December 28, 2023

Mayor Brandon Johnson Appoints Lissette Castañeda To Serve As Department Of Housing Commissioner And Jose Tirado To Serve As Executive Director Of Office Of Emergency Management And Communications

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Today, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of Lissette Castañeda to serve as Department of Housing (DOH) commissioner and Jose Tirado to serve as the executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC).   

Lissette Castañeda comes to the role of DOH commissioner with two decades of experience in affordable housing development, housing services, and organizational leadership. Castañeda will be tasked with streamlining the affordable housing development process as per Mayor Johnson’s recent executive order and expanding homeownership to Chicagoans in historically disinvested communities.

“I firmly believe that housing is a human right,” said Mayor Johnson. “Lissette has the expertise and the experience to make that right a reality for all Chicagoans. I look forward to working with her to ensure that everyone in our city has access to affordable housing and homeownership opportunities in their communities.”

Castañeda has served as the Executive Director for LUCHA, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling agency as well as a Community Housing Development Organization since 2019, overseeing its affordable real estate portfolio and leading implementation of its strategic plan.

“Stable, affordable housing is a cornerstone of community safety, economic development and mental health,” said Lissette Castañeda. “I am honored to serve in this role where I can spearhead new housing developments while ensuring Chicagoans have the services they need to stay in their homes for the long term.”

Prior to serving at LUCHA, Castañeda served as the Interim Executive Director and the Director of Community Engagement for the Center for Changing Lives, where she worked to expand economic opportunities and revitalize neighborhoods across Chicago.

Castañeda has served on a number of boards including Palenque LSNA, Chicago Housing Trust, Illinois Housing Council and the Chicago Rehab Network.

Jose Tirado has served as the acting executive director of OEMC since April 2023. During this time, he has led the City’s coordination efforts with County and State partners in securing federal assistance for residents in response to historic flooding on the West Side in July and led planning efforts for the inaugural Chicago NASCAR street race, as well as other large-scale events like the Chicago Marathon and Lollapalooza.

"I am proud to announce Jose Tirado as the new executive director for OEMC," said Mayor Johnson. "In his role, director Tirado will utilize his decades of experience with OEMC and CPD to continue modernizing our community safety strategy, advocate for diversity and inclusion within our departments, and lead planning efforts for large-scale events as well as our New Arrivals Mission. Director Tirado is the steady hand that we need to continue building a better, stronger, and safer Chicago."

Tirado will be tasked with continuing to manage the humanitarian asylum seeker crisis while ensuring that the City is prepared for the Democratic National Convention in August 2024.

“Being able to give back to the city I was raised in is a true honor,” said director Tirado. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to continue serving the people of Chicago, and look forward to working together to create a safer city for all.”

Prior to being named as acting executive director, Tirado served as OEMC’s First Deputy since March 2022. Before joining OEMC, Tirado had nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, rising through the ranks to the role of third in command of the Chicago Police Department as Chief of Counterterrorism and Criminal Network Group.

Tirado is a U.S. Veteran who holds a B.S in Law Enforcement Management and M.S. in Public Safety Administration from Calumet College of St. Joseph.