Board of Directors

Code of Business Conduct & Ethics

Board of Directors

Role of the Board

Our business and affairs are managed under the direction of our Board of Directors. While the Board is responsible for establishing broad corporate policies and overseeing our overall performance and direction, the Board is not involved in our day-to-day operations (other than those Board members who are also members of our management team).

Members of the Board

Laurie Goodman

Director since 2014

Chair of the Board

Member of the Audit Committee

Member of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Ms. Goodman is currently an Institute Fellow at the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. Ms. Goodman founded the Housing Finance Policy Center in 2013, and served as its director or co-director from 2013 through 2021. Ms. Goodman joined the Urban Institute in late 2013 from Amherst Securities Group, L.P., a boutique broker dealer specializing in securitized products, where she had been a Senior Managing Director since late 2008 leading a group known for its analysis of housing policy issues. Prior to her tenure at Amherst Securities, Ms. Goodman was head of Global Fixed Income Research and Manager of U.S. Securitized Products Research at UBS and its predecessor firms from July 1993 through November 2008. Prior to her tenure with UBS, Ms. Goodman spent ten years in senior fixed income research positions at Citicorp, Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch. She was also a mortgage portfolio manager at Eastbridge Capital and a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms Goodman also serves as a director of Arch Capital Group Ltd., a Bermuda-based insurance company, where she serves on its audit, underwriting oversight and nominating and governance committees. Ms Goodman also served as a director of Homepoint Capital Inc., a residential mortgage originator and servicer, through August 2023, where she was a member of its audit committee and chair of its nominating and corporate governance committee.

Ms. Goodman has an A.M. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has published more than 200 articles in professional and academic journals and co-authored and co-edited five books. Ms. Goodman was inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Hall of Fame in 2009.

Robin Josephs

Director since 2010

Chair of Compensation Committee

Member of Audit Committee

From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Josephs was a managing director of Starwood Capital Group L.P., a private equity firm specializing in real estate investments. From 1986 to 1996, Ms. Josephs was a senior executive with Goldman, Sachs & Co. serving in the real estate group of the investment banking division and, later, in the equity capital markets division. Ms. Josephs has served since 2017 as a member of the board of directors of Safehold Inc., an investor in commercial real estate ground leases, where she serves as Chair of the audit committee and is a member of the nominating and governance and investment committees. In addition, Ms. Josephs has served since 2017 as a member of the board of directors of Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc., a real estate income trust investing primarily in commercial real estate and commercial real estate debt. Ms. Josephs also served as a member of the Board of Directors of iStar Inc. from 1998 to March 2023 until its merger with Safehold; of SVF Investment Corp. 2, a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Softbank Investment Advisers, the investment manager to the Softbank Vision Funds from May 2021 to 2023; of Quinstreet, Inc. from 2013 to 2021; and of Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. from 2003 until its sale to Weyerhaeuser Company in February 2016. Ms. Josephs is a trustee of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation.

Ms. Josephs received her B.S. (magna cum laude) from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Craig L. Knutson

Director since 2017

Chief Executive Officer & President of MFA Financial, Inc.

Mr. Knutson has served as our Chief Executive Officer and President since August 2017. Prior thereto, Mr. Knutson served as our President and Chief Operating Officer from January 2014 to July 2017. Mr. Knutson served as our Executive Vice President from 2008 to 2013. From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Knutson served as Senior Executive Vice President of CBA Commercial, LLC, an acquirer and securitizer of small balance commercial mortgages. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Knutson served as President and Chief Operating Officer of ARIASYS Inc., a software development company specializing in custom solutions for small to midsize businesses. From 1986 to 1999, Mr. Knutson held various progressive positions in the mortgage trading and mortgage finance departments of First Boston Corporation (later Credit Suisse), Smith Barney and Morgan Stanley. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Knutson served as an Analyst and then Associate in the Investment Banking Department of E.F. Hutton & Company Inc.

Mr. Knutson holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University and an A.B. (magna cum laude) from Hamilton College.

Francis J. Oelerich III

Director since 2019

Chair of Audit Committee

Member of Compensation Committee

Mr. Oelerich has been a Managing Director of XMS Capital Partners, a global, independent financial services firm providing investment banking, asset management and merchant banking services, since 2018. Prior thereto, Mr. Oelerich was a Managing Director in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department of Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. from 2008 to 2017. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Oelerich worked in investment banking for Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated from 1982 to 1984 and from 1986 to 2008, rising to the level of Managing Director.

Mr. Oelerich received an M.B.A. from Harvard University, where he was elected a George F. Baker Scholar and named a Loeb, Rhoades Fellow, and a B.B.A. (with high honors) from the University of Notre Dame.

Lisa Polsky

Director since 2020

Chair of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Member of Audit Committee

Ms. Polsky has served as a member of Deutsche Bank AG’s U.S. Board since 2016, and she is a member of the Board of Trustees of Guardian Life’s Variable Products Trust, where she chairs the audit committee. Ms. Polsky also served on the Board of Directors of Piper Jaffray from 2007 to 2016, where she chaired the audit committee and the compensation committee. She also recently served as a Senior Risk Advisor to each of AQR Capital Management LLC, an investment management firm, and Ultra Capital, a venture capital firm. Prior thereto, Ms. Polsky served as Chief Risk Officer at CIT, a financial holding company, from 2010 to 2016, and she was Chief Risk Officer of Morgan Stanley earlier in her career. Ms. Polsky began her career building derivative trading and hedge fund businesses at Citibank and Bankers Trust.

Ms. Polsky holds a B.S. in International Business and Economics from New York University.

Sheila A. Stamps

Director since 2021

Member of Compensation Committee

Member of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Ms. Stamps currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pitney Bowes Inc., a global shipping and mailing company that provides services to businesses and governments, where she also serves as chair of the executive compensation committee and a member of the audit committee, and IQVIA Holdings Inc., a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry, where she serves on the audit committee. Ms. Stamps also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services from 2018 to March 2023, where she served as Chair of the audit and finance committee, and of CIT Group, Inc., a financial holding company, from February 2014 to January 2022, where she served as a member of the audit and nominating & governance committees, as well as a member of the Board of CIT’s subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A.

From 2014 to 2018 Ms. Stamps served as a Commissioner and audit committee Chair on the Board of the New York State Insurance Fund, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurance provider. From 2011 to 2012 she served as Executive Vice President at DBI, LLC, a private mortgage investment company. From 2008 to 2011 Ms. Stamps served as Director of Pension Investments and Cash Management at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, and from 2004 to 2005 she was a Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. From 2003 to 2004, Ms. Stamps served as a Managing Director and Head of Relationship Management, Financial Institutions, at Bank of America Corp. (formerly FleetBoston). From 1982 to 2003, she held a number of executive positions with Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan), including Managing Director and Head of European Asset-Backed Securitization and Managing Director and Senior Originator of Asset-Backed Securitization.

Ms. Stamps has a B.S. in Management Sciences from Duke University and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Chicago.

Richard C. Wald

Director since 2020

Member of Compensation Committee

Member of Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Mr. Wald has served as Vice Chairman and a management (non-voting) member of the Board of Directors of Emigrant Bank, a privately held financial institution based in New York City, and its Vice Chairman, since 2012. In addition, Mr. Wald has served as Chief Regulatory Officer of Emigrant Bank since 2009 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of each of Emigrant Mortgage Company, and Emigrant Funding Corporation since 2011. Mr. Wald has also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Zicklin School of Business of Baruch College since 2013. Mr. Wald was an associate with the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson from 1986 to 1992 and was an Honors Program Attorney with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 1984 to 1986.

Mr. Wald received a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law and a B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.