As deputy attorney general, Jamie S. Gorelick saw the soul of the country torn apart by the Oklahoma City bombing.
Recently named to become vice chairman of Fannie Mae, Ms. Gorelick says she hopes to help weave the nation together through homeownership initiatives for mainstream consumers, lower-income borrowers, and immigrants.
"Homeownership is one of the keys to this country's future stability," Ms. Gorelick said from her Chevy Chase, Md., home.
Ms. Gorelick said she began to talk to Fannie Mae this year after deciding to leave the Justice Department.
She was attracted to the company's "collegial" atmosphere and saw a chance to continue improving communities.
Viewed in Washington as a consummate administrator, Ms. Gorelick plans to mix diplomacy with resolve to fight for Fannie Mae on Capitol Hill. "I enjoy building coalitions among people with different interests," she said. "My challenge is to contribute to the future vision of Fannie Mae."
In September, Ms. Gorelick officially begins her duties as vice chairman and a board member at Fannie Mae, the congressionally chartered housing finance facilitator.
She will join the company well-versed in the ways of Washington, where she was most recently first lieutenant to Attorney General Janet Reno. Ms. Gorelick has also been mentioned for a number of cabinet and senior administration positions.
As a member of Fannie Mae's office of the chairman-along with chairman James A. Johnson and president Lawrence M. Small-Ms. Gorelick, 47, will focus on credit policy, government, and legal matters.
She expects to be highly visible to lenders, as was her predecessor, Franklin D. Raines, who resigned as vice chairman last September to become director of the Office of Management and Budget.
She counts among her supporters House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., and Sen. Spencer Abraham, R-Mich., a member of the Senate Budget, Judiciary, and Labor committees.
Ms. Gorelick is already making an impact with mortgage executives. They say her appointment is typical of Fannie Mae's chairman, James A. Johnson.
"Jim Johnson always goes for the best," said Warren Lasko, executive vice president of the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Ms. Gorelick is a very bright, policy-oriented person."