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HUD No. 23-255
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
November 8, 2023

President Biden Selects HUD’s Small Business Director for Prestigious Presidential Rank Award

Jean Lin Pao, HUD’s Director for the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), wins award in recognition of her excellence and contributions to HUD’s procurement equity work.


WASHINGTON - Jean Lin Pao, the Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was named the winner of a 2023 Presidential Rank Award (PRA) for Distinguished Executive, as chosen by President Joe Biden. The PRAs are one of the most prestigious awards in the career civil service, recognizing the important contributions of public servants across the federal government. For its performance in contracting with small businesses in FY 2022, HUD earned an annual procurement scorecard rating of “A+,” the highest grade from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Only 1 percent of career members of the Senior Executive Service receive the Distinguished Executive rank, which recognizes extraordinary achievement.

“I’m honored to serve alongside HUD’s career civil servants, who are among the finest in the country,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “All of us at HUD are proud of Director Pao's accomplishments and all she does to ensure HUD empowers small and disadvantaged businesses to be active partners in our work.”

In her role, Director Pao serves as the principal advocate for small businesses and ensures small business concerns have maximum practicable opportunities in federal contracting, a $650 billion annual federal enterprise. Supporting the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, she directs, plans, and manages HUD’s small business programs, which provide businesses with universal access to HUD’s $1.5 billion in annual contracting opportunities. Through her exceptional record of continuous improvement and innovation, Director Pao transformed the way HUD OSDBU leads outreach, education, and advocacy efforts nationally to increase small business utilization in federal contracting and effectively implemented new federal directives on advancing equity in federal procurement.

“I am sincerely humbled by this recognition of the work my team and I do to make the Department better each and every day,” said Director Pao. “From ensuring that small, small disadvantaged, women-, HUBZone, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses are empowered, to promoting diversity in government procurement, OSDBU is always focused on fairness, opportunity, and sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Director Pao is an exemplary leader for small business advocacy efforts. Under her leadership since Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, OSDBU helped HUD award over $3.3 billion to small businesses through competitive procurements and significant savings to the nation. Her efforts also supported the implementation of federal-wide public policies for small business inclusion and supplier diversity in government procurement. Director Pao and her team also received the Partnership for Public Service’s 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award for OSDBU’s outreach efforts to increase federal contracting with small businesses.

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 established the Presidential Rank Awards Program to recognize a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for exceptional performance over an extended period of time. Later, the Rank Award statute was amended to extend eligibility to senior career employees with a sustained record of exceptional professional, technical, and/or scientific achievement recognized on a national or international level.


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