Rethinking How We Invest: Homes, Jobs and Communities in 2017 and Beyond

The NDC Academy brings local nonprofit and governmental development professionals together to learn how to fully use federal, state and local development finance tools, to share best practices, and to advocate for the preservation and improvement of tools that have proven successful at local and national levels.

Hosted by the National Development Council, the NDC Academy is a longstanding biennial event. This year’s Academy will focus on how economic development and community development finance professionals can work with the new Administration to further their community’s goals. More than ever, our community and investment partners need the opportunity to meet with one another and to interact with federal policy-makers. By October, the new administration will be in place, and Congress will have passed a budget providing insight into the priorities of our government’s new leadership. The Academy will share valuable insight into the new Administration and give leaders new tools to strengthen their communities.

Sign Up For Updates

The Latest from NDC

The Acquisitions Manager will report to the Director of Acquisitions and Underwriting and will work closely with the Fund Closing Manager as well as the Asset Management team to originate, underwrite,...

Join us for a Mapchats webinar, presented by PolicyMap, Inc. and NDC, to hear from leaders working with local, state and federal governments about how they use data for more...

Our next Mapchats webinar- "Of the People, for the People:
Using Data Tools for Good Government". Our all-star lineup includes Raquel Favela @RaqsPST from @NatlDevCouncil, Steve Barlow @theblightguy from @npimemphis, and Bryce Maretzki from @PHFAtweets.

Load More...

Who Should Attend

Nearly 500 community development practitioners attended the 2015 NDC Academy from 46 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Attendees come from various groups, including:

  • Nonprofit community development organizations
  • Housing authorities
  • Federal, state and local policy-makers
  • City, federal and state government agency staff
  • Development partners from the philanthropic, legal and accounting industries
  • Financial industry professionals, including bankers, investors and funders

Why Should I Attend

NDC’s Academy is a unique event in the economic development field. Here is what differentiates The NDC Academy from other economic development events:

Focus on Federal Policy

NDC brings key federal policy-makers to the table to interact directly with community leaders, ensuring that their local voice is heard. To further support attendee success in their Capitol Hill communications, NDC provides a “Capitol Hill Primer” that outlines key players, protocols, policies and programs.

Cutting-Edge Sessions

There is always something new for community development professionals to know. From new rules and regulations, to tools and best practices, community development professionals area always learning. The Academy highlights what is new and what we need to know to continue to advance our communities.

NDC Academy Awards

Academy participants have the opportunity to learn about some complex and challenging award-winning projects and explore the details of the problem solving strategies winners utilized, the constraints, and road blocks that had to be overcome to bring these projects to fruition.

Opportunity to Connect

The Academy is one of the few events where community development professionals can interact directly with federal policy-makers through visits, educational sessions and receptions.

Mix of Attendees

The Academy brings together a unique mix of city, state and federal attendees, as well as representatives from the philanthropic, banking, legal and accounting worlds.

Project Showcases

Ever wonder how NDC helps communities and neighborhoods across the country? Our unique project showcases offer an in-depth dive into specific projects that are helping communities.


The NDC Academy will feature cutting-edge sessions in four tracks focused on the pressing needs of community development leaders.

Investing in Small Businesses

Sessions in this track will focus on new and developing tools that are fostering small business formation and growth and how small businesses play an integral role in successful community development. Sessions will address:

  1. Small business loan success stories and challenges with a focus on the Community Reinvestment Act and how it influences investment
  2. How the new Capital Access Fund brings lending opportunities to minority businesses
  3. The online lending phenomenon and how to sort quality investors from those taking advantage of distressed communities
  4. Innovative ways to pitch new business ideas

Innovating Project Finance

This track will explore emerging ideas in project finance with a focus on:

  1. New Markets Tax Credits and how different uses of leverage are expanding the reach of the program
  2. Transit Oriented Development best practices addressing new urbanism, as well as issues of health and race
  3. Impact investing that is tapping new sources of funding for community development and providing data to demonstrate results
  4. Green finance and health care finance as new tools for communities

