Senior Vice President, Field Operations
Katie Watts has been involved with community development and affordable housing for most of her career. After college, she worked as an AmeriCorps Vista in her hometown of Kansas City. "It was my first exposure to learning about housing, and the way that housing could have a stabilizing effect on individuals and families as well as neighborhoods."
The experience solidified her desire to work on these issues. Watts went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Administration at Syracuse University. She applied her knowledge and gained early exposure to NeighborWorks through a network organization called Home HeadQuarters in Syracuse, New York. There, she supported a project to measure the impact of the organization in the community. This gave her an inside look at how NeighborWorks America evaluates its members and quantifies impact.
Watts joined NeighborWorks America after a few years in related positions, such as the Missouri housing finance agency, where she refined her knowledge of housing, community development and financing options.
Her first role at NeighborWorks America was in foreclosure mitigation at the height of the housing crisis. Watts says, "I appreciated the opportunity to be part of a national response to an immediate need and the innovative approaches that NeighborWorks applied in addressing the housing crisis."
Currently, Watts is leading the Field Operations division. "One of the things that makes NeighborWorks so unique is our network and the relationship we have with that network. We really are working in long-term partnership and able to hear what’s happening on the ground," says Watts, "The Field division takes a holistic perspective on trends and looks for opportunities for future collaboration."
Outside of work, Katie is an avid traveler. She has visited Asia multiple times, including Western China, India and Thailand. She volunteers with N Street Village in Washington, D.C., an organization that serves lower-income women and she is also active in her church.