WASHINGTON (6/10/08)—Steven C. Preston was sworn in Monday as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At the ceremony, President George W. Bush praised Preston’s understanding of financial markets and management skills, and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten administered the oath of office. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has called Preston, who headed the U.S. Small Business Administration for two years prior to the HUD assignment, an "effective and fair administrator" and welcomed news of his confirmation as HUD leader last week. Attending the ceremony on behalf of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Vice Chairman Hood congratulated Preston on his appointment and noted the important role HUD plays in the credit union community. According to an agency release, Hood further recognized Preston’s focus on initiatives aimed at meeting the affordable housing needs of underserved urban and rural markets – the cornerstone of the credit union community.