Rebuilding Our Public Infrastructure

Participants in this track will learn about tools for local government leaders to invest in infrastructure. Specifically, sessions will discuss:

  1. Options for public-private partnerships to include the American and international P3 models versus traditional public financing
  2. Current practices in infrastructure investment in low-income communities with a close look at CDFI and USDA programs
  3. Emerging best practices, including democratization of public finance and working with the U.S. Department of Transportation Innovative Finance Office
  4. White House and congressional proposals for infrastructure investment, along with other new tools such as private activity bonds

Building Affordable Housing

This track will explore several emerging topics in the field. Sessions will focus on:

  1. The challenges of making LIHTC deals work in a changing world
  2. Case studies of successful non-profit and for-profit development partnerships
  3. Trends in special needs housing as housing policy is being leveraged to address issues beyond affordable housing
  4. Stories from the front line of asset management, with examples of projects that have benefited from unique collaboration models

This is an approved activity for NDC Recertification. The following program is subject to change. 

Click here to download a one page Academy agenda.

Keynote Speakers

Learn more about the keynote speakers at NDC Academy

  • County Executive Steve Bellone
    County Executive Steve Bellone
    Suffolk County, NY
  • Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin
    Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin
    Columbia, SC
  • Mayor John Giles
    Mayor John Giles
    Mesa, AZ


Online pre-registration for the Academy closed on Tuesday, October 17.
You may register for the event on-site. We look forward to seeing you in DC!

Our Sponsors

Interested in playing a larger role at the Academy? Want to share your organization’s story and how it has helped shaped communities across the country?

There are numerous sponsorship opportunities available at multiple levels. Download the sponsorship packet to reserve your sponsorship today.

Download Sponsorship Packet

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C., USA, 20001

Just steps away from the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall, the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is an ideal setting for the 2017 NDC Academy. The NDC room block at the Hyatt is closed – please contact the hotel directly at (202) 737-1234 if you still need a reservation.

Directions to the hotel can be found here.

County Executive Steve Bellone
Suffolk County, NY

Steven Bellone was sworn into office as Suffolk County Executive on January 1, 2012.  He is the 8th County Executive in County history.  He previously served as Babylon Town Supervisor from 2001-2011.

County Executive Bellone, who represents more than 1.5 million residents, has focused his efforts on saving taxpayer dollars through Government Reform, boosting Economic Development to create local and lasting Suffolk County jobs, improving Long Island’s Water Quality to protect the region’s water supply, and enhancing the Quality of Life of Suffolk residents by improving public safety and investing in County parks and roads.

Government Reform efforts to consolidate and streamline operations have been a central priority to County Executive Bellone.  He inherited a $500 million dollar deficit, and has since reduced the size of County Government more than any prior County Executive by over 10% — saving taxpayers more than $100 million a year.

Under his plan to consolidate services and save taxpayers additional dollars, Bellone has proposed to merge the offices of the County Comptroller and County Treasurer, which will eliminate duplicative services and patronage positions that will result in more than a million dollars a year in savings.  Bellone saved taxpayers an additional $25 million per year after overhauling government health services and privatizing previously-run County health centers.  Under County Executive Bellone’s leadership, new County employees are now paying into health care for the first time in County history.  In addition, Bellone has frozen general fund property taxes and kept all taxes below the property tax cap.

Previously as Town Supervisor, Bellone trimmed the government workforce while maintaining the same high-level government services.  He reduced the town’s debt every year, while delivering a $4.3 million dollar tax cut to residents.

County Executive Bellone’s Economic Development plan has focused on building innovation economies throughout Suffolk County to attract highly-skilled and knowledgeable workers, and to keep young professionals on Long Island.  His Connect Long Island vision aims to invest in an upgraded rapid transportation system that will conveniently connect universities, research centers, downtowns, and parks.  The plan is designed to strengthen local businesses by expanding natural customer bases and develop the necessary infrastructure to provide residents with north – south transportation options.  Bellone’s signature downtown revitalization efforts include transit-oriented developments such as Wyandanch Rising, Ronkonkoma Hub, Heartland project and the East End Transportation plan.

