Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development and Research – Department of Housing and Urban Development


This collection is available in whole for research use. In accordance with the Deed of Gift, some items may have been withdrawn from the folders. Most frequently withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.  

Born Emanuel S. Savas, Dr. Savas is a Greek-American scholar and public administration official. Born in New York, Savas graduated from the University of Chicago in 1951 and added a second bachelor’s degree (science) in 1953. He went on to earn a master’s and Ph.D from Columbia graduating in 1960. Savas has had a wide variety of jobs ranging from private sector, to city government, to federal government, as well as academic positions.

Dr. Savas served in the Army in Korea from 1953-1956. Following the Army, Dr. Savas’ first job was in the private sector with IBM Corporation from 1959-1967. Specifically, from 1959 to 1965, Dr. Savas was a Control Systems Consultant with IBM. From 1965 to 1966, he became the Assistant to the Director of Personnel at IBM. Finally, from 1966-1967, he was the Manager of Urban Systems. Dr. Savas’ next career was in the New York City government in the Mayor’s Office. He worked as a Deputy City Administrator from 1967 to 1969, and then was First Deputy City Administrator from 1970 to 1972. Throughout the wide variety of careers Dr. Savas has pursued, he has continued to be a consultant for local governments throughout the United States and abroad on improving the performance and productivity of government services.

Dr. Savas also held numerous academic positions, speaking in many foreign countries including the Soviet Union, Japan, France, Greece, and a host of numerous colleges and universities in the United States. In addition, Dr. Savas has spoken at numerous professional societies. Dr. Savas served as Director of the Center for Government Studies and Professor of Public Systems Management at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. He has been the recipient of many honors including the Louis Brownlow Memorial Award from the American Society of Public Administration for "distinguished contribution to the literature of public administration," and more. He has held numerous Editorships at Management Science, Government Data Systems, and Urban Affairs Quarterly. Dr. Savas is also a member of many professional organizations ranging from honors societies, to American science organizations, public policy organizations, and more.

Dr. Savas was nominated by President Reagan to be the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development, He was approved by the Senate on February 23, 1981. He served as a principal advisor to Secretary Samuel R. Pierce, Jr. on overall departmental policy, program evaluation and research. Dr. Savas worked at evaluating departmental programs, directing research, and preparing reports produced by the Office of Policy Development and Research. Dr. Savas, sometimes known as "The Father of Privitization" focused on finding ways in which the private sector can assist in housing for local communities in place of the federal government. He was a member of numerous task forces and working groups such as the Urban Affairs Task Force, Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives, Cabinet Council of Economic Affairs’ Credit Working Group, and more.

In 1983, Savas resigned amidst multiple allegations of misconduct in office. He was charged with spending taxpayers' dollars in working on his personal book. Savas was also investigated for accepting consultant fees from Ecodata, Inc., which ended up winning a hefty government contract decided upon by Savas' division.

Since his resignation from HUD, Savas has held numerous positions at Baruch College in New York, where he still teaches today. He has been the Director of the School of Business and Public Affairs since 1986, and also the Presidential Professor of Public Administration since 1983. He has authored fifteen books and over one hundred and

Collection Description

The materials of Dr. Emmanuel “Steve” Savas mostly cover 1981-1983, with a minimal amount of materials from 1984.

In 1981, Savas was nominated by President Reagan as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Policy Development & Research. Reporting to Secretary Samuel Pierce, the Office of Policy Development & Research is one of the many offices within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Office of Policy Development & Research performs policy analysis, research, surveys, studies, and evaluations to assist the Secretary and develop general HUD policies. This office plays a significant role in developing the Department’s strategic plans and policies.

Dr. Savas was especially interested in ways in which private contractors in local communities can efficiently complete services typically provided by the government. The materials in this collection are mostly reports, studies, and documents produced by various working groups aimed at housing and local community needs. Topics include private sector research, low-income housing, enterprise zones, federal housing, vacancies, and HUD budgeting. Also present are the variety of working groups that Savas participated in including Cabinet Council on Economic Affairs, Cabinet Council on Food and Agriculture, Cabinet Working Group on Housing Policy Report, Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives, Urban Affairs Task Force, and the Working Group on Urban Policy Coordination.

This collection represents the materials Dr. Savas took with him following his resignation from the Office of Policy Development & Research. Dr. Savas maintained possession of these materials until returning the materials to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library at a later date. The rest of his working materials as Assistant Secretary are federal records and are housed at the National Archives.

The collection is arranged into six series: SERIES I: Department of Housing and Urban Development Subject Materials, SERIES II: Department of Housing and Urban Development Budget Records, SERIES III: Organization of Economic Co-Operation and Development Records, SERIES IV: Specialized Working Groups and Task Force Materials, SERIES V: Correspondence, SERIES VI: Publications. See the series descriptions for full information about the subseries.

SERIES I: DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SUBJECT MATERIALS (3.3 l.ft.: Box 1-9)

This series contains a range of materials created for and used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during Dr. Savas’ tenure. Included are external studies conducted by HUD; reports; departmental evaluations; information about HUD programs; personal resumes and photographs of Dr. Savas; legislation developed by HUD; photocopies of official records; speeches; memos; and notes. It is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES A: Office of Policy Development and Research Records (Box 1-2)

This subseries contains materials generated by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD & R). Included are reports, studies, and enumerated specific functions of the Office of Policy Development and Research. This subseries also includes Community Development Block Grant reports; urban policy materials; housing materials; and Dr. Savas’ resume, biography, and photographs. It is arranged alphabetically. 

