Executive Vice President
Empire State Development
Holly Leicht is Executive Vice President of Real Estate Development & Planning at Empire State Development, overseeing the planning and disposition of New York State’s surplus properties, ESD’s subsidiary development corporations, and special projects. Previously she served in the Obama Administration as the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Region 2, presiding over the agency’s activities in New York and New Jersey, including $6 billion in affordable housing and other urban development programs and over $15 billion in Superstorm Sandy recovery funds. Leicht led the implementation of the region’s winning Rebuild by Design and National Disaster Resilience Competition projects, and after the Obama Administration ended, she wrote a report entitled Rebuild the Plane Now: Recommendations for Improving Government’s Approach to Disaster Recovery and Preparedness. Prior to her appointment at HUD, Leicht was the Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P), a research-based advocacy organization championing quality public spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods. She previously held positions at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), most recently as the Deputy Commissioner for Development; the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC); and the Municipal Art Society. Leicht began her legal career in Real Estate Finance at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She grew up in St. Louis and graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law.