As Babylon Town Supervisor, Bellone launched Wyandanch Rising in 2002, a comprehensive, community-based revitalization plan that redevelops the area surrounding the Wyandanch Train Station into a walkable, pedestrian-friendly, vibrant downtown.  Bellone has continued to lead visioning efforts as County Executive.  Upon completion, Wyandanch Rising will include a mixed-use neighborhood with affordable housing, retail and office space, public plazas, restaurants, community center and gallery space.  As a result of these revitalization efforts, Wyandanch Rising was recently selected to be the future home of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

County Executive Bellone has made improving Long Island’s Water Quality one of his administration’s highest priorities and introduced the Reclaim Our Water initiative.  Failing and unmaintained septic systems and cesspools have created an excess amount of nitrogen pollution in the region’s water supply, becoming a serious threat to Long Island’s water quality, coastal vegetation, wildlife, quality of life; and has already decimated the once iconic shellfish industry.

Bellone has worked extensively with state and federal officials to secure a historic investment of more than $380 million to help reduce excess nitrogen pollution, invest in waste water infrastructure and help to protect coastal vegetation and marshlands, which act as the final buffers against storms such as Superstorm Sandy.  The County has identified 360,000 unsewered homes that contribute to nearly 70% of the nitrogen pollution load.  Bellone’s initiative identifies sewering, upgrading current waste-water infrastructure, and installing advanced on-site waste water treatment systems in areas through Suffolk County.

Water quality experts and industry leaders believe this initiative will significantly reduce nitrogen pollution, helping to rebuild coastal vegetation, increase property values and improve Long Island’s water quality.

Quality of Life issues have been a major focus of Bellone’s career.  As County Executive, Bellone has implemented an intelligence-led policing model, which has resulted in a 17% decline in countywide crime in his first two years in office.  In 2013, Bellone passed the nation’s toughest monitoring and enforcement law to end the clustering of sex offenders.  As Babylon Supervisor, he targeted serial code offenders and slumlords by creating the Quality of Life Taskforce and naming a special prosecutor for quality of life cases.

As an Army veteran, Bellone is committed to supporting and enhancing veteran service programs throughout the County.  Bellone announced that all funds raised from the 2015 Suffolk County’s inaugural marathon will support local veteran organizations.  In addition, County Executive Bellone ran the 2014 New York City marathon in conjunction with the Hope for the Warriors foundation.  In Babylon, Bellone raised nearly half a million dollars for wounded soldiers by sponsoring annual Soldier Rides with the Wounded Warrior Project and Run for the Warriors.

County Executive Bellone led a comprehensive emergency response plan to coordinate disaster relief efforts, including region-wide collaboration with local, state and federal officials during Superstorm Sandy.

In 2006, Babylon was the first Town on Long Island to adopt Energy Star standards for new home construction, saving residents money on their energy bills. Later that same year, Babylon adopted the most comprehensive green building code in the nation. In 2008, Bellone created the first property assessed clean energy (PACE) efficiency program in the country, Long Island Green Homes.

Bellone is a graduate of North Babylon High School and he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Queens College in 1991. Enlisting in the US Army in 1992, County Executive Bellone served as a communications specialist stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. During his service in the Army, he was awarded commendations for meritorious service and earned a master’s degree in Public Administration by attending night classes at Webster University.  Bellone earned his Law degree from Fordham University and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1999.

County Executive Bellone resides in West Babylon with his wife, Tracey, their two daughters, Katherine Ann and Mollie Elizabeth, and his son, Michael.

Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin
Columbia, SC

Husband, Father, Son, Believer & My Brother’s Keeper, Servant Leader, Bibliophile, City Builder and Mayor of Columbia.

