Doug Duncan is stepping down as chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association to assume a similar title at Fannie Mae, where he will lead the economic and mortgage market analysis department, the company announced Tuesday.

Duncan will be responsible for providing all forecasts and analysis on the economy, housing and mortgage markets for the company, which provides mortgage capital for affordable housing. In his new role, which he will assume in April, Duncan will serve as Fannie’s primary spokesperson on the economy and the housing and mortgage markets.

“Doug's deep background in mortgage and housing market research, his impressive economic analysis credentials, and senior leadership experience are the perfect fit for his new role,” says Daniel H. Mudd, president and CEO of Fannie Mae. “I also hope that, given Doug's role at the MBA, he will provide us with critical insights so that we can better serve our partners and customers in the years ahead.”

MBA leadership expressed confidence in the research team Duncan helped to assemble in his 15 years with the trade group, which represents some 3,000 lenders and financial intermediaries that originate residential and commercial loans. Duncan joined the MBA in 1992 and was named a senior vice president and chief economist in 2000.

“Doug has built a smart and talented team that has driven MBA’s growth and success in the data and research field,” says Jonathan L. Kempner, president and CEO of the MBA. “They have my full confidence and I don’t expect MBA to miss a beat while we search for a successor.”

Kempner credits Duncan with helping to make the MBA “one of the most trusted sources of economic analysis on the housing industry.” He adds: “With his balanced and level-headed approach, Doug has become a household name for anyone trying to understand the dynamics of the real estate market. For that reason he will of course be sorely missed.”

Prior to joining the MBA, Duncan worked on Capitol Hill on the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, and at the U.S Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. He has been elected to the board of directors for the National Association of Business Economists and has been listed in the Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate by Inman News. Duncan received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University.

Duncan says it was a difficult decision to leave the MBA after 15 years. “However, the opportunity at Fannie Mae is to join another influential firm at a critical time in the real estate finance markets,” he says. “I look forward to making a positive contribution to the ability of Fannie Mae to support the housing markets.”