SUBSERIES B: General Reports and Records (Box 3-5)

This subseries contains materials related to the overall Department of Housing and Urban Development. It contains reports and studies covering a wide variety of HUD issues including departmental reviews, departmental guidelines, reports to the White House, Congressional records, city planning, vouchers, HUD memos, issue papers, and materials for Secretary Samuel Pierce. It is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES C: Housing Reports and Records (Box 5-6)

This subseries contains materials specifically related to housing. It contains reports and studies of programs created by HUD and PD & R; low-income housing; the FHA; Section 8 Housing; the Housing Block Grant Program; vacancies; housing reports; and other housing studies. The series is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES D: Legislation (Box 6-7)

This subseries contains legislation developed and supported by HUD during Dr. Savas’ tenure with the largest portion of the material covering Enterprise Zones. The material includes memoranda; publications; speeches and testimony; background materials; bill materials; examples of enterprise zones; news bulletins; notes; and reports. Also included are general background materials on the Housing and Community Development Act and New Federalism. It is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES E: Photocopies of Official Assistant Secretary of Office of Policy Development and Research Records (Box 7-8)

This subseries contains photocopies Dr. Savas made for Secretary Pierce regarding upcoming White House meetings. The material prepared for the Secretary includes abstracts regarding the meeting and background papers for specific meetings as well as photocopies of memos and reports of interest to Secretary Pierce. They are arranged alphabetically and chronologically.

SUBSERIES F: Private Sector Research (Box 8)

This subseries contains materials specifically related to private sector involvement in housing and urban development. The material consists of reports and studies related to contracting services, developing private sector connections, volunteerism, and community independence. This subseries is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES G: Speeches (Box 8-9)

This subseries contains speeches prepared and given by Dr. E.S. Savas on HUD related topics.

SERIES II: DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT BUDGET MATERIALS (0.6 l.ft.: Box 9-10)

This series contains material regarding HUD’s budget from 1982-1984. It includes briefing books; testimony before the House and Senate Committees on Banking; Housing and Urban Affairs; fiscal year budget plans; appeals; and presentation materials for the budget. This series is arranged chronologically.

SERIES III: ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT MATERIAL (0.1 l.ft.: Box 10-11)

This series contains material relating to policy priorities and background material for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The series is arranged alphabetically.

SERIES IV: SPECIALIZED WORKING GROUPS AND TASK FORCE MATERIAL (0.9 l.ft.: Box 11-13)

This series is further divided into five series consisting of the material Dr. Savas created or used when participating in these specific task force and working groups.

SUBSERIES A: Cabinet Council on Economic Affairs Working Group Materials (Box 11-12)

This subseries contains material related to credit policy for businesses and individuals and used mainly by the Credit Working Group. The Credit Working Group was a subgroup of the Cabinet Council on Economic Affairs, one of the six cabinet councils created by Ronald Reagan to advise him on domestic policy. In addition, there are two reports from the Cabinet Working Group on Housing Policy. It is arranged chronologically.

SUBSERIES B: Cabinet Council on Food and Agriculture Material (Box 12)

This subseries contains one report on the Rural Housing Block Grant which was used as part of the policy deliberations of the Cabinet Council on Food and Agriculture.

SUBSERIES C: Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives Materials (Box 12)

This subseries contains materials generated by the Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives. Created on October 14, 1981, the Task Force advised President Ronald Reagan on how to develop relations with the private sector as well as recommending ways to increase private sector involvement in traditional spheres of government influence. The material consists of background materials, news and bulletins, reports, recommendations for building partnerships, and routes for initiatives in community development. It is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES D: Urban Affairs Task Force (Box 12-13)

This subseries contains the materials generated by the Urban Affairs Task Force. It held one meeting in 1980. It contains background materials, meeting information, and the final results. It is arranged alphabetically.

SUBSERIES E: Working Group on Urban Policy Coordination Materials (Box 13)

This subseries contains records from the Working Group on Urban Policy Coordination. Included are drafts of reports and member lists from the Urban Financing subgroup, drafts of issues facing the Working Group, meeting agendas and memos from the Physical Revitalization and Transportation Subgroup, and draft reports.

SERIES V: CORRESPONDENCE, 1981-1983 (0.1 l.ft.: Box 13)

This series contains incoming and outgoing correspondence for Dr. Savas. 

SUBSERIES A: General Correspondence (Box 13)

This subseries contains correspondence regarding Dr. Savas’s work product as the Assistant Secretary in charge of the Office of Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

SUBSERIES B: Personal Correspondence (Box 13)

This subseries contains correspondence of a purely personal nature between Savas and correspondents and a folder on how to react to news articles on Savas’s possible misuse of government time and resources..

SERIES VI: PUBLICATIONS (0.3 l.ft.: Box 13-14)

This series contains miscellaneous publications sent to or solicited by Dr. Savas from associates, colleagues, and academics. Included are newspaper clippings; photocopies of various news articles; and printed publications of materials related to the budget, economics, capitalism, Ronald Reagan, housing, the State Department, commodities, public administration, public policy, welfare, leadership, and more. This series is arranged alphabetically.

Last Updated: 09/26/2020 02:04AM

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