Since being elected mayor in a record turnout election in April 2010, Mayor Steve Benjamin has made it his mission to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America.

“My mission is to create in Columbia the most talented, educated and entrepreneurial city in America.”

His service in Columbia started back in 1990 when he served as student body president at the University of South Carolina, later becoming the Student Bar Association President at the USC School of Law.

Quick facts about Mayor Benjamin:

At 29 years old in 1999, Benjamin was appointed to Governor Jim Hodges’ cabinet as director of the state’s second largest law enforcement agency, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Mayor Benjamin has continued his service to the community in serving on numerous boards for nonprofit organizations such as the Columbia Urban League, Benedict College, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce and as a founding board member of the Eau Claire Promise Zone. He also served as a founding member of Choose Children First and chief legal counsel for Midlands Crimestoppers.

In 2009, Benjamin drew national attention by representing prominent radio host Tom Joyner and securing a pardon for Joyner’s great uncles wrongfully convicted in the death of a 73-year-old Confederate veteran and executed in 1913. In a landmark decision, the South Carolina Board of Paroles and Pardons voted unanimously to grant the posthumous pardon, the first for South Carolina in a capital case.

Reelected by a 30 percent margin in November 2013, Mayor Benjamin’s administration has been characterized by his firm belief in Columbia’s potential and intense focus on job creation. In his first term alone, his leadership helped cut unemployment in the metro by roughly half and secured billions of dollars in new regional capital investment in the midst of a national recession.

Combined with the rebirth of Main Street, these accomplishments have drawn national attention and accolades including his being awarded an Aspen Rodel Fellowship and receiving an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Francis Marion University. He has twice been named to The Washington Post’s “The Root 100 List” (2011 and 2013) as well as the 2014 GRIO 100 and was honored to receive a 2014 Triumph Award from the National Action Network as their 2014 Public Servant of the Year.

As part of his commitment to fostering a world class police department in the City, Mayor Benjamin introduced the “Justice for All” initiative in 2014, which implemented new training, competitive pay, diverse representation and community engagement to strengthen the foundation of trust and accountability that exists between our communities and law enforcement agencies.

President Obama’s administration has also commended Mayor Benjamin on his work on behalf of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK). The city’s MBK efforts, in addition to Mayor Benjamin’s leadership, have led to Columbia being seen as a nationwide leader in implementing and upholding the missions of the program.

The Mayor was asked to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, where he talked about the importance of instilling in his daughters that they can do anything  they set their minds to, even becoming President of the United States.

In addition to serving as Mayor of Columbia, Mayor Benjamin also serves as Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and as Chairman for Municipal Bonds for America. He teaches a class at the University of South Carolina Honors College titled “Columbia, South Carolina: Building a Great City” and is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

Mayor Benjamin is married to the Honorable DeAndrea Gist Benjamin, Chief Administrative Judge (Common Pleas) for South Carolina’s Fifth Judicial Circuit. The two are the proud parents of daughters Bethany (12) and Jordan Grace (10).

Follow Mayor Benjamin on Twitter: @SteveBenjaminSC.

Mayor John Giles
Mesa, AZ

John Giles was elected the 40th Mayor of Mesa, Arizona in August, 2014. He was re-elected in August 2016 and began his first full four-year term in January 2017. Mayor Giles is
committed to taking Mesa to the next level with his NextMesa vision.

Mayor Giles has overseen a growing economy that added thousands of new jobs, new employers like Apple, Textron Aviation and Dexcom and over $1.5 billion in new capital investment. He is bringing renewed focus and attention to Mesa’s downtown resulting in a budding creative economy with new businesses and entertainment options. Mayor Giles
believes education is one of Mesa’s core values and remains committed to expanding higher ed and pre k options in the city.

Recognizing these efforts and more,, a subsidiary of Time Magazine, named Mesa the best big city in the Southwest.