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MBA Names Associate VP Of Legislative Affairs And Associate VP Of Political Affairs

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced that Alden Knowlton has been named Associate Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Rachel Kelley has been hired as Associate Vice President of Political Affairs.

In her new role, Knowlton will be responsible for advocating on behalf of MBA’s legislative and policy priorities on Capitol Hill, with a primary focus on Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Knowlton previously was MBA’s Associate Vice President of Political Affairs where she oversaw MBA’s political action committee, MORPAC, and the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), MBA’s grassroots network.

“Alden has done a terrific job taking MBA’s grassroots lobbying network and fundraising activities to record levels. She is passionate about the political process and the engagement of our members to ensure our industry’s priorities are effectively communicated to key policymakers. Utilizing her established relationships on Capitol Hill, I am confident that Alden will continue to advocate successfully on behalf of our industry,” said Robert D. Broeksmit, CMB, MBA’s President and CEO.

“Since joining MBA in 2016, Alden has taken colossal strides to help improve MBA’s political advocacy initiatives. Her leadership has been directly responsible for the significant increase in MAA and MORPAC participation in recent years, as well as the planning and execution of MBA’s annual National Advocacy Conference. I am confident that Alden will thrive in her new role,” said Bill Killmer, MBA’s Chief Lobbyist and Senior Vice President of Legislative and Political Affairs.

In her previous position, Knowlton managed and implemented initiatives and strategic goals for MBA’s political advocacy efforts. Under her direction, MORPAC set single-cycle and single-year program fundraising records, with over $2.6 million raised during the most recent political giving cycle. Knowlton also oversaw a marked increase in the effectiveness of MBA’s 75,000-member grassroots lobbying network, the Mortgage Action Alliance (MAA), with membership jumping more than 350% percent from January 2020 to present and total communications to Congress from industry members increasing more than tenfold over the last two years. 

Rachel Kelley will succeed Knowlton and assume the job of leading and managing MBA’s political advocacy efforts via MAA, MORPAC, and MBA’s National Advocacy Conference. 

“Rachel brings a robust and impressive background in political advocacy to MBA, both at the national party level and through her prior work with industry trade groups and their PACs. She will hit the ground running and maintain the momentum both MAA and MORPAC have achieved over the past few years,” said Broeksmit.  

“Having known Rachel for many years, I am confident she is the right person to step into this key role at a critical time for our industry,” said Killmer. “We look forward to the fresh perspective she will bring to our advocacy programs at MBA – and her thoughts regarding ways we can build and improve upon those efforts going forward.”

Prior to joining MBA, Kelley worked in a variety of roles, including Finance Director for the Republican National Convention Host Committee in Charlotte, North Carolina; Western Regional Finance and PAC Director for the Republican National Committee; PAC Director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and Political Manager and Fundraising Manager with the International Council of Shopping Centers and the National Association of Home Builders, respectively. Kelley also founded and was the Principal Owner of Tuesday Solutions Inc., a firm providing fundraising and political consulting services.   

Kelley graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and began her career in Washington managing constituent services for a Senate office on Capitol Hill.