Executive Director Education Program


All registrations for online/distant learning and in-person courses must be received NO LATER than two business days before the class begins. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Please visit the Registration page for important information regarding online course expectations and registration.



This program provides a comprehensive approach to professional development for housing authority executive directors. Sponsored by the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) in partnership with the Center for Government Services at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, it has helped participants from around the country stay current with industry standards and gain new insight into the profession for more than a decade.

Classes reinforce the technical, managerial, and strategic competencies required of a successful executive director, blending theoretical concepts with practical problem-solving techniques. The program examines critical functions that serve to define the executive director’s position and provides a structured environment in which mid-career professionals can hone their management skills and enhance their knowledge. 

The 10-course curriculum is modeled after the New Jersey Local Housing Authority and Redevelopment Agency Training Program developed by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The PHADA/Rutgers program has been modified to meet the needs of a national audience, under the direction of PHADA’s Professional Development Committee.

Registration is open to housing authority executive directors and staff only, and commissioners are not eligible to participateCourses are offered three times per year in conjunction with PHADA’s commissioners, national, and legislative conferences. Participants should be able to complete the entire series within 18 months if enrollment is uninterrupted. There is no time restriction associated with the program.

PHADA permits participants to complete up to three (3) of the 10 courses in New Jersey, where they are offered as part of the NJ Local Housing Authority and Redevelopment Agency Training Program. The EDEP courses with NJLHARA Training Program equivalency are identified in the descriptions below.


  • Join other directors from around the country in this high-quality program
  • Gain increased prestige and recognition from their peers
  • Network with other senior housing authority officials
  • Support the professionalization of the industry

Course Descriptions


Executive Housing Management

This two-day program offers executive directors the opportunity to improve their administrative and leadership skills. Organizational and behavioral issues are analyzed in the context of the key functions of the position, including planning, staffing, and managing. A case study approach is used to cover a wide array of topics, such as time management, performance appraisal, negotiation, conflict resolution, and team building. This course may be completed in the NJLHARA Training Program.


This one-day seminar is designed to familiarize participants with the ethical standards and legal requirements relevant to public housing authority officials. Typical state statutes and HUD regulations are examined and applied to ethical issues faced by executive directors using a case study approach.

Financial Management

This one-day course offers the executive director a "big picture" approach to fiscal resource management. Participants learn the basics of budget preparation as well as HUD audit requirements. Management and entrepreneurial options are introduced, which will help executive directors to cope with anticipated changes at HUD.

Legal Issues

This one-day seminar is intended to provide a practical overview of state statutes and federal legal requirements pertaining to housing authorities. Five major topic areas are covered: tenancy and evictions, Section 8 contracts and leases, personnel rights and responsibilities, contractual agreements, and general litigation and liability.

Maintenance Management

Maintenance management includes such diverse topics as budget preparation, staffing, quality control, work order systems, resident involvement, and insurance and liability. This one-day program addresses each of these issues and uses examples of well-maintained public housing authorities to illustrate the concepts learned. This course may be completed in the NJLHARA Training Program.

Personnel Management

This one-day course familiarizes executive directors with the principles of managing people to achieve established goals. Specific management tools, such as performance appraisal systems, are explained, and the components of a good personnel policy are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the role of the executive director in leading and motivating housing authority staff.

Procurement and Contract Management

The components of a “good” procurement policy, responsive to both HUD and state statutes, are presented in this one-day program. HUD requirements for small purchases, emergencies, formal bidding, and competitive negotiations are reviewed in detail, and “typical” state public contract laws are compared. Internal controls for contract performance monitoring are stressed, and contract administration procedures, including the oversight role of the board of commissioners, are discussed.


This one-day session reviews the theory behind the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) and provides a detailed explanation of each of the HUD indicators, including how each is measured and graded. The use of PHAS/SEMAP as management tools is discussed, and participants are shown how to improve their authority's scores through a systems approach. This course may be completed in the NJLHARA Training Program.

Planning for Change

This one-day course provides executive directors with the management tools and skills necessary to adapt to the changes that are occurring in the industry. Emphasis is placed on strategic planning and creative problem solving. The most current information available about the evolving changes at HUD is incorporated into the program. Students may earn credit for Planning for Change by completing Strategic Planning, its NJLHARA Training Program equivalent.

Public Relations/Communications

When should a press conference be held? Who are the local media, and what do they want? This useful program addresses these questions and more, including writing and distributing press releases, developing newsletters, image building, developing and maintaining press contacts, and managing the media during a crisis.

Continuing Education

Participants receive a PHADA/Rutgers University certificate upon successful completion of the Rutgers Center for Government Services Executive Director Education Program. To qualify, they must attend all 10 courses in full, and pass brief in-class tests administered at the conclusion of each session.

Course integrity is maintained to the high standards of Rutgers University and PHADA. The presence of a Rutgers official at each session guarantees that the certificate of completion represents outstanding professional achievement at the executive level.


Registration is open to housing authority executive directors and staff only, and commissioners are not eligible to participate. PHADA accepts registrations on a first-come, first-served basis until maximum enrollment is reached. Class size is restricted to 40 registrants to allow ample opportunity for discussion. No on-site registrations are accepted.

For those who are not interested in obtaining a certificate, registration for individual courses may be possible on a “space available” basis. Please call 732-932-3640, ext. 654, to discuss this option before registering for any courses.

For all others, registration information is available on the PHADA website, approximately three months prior to each set of training dates. Participants may register on-line using a credit card, or print out the online registration form and send it with the required payment to:

Executive Director Education Program
511 Capital Court, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002-4937

Registrations also may be faxed to 202-543-4381. Faxed registrations must include credit card payment information.

For more information about the conferences and how to register, call PHADA at 202-546-5445.

Withdrawal/Refund Policy

Withdrawal requests must be submitted to PHADA in accordance with the deadline posted on the PHADA website.

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Contact Information

Priscilla Hamilton 
Program Assistant