Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will leave his post at the end of President Donald Trump’s first term, he has announced.
Carson has led the department for the last two years. He told Newsmax TV that he would leave HUD after one term.
“I will certainly finish out this term,” he said. Carson said that he wanted to return to the private sector “because I think you can have just as much influence – maybe more – there.”
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, had no housing, executive, or government experience when Trump appointed him to lead HUD, according to a Washington Post report. He ran launched an unsuccessful presidential bid in 2016, then became one of Trump’s most vocal supporters after the real estate mogul won the Republican nomination.
Carson came under scrutiny early in his tenure for attempting to spend government money on a $31,000 dining set for his office. He has also drawn the ire of housing groups for seeking to triple the minimum rent paid by families receiving federal housing assistance, the Post reported.
But Carson has also taken on some high-profile challenges, launching investigations into whether Facebook encouraged housing discrimination and taking on the nation’s largest public housing authority over inadequate housing conditions.