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About Us

Meet Our Founder & Principal Consultant

Dr. Dwanda L. Farmer

Community Economic Development (CED) Expert

Dwanda Farmer, PhD. is a Community Economic Development (CED) industry leader with over 20 years’ experience driving growth for small business development, affordable housing, large scale, holistic and comprehensive community revitalization initiatives totaling over $1.5 billion. Her development activities have been at the forefront of neighborhood transformation and small business financing efforts in California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Farmer is experienced in helping nonprofits further their organization’s vision through capacity building and measurable mission-driven impacts to meet the needs of their target audience.  Taking a strategic approach, Dr. Farmer helps organizations identify process improvement and change management strategies that align resources, human capital, and technology to optimize business results. Her work with small businesses to gain MBE/WBE certification and participate in contract opportunities with government and Fortune 100 companies has resulted in the development of and over 5,000,000 square feet of commercial/retail space in various cities across America.

Dr. Farmer served the U.S. Treasury for over 18 years distributing over $50 billion to economically distressed communities across the country to create quality jobs and provide community and commercial goods and services, healthy food finance initiatives, medical facilities, and environmentally sustainable developments serving low income people. She has won awards from all CDFI programs and is an expert in CDFI & CDE certification; compliance; policies and procedures; loan fund management; financial growth model & strategies; loan operations evaluation and remediation – FA/TA, NMTC, CMF applications; outcome evaluation; business and strategic planning; market research, analysis and assessment; training & facilitation.

She is co-founder of SMART ALEC a progressive think tank organized to promote progressive public policy solutions at the state and local levels.  SMART ALEC stands for State and Municipal Action for Results Today (SMART) Agenda for Legislative Empowerment and Collaboration (ALEC). This national nonprofit focuses on developing affordable housing policies that increase opportunities for very-low and extremely low-income renters and buyers.  She is an executive in the HBCURE Collaborative which serves as an IIF for HBCUs across the US.

Dwanda studied at Howard University, the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the University of Baltimore (Political Science ‘93). She has earned two Master of Science degrees from National Louis University (Human Resources ‘96/Organizational Development ‘98).  Dr. Farmer is one of ten Americans to earn a PhD in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University (2012).  She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides in the Ednor Gardens/Lakeside neighborhood and serves as Principal Consultant at The CED Doctor.



Farmer, Dwanda PhD. (2012). Exploring the Impacts of the HOPE VI Program on Atlanta Residents and Neighborhoods. (Doctoral dissertation). Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester NH.  May 2012


Skobba, K., Oakley, D., and Farmer, D.  (2014) “Privatizing The Housing Safety Net: HOPE VI and the transformation of public housing in the U.S.”  In Haymes, S.N.  Miller, R. and Vidal de Haymes, M. (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook on Poverty in the United States. (pp. 285-295)  New York, NY. Routledge. Winter 2014