BlueHub Capital Names Karen Kelleher Next President of BlueHub Loan Fund

July 18th, 2023

Kelleher to Lead Community Development Financing Business Line, Centering a Commitment to Communities with Low Incomes


BlueHub Capital, a national nonprofit community development financing organization, announced Tuesday the hiring of Karen Kelleher as the new President of BlueHub Loan Fund.

Kelleher’s experience in affordable housing and community development, as well as her deep connections in Massachusetts and beyond, will enable her to lead and grow the Loan Fund across its 23-state (plus Washington, DC) footprint. BlueHub Loan Fund finances a wide range of real-estate related projects that benefit low-income communities, such as housing, education and childcare facilities, health centers, community facilities and grocery stores.

Kelleher has spent her career working to improve outcomes for underserved communities through lending, affordable housing and community development. As head of BlueHub Loan Fund, a community development financial institution (CDFI), Kelleher will be responsible for managing a team of 12 and overseeing new business development, loan originations, credit quality, portfolio management, measuring and communicating impact, financial self-sufficiency, innovative loan products and programs, partnerships and capitalization.

BlueHub Loan Fund originates over $100 million in annual lending and manages a $670 million portfolio of community development loans to create healthy communities where low-income people live and work.

“Karen’s extensive knowledge of lending and economic development coupled with her passion for building thriving communities will help BlueHub Loan Fund further its mission to connect low-income communities with the flexible financing they need to generate equitable and inclusive economic opportunity,” said BlueHub Capital CEO Elyse Cherry. “We are thrilled to welcome Karen to BlueHub.”

Boston Globe: For Kelleher, the work continues, now at BlueHub

Karen Kelleher was profiled in The Boston Globe about her transition to BlueHub Loan Fund. 

“I will have the authority and agility to take [BlueHub’s] strong balance sheet, the tools, and the team, and figure out how we can have a greater impact,” Kelleher said. “My goal is to raise the bar for BlueHub. It’s a high bar already.”

Read more about BlueHub's new Loan Fund President.

Caricature by Chris Morris, Boston Globe

Kelleher will be a member of BlueHub Capital’s senior management team and will contribute to the strategic direction of the organization.

“BlueHub has a long history of doubling down on innovation to solve the issues facing low-income communities, and I am eager to build on that success,” said Kelleher. “BlueHub is already working towards addressing two of the most pressing issues of the day: climate resiliency and housing affordability; and I am looking forward to joining this strong team and contributing to new solutions.”

Kelleher comes to BlueHub from LISC Boston, a peer CDFI that has worked extensively with BlueHub Loan Fund. There, as LISC Boston’s executive director, she doubled revenue, investments and staff, leading statewide initiatives and programs to increase housing affordability, decarbonize affordable housing, grow the wealth of families and small businesses and diversify the real estate sector.

Prior to LISC, Kelleher led record levels of multifamily and single-family housing lending, developing several new products and programs as the Deputy Director of MassHousing, a quasi-public state agency that provides financing for affordable housing in Massachusetts. She also previously served as General Counsel at MassHousing and The Community Builders.

Kelleher attended Boston College and Georgetown University Law Center. She is a licensed attorney and member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Kelleher serves as a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Racial Equity in Housing and the Mayor of Boston’s Housing Advisory Committee. She is a co-founder of the Coalition for an Equitable Economy, a group of stakeholders building an equitable small business ecosystem, and a director of the Partnership for Financial Equity (formerly the Massachusetts Community Banking Council).

Kelleher lives in Massachusetts and will be working out of BlueHub’s office in Boston.

Since 1985, BlueHub Capital has invested over $2.6 billion — and leveraged over $13.6 billion — to connect people and communities with resources and capital. BlueHub Loan Fund has financed more than 31,300 units of affordable housing, 8.4 million square feet of commercial real estate and community facilities, and financed the construction of school buildings for 77,000 students.

A substantial majority of projects funded by BlueHub Loan Fund have been led by people of color and/or women, and almost all of BlueHub Loan Fund’s lending is in low-income communities.


About BlueHub Capital

BlueHub Capital is a mission-driven, nonprofit community development finance organization focused on building healthy communities where low-income people live and work. BlueHub uses innovative financial tools to support projects that make communities more vibrant places to live through four distinct programs: BlueHub Loan Fund (community development financing), BlueHub SUN (foreclosure relief), BlueHub Energy (clean energy access) and One Percent for America (citizenship financing).

In the News

Karen's transition to BlueHub was also covered in: