James Carras is Principal of Carras Community Investment, Inc., a development finance consulting firm and is a Lecturer at Harvard University where he teaches graduate seminars in “Policy Making in Urban Settings” and “Financing Community Economic Development.” At Harvard, he also serves as an academic advisor to students’ capstone projects as well as faculty advisor to the Harvard Opportunity Zone Interest Group. He also serves as a Technical Advisor to the Council of Development of Finance Agencies on housing finance and brownfields redevelopment finance.
Jim is recognized nationally for the creation and expansion of over fifty development financial institutions, community development organizations and community investment initiatives. His consulting clients include public agencies, mission-driven organizations, private and philanthropic institutions. He previously served as the Founding Executive Director of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders, the Founding President of the Broward Housing Partnership and the South Florida Community Land Trust. Prior to establishing his consulting business, he served as a Community Development Advisor to the Mayor of Boston and was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Urban Reinvestment Advisory Group where he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Fellowship.
He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Sociology from Suffolk University in Boston, completed graduate work at Tufts University’s Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and received a Master’s Degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Public Administration. He is certified by the National Development Council (NDC) as an Economic Development Finance Professional.
In November, 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA).