CREFC's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Our Mission

CREFC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is charged with ensuring continued progress toward CREFC’s vision of developing policies and programs that promote workplace diversity and inclusion and foster a culture that ensures every voice is welcomed, heard, and respected. Working with this Committee, CREFC will strive to incorporate minority voices in all that we do, including on our panels and discussion groups at industry events. 

The DEI Committee initiatives are the continuation of CREFC’s long-standing efforts to work toward the expansion of diversity within the CRE finance industry. Through ongoing actions, we will continue addressing inequality in our nation. See CREFC's 2020 Statement on Diversity and Inclusion for more information.

CREFC Center for Real Estate Finance Scholarship

In January 2020, CREFC announced the creation of the CREFC Center for Real Estate Finance at the NYU Schack Institute. A core objective of the endowment is to heighten diversity through increased opportunities within CRE finance at the university level for both graduate and undergraduate students. The center serves as a hub for industry collaboration, programming, and student engagement. Through the endowment, CREFC and NYU provide four scholarships each semester for deserving students; two of those scholarships are reserved exclusively for diverse candidates. 

Partnership with Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs)

CREFC’s DEI Committee is currently working with HBCUs on programs designed to:
Raise awareness about CRE finance amongst students and 
Allow them to engage with CREFC’s network of industry contacts
Learn about the industry via our catalogue of educational offerings, and
Participate in industry internship and mentorship programs.

CREFC’s overarching goal is to encourage heightened minority students and young professionals to participation in the CRE finance industry, with the goal of securing student employment upon graduation or enhancing the current employment status of those young professionals already in the sector. 

Educational Sessions

CREFC will grant complimentary Academic Memberships to HBCU students interested in the industry, as well as access to our member network and our Career and Resource Centers.
CREFC offers a significant catalogue of CRE finance focused educational materials for all levels of education and experience. Relevant CREFC Educational Offerings include:
  • CRE 100
  • CMBS 101: An Introduction to Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities 
  • CRE CLO 101
  • CMBS 201: Servicing Participants & Processes
  • CMBS 201: Rating and Surveilling a CMBS Transaction
  • CRE CLO E-Primer
  • Multifamily E-Primer
  • CMBS Glossary of Terms 


The Committee will encourage member companies to create internship opportunities and work with students to obtain and fulfill these internships, by connecting students with HR personnel, providing information and guidance, and covering the cost of housing/transportation when applicable. 


Academic Members are encouraged to participate in the CREFC Mentorship Program, designed to provide opportunities for young leaders to connect with CRE finance professionals who will share their industry knowledge, experiences, and advice in a confidential and informal atmosphere. 

Outgoing seniors from DEI affiliated schools will be encouraged to join the CREFC Young Professionals (YP) Network. The Network provides a platform for junior CRE finance professionals to foster meaningful business relationships and gain relevant industry knowledge through networking events, seminars, and panels. 

DEI Panel at the January 2021 Conference

CREFC’s January 2021 Conference featured a diverse panel of CREFC members discussing their companies’ goals for an inclusive workforce, recruiting and retention practices, and sharing their personal experiences in the industry. The panel was moderated by CREFC DEI Committee Member and Board Chair Adam Behlman. Click here to watch the replay. It was the first in a series of CREFC DEI Committee hosted panels and workshops in 2021. CREFC plans to expand these panel discussions to students and our Young Professionals, with the added benefit of connecting the two groups.

Webinars and Workshops

The DEI Committee will host webinars and workshops that feature speakers of diverse identities and focus on topics designed to encourage dialogue around issues of inequality in the workplace and society at large with the goal of building a more inclusive environment.

More Information

For more information on CREFC’s DEI Committee, please contact:

Get Involved and Learn More

Interested in joining one of our subcommittees? Please contact Garren Fox

Charitable Subcommittee

Mission: Explores and executes on ways CREFC and its DEI Committee can improve diversity in our industry by supporting and aligning CREFC with appropriate/relevant charities 

  • Brainstorm creative fundraising ideas
  • Vet potential charities and keep ongoing list of those approved 
  • Collaborate with the Programming and Communications subcommittees to bring fundraising initiatives to fruition and ensure their success

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