James Carras, MPA

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
James Carras is the principal of Carras Community Investment, Inc., a nationally recognized development finance consulting firm. For the past six years, he has taught urban policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government (HKS) and Graduate School of Design. He has previously taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts, and Florida Atlantic University. As a consultant, he has facilitated the creation of over fifty community development corporations and development financial institutions as well as authored numerous affordable housing studies and revitalization plans. He has served as the founding executive director of the National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders and as the founding president of the Broward Housing Partnership and the South Florida Community Land Trust. Prior to establishing his consulting practice, he served as a community development advisor to the Mayor of Boston and was the executive director of the Massachusetts Urban Reinvestment Advisory Group, where he was awarded the John Hay Whitney Fellowship. Carras is also recognized as a national expert on the Community Reinvestment Act, opportunity zones, and other development finance tools and their implementation in low opportunity communities. Carras earned a BA in urban sociology from Suffolk University, completed graduate work at Tufts University's Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and received an MPA from HKS in public administration. He is certified by the National Development Council as an economic development finance professional and completed NDC's rental housing finance course. He is also certified as a leadership facilitator by the Lincoln Land Institute. He previously served as the Chairperson of the Broward Housing Council and completed a four-year term on the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Board of Directors. In 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Development Finance Agencies.


  • MPA Harvard Kennedy School