Political Update with AFIRE

Online, March 16, 2021


Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 10:00–11:00 a.m. EST

A new administration is in the White House and Democrats now retain legislative majorities—but the power shift comes during a moment of acute and historical complexity as the US faces overlapping crises in economics, public health, and social and racial equity. Each crisis has profound implications on the outlook for real estate performance and the future of cross-border investment.

In the short-term, what will be the key tax and regulatory issues to track in the coming year? What’s the status of House Democrats’ US$1.9 trillion relief bill, and what should businesses and investors know? And in the long-term, as international borders re-open through an effective and global vaccine rollout, what are the geopolitical implications and opportunities of the “new normal?”

In AFIRE’s first political update of 2021, members will be joined by Duane Desiderio of The Real Estate Roundtable and other political experts (TBA) to talk about the tumultuous beginning to 2021, the late stages of pandemic-related policy in the US, and cause for optimism for the future of commercial real estate investing in the US.

This event is open to all members and invited guests.


Duane J. Desiderio has advocated on behalf of the real estate industry for nearly 20 years, seeking policy solutions that balance responsible economic development while conserving energy and environmental resources. He is currently Senior Vice President and Counsel with The Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, DC. The Roundtable represents the leadership of the nation’s top 100 privately-owned and publicly-held real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms, as well as the elected leaders of the 16 major national real estate industry trade associations.

Mr. Desiderio’s legislative and regulatory portfolio emphasizes energy, environmental, immigration, infrastructure, and land use policy. He manages The Roundtable’s advocacy on these issues with The White House, Congress, and executive branch departments. Mr. Desiderio staffs The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC), and builds coalitions to unify diverse real estate, business, and environmental stakeholders toward shared policy goals. He has testified to the US Senate and has prepared witnesses for numerous congressional hearings on energy efficiency, wetlands, endangered species, land development, and property rights matters as they affect the built environment.

Prior to joining The Real Estate Roundtable, Mr. Desiderio was a vice president at the National Association of Home Builders where he developed and managed its nationwide litigation program. His tenure resulted in over 50 reported opinions in federal and state courts, including a winning decision in NAHB v. Defenders of Wildlife, 551 U.S. 664 (2007). He is formerly associated with the law firms of Rogers and Wells (now Clifford Chance) in its New York City and Washington, DC offices, and with the boutique land-use law firm Linowes and Blocher, LLP in Bethesda, Maryland.

Mr. Desiderio is on the Advisory Board of the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and the Sustainability Board of Advisors for National Real Estate Investor. He has a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University (Phi Beta Kappa), a JD from Hofstra University (law review articles editor), and an LL.M. from the George Washington University (with honors). He is admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court and other federal courts, and is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, and Maryland.

Watch this page for updates!


Designed as part of AFIRE’s membership program, AFIRE Virtual Events provide a recurring digital format for AFIRE members to stay connected beyond in-person meetings.

AFIRE Virtual Events are recorded and made available for members only.


Asmait Tewelde, Meeting Director
atewelde@afire.org+1 202 312 1404

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