Mary Murtagh, President and CEO
Mary Murtagh, President and CEO, joined EAH Housing as Executive Director in 1986. Professionally trained as an architect, Ms. Murtagh specialized in real estate finance and project management prior to joining EAH. Under her direction, EAH has successfully pursued development opportunities creating over 7,300 units throughout California and Hawaii, and increasing units under EAH property management by over 850% to more than 8,900. EAH has grown to a staff of 475, serving 20,000 residents.
Ms. Murtagh is a passionate advocate for affordable housing and ways to help lower income families improve their lives. She has implemented an ongoing list of innovative policies at EAH Housing, including: EAH Scholarship program; the creation of the first computer learning center in HUD’s western region, which has since been expanded to a network of technology lounges with computers, Wi-Fi and digital literacy training in EAH developments; renewable energy and conservation, with 3 megawatts of installed solar power to date; and acquisition of HUD-subsidized properties on the verge of losing their affordability. Ms. Murtagh’s leadership has positioned EAH as one of the most respected affordable housing and advocacy organizations in the Western United States.
In 1980, Ms. Murtagh served as Development Officer for the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) program of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Based in Washington, D.C., Ms. Murtagh was responsible for negotiated loans for real estate projects having a combined value of more than $300 million. Prior to relocating to the Bay Area, she was Assistant Deputy Administrator of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of the City of Los Angeles. While at the CRA, she participated in the financing of numerous projects in downtown Los Angeles, including the LA Central Library, business development districts and urban residential.
Ms. Murtagh was raised in a university town in New Hampshire, home of Dartmouth College. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, in philosophy and art history and went on to receive a Master of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She subsequently studied investment analysis, tax and real estate finance at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In 2018, Ms. Murtagh was awarded the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award from California Housing Consortium. She received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nonprofit Housing Association (NPH) in 2013. During the same year, EAH received the Heart of Marin award. Ms. Murtagh was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008.
Currently, Ms. Murtagh lives with her husband and her two sons in Berkeley, California. “Family is my first priority – however, whenever I can steal an evening with my husband I love to listen to live jazz and some good old fashioned rock and roll.”