Providence Housing Authority Names Asen and Martinez as Deputy Directors

The Providence Housing Authority announced today the appointments of Peter Asen as Deputy Director of Development and Governmental Affairs and Jacqueline Martinez as Deputy Director of Operations and Housing Programs. The pair will serve as chief assistants to Executive Director Melissa Sanzaro, who has served in that role since 2018. The new positions were established as part of an ongoing reorganization that comes out of PHA’s 2020-2025 strategic plan.

Peter Asen photo


“I am honored to be a part of a very talented and resident-focused leadership team here at the PHA,” said Melissa Sanzaro. “The new appointments of Peter and Jackie recognize their dedication to this agency, and I am confident they will propel us towards our goals to improve management operations and to build capacity to expand and preserve affordable housing in Providence and beyond.”

“The PHA board has been committed to working with Melissa to strengthen the agency’s work to provide quality housing opportunities and services to low-income Rhode Islanders, and we believe these appointments will help PHA continue to better fulfill its mission,” said Nicolas Retsinas, Chair of the PHA board of Commissioners.

Jacqueline Martinez


Deputy Director of Development and Governmental Affairs Peter Asen has worked at PHA since 2018 as Director of Strategy and Development and previously worked as the Director of the Healthy Communities Office for the City of Providence, with more than ten years of experience in public agencies. Asen has extensive experience in policy development, fundraising, communications, community engagement and intergovernmental affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Master’s of Science in Labor Studies from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Deputy Director of Operations and Housing Programs, Jacqueline Martinez has a total of 17 years of experience in public housing. During her 13 years working at the PHA, Martinez served as Associate Director of Property Management and Tenant Selection since 2017. Martinez previously served as Director of Admissions at the Worcester (MA) Housing Authority. Martinez has experience in admissions, management in public housing, housing choice voucher and rental assistance demonstration properties; fair housing and reasonable accommodations; and low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) compliance.  She holds a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in global business and organizational leadership from Johnson and Wales University, where she also received her bachelor’s degree.

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