ann McKenzie is the Chief Development Officer for the Chicago Housing Authority. She has more than 20 years of experience developing affordable housing, including public housing. 

Ms. McKenzie joined the CHA as Senior Director of the Rental Assistance Demonstration program in October 2015.   Before joining CHA, Ms. McKenzie served as Director of Development for The Habitat Company where she focused on affordable real estate development with an emphasis on mixed-income public housing in both Chicago and Detroit.   Before that, she worked for Bethel New Life where her interest in affordable housing was sparked.   

Ms. McKenzie earned her bachelor of science degree  in speech (with an emphasis in economics) from Northwestern University and her law degree from DePaul University College of Law.   Ms. McKenzie is active in Chicago volunteer roles.  She has held various volunteer roles including PTA president, Local School Council chair/vice chair and co-chaired a capital campaign  to restore a Chicago-landmarked church.