Rooted in Community

We fervently believe that every individual, every family, and every community should have the opportunity and the access to capital and resources that will allow them to improve their well-being and prosper. We believe in capital as a tool, and we believe we are part of the solution. Our founders, nevertheless, recognized that neither the public nor private sectors were able to do enough alone, and a vibrant and equitable city would require a focused effort from both existing and newly created entities like City First.


From our modest start, City First has now directed over $1.2 billion in mission-focused capital intent on positive and transformational community impact. We’ve supported the creation and retention of approximately 7,660 units of affordable housing, 18,300 jobs, 15,000 new charter school seats and served approximately 785,000 clients through educational, health and arts facilities that we have helped to finance. Countless small businesses have been supported, and in turn have created jobs within the most under resourced communities in metropolitan Washington.

Directors, Officers & Staff



Brian E. Argrett, Chairman and President

Gloria Nauden, Vice President



Brian E. Argrett, Chairman and President

Gloria Nauden, Vice President

Melrose Nathan, Treasurer

Audrey A. Phillips, Secretary



If City First is going to continue to meet these issues of economic justice head on, we will need to refocus, double-down and simply get better. We will need to chart a bold, collective and renewed path forward. Over the next five years, City First will take an even greater and more ambitious role. Through research, analysis and reflection, City First has established three key Strategic Imperatives centered on Impact, Leadership, and Culture.