New York Community Bancorp, Inc. announced the appointment of four distinguished leaders to its executive management team, effective immediately. Craig Gifford as SEVP. Craig brings more than 30 years of banking experience, most recently as EVP, Enterprise Operations with U.S. Bancorp where he led all physical operations, including the distribution strategy for the bank's branch and ATM network.

Previously, he served as U.S. Bancorp's Corporate Controller, and prior to that, as Chief Accounting Officer and Corporate Controller for Guaranty Financial Group, following a 13-year career in the financial services group of Ernst and Young LLP. Craig brings proven experience in navigating challenging financial environments, including raising capital and delivering profitable results. Bao Nguyen as SEVP, General Counsel & Chief of Staff.

Bao brings more than 15 years of experience as a financial services attorney. Most recently he served as a Partner for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP where he advised global and regional financial institutions, fintech and digital asset companies and private equity firms on the regulatory aspects of complex transactions, charters, compliance matters and enforcement issues. Prior to joining Skadden, he held senior positions with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), including as acting Chief Counsel and, most recently, as Principal Deputy Chief Counsel.

During his time at the OCC, he oversaw significant policy decisions, rulemaking, transaction reviews and enforcement matters. Earlier in his career he served as Senior Counsel at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and as a Banking Fellow in the U.S. Senate, negotiating key reforms to the U.S. regulatory framework as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Scott Shepherd as SEVP, Head of Commercial Real Estate Lending.

Scott is a senior executive with a more than 20-year track record building and leading teams in commercial real estate, creating value through lending, debt restructuring and workouts, financing, and investing in commercial real estate. Most recently, he served as Managing Director, The Ruth Group, where he focused on secured debt financing to acquire and refinance value-add office and industrial conversion properties and complex restructurings. Prior to that he founded Archbell Capital.

He also spent six years at OneWest Bank as Head of the Commercial Real Estate Group. While there, he launched a $1 billion annual CRE lending business that originated over $3.5 billion in loan commitments and led workouts of $2 billion of acquired loans. He started his real estate finance career at Goldman Sachs, where he was an investment banker for ten years.

James Simons as EVP, Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer. In this newly created role, James will advise on credit administration, portfolio management and lending projects. He brings more than 45 years of banking experience, the last 20 of those serving as Senior Credit Executive/Chief Credit Officer for First Citizens Bank (formerly OneWest Bank and CIT Bank), Associated Bank, Guaranty Bancorp, and U.S. Bancorp.

In these positions, he was responsible for a variety of credit functions, problem loan management and served as the primary business line approver for commercial real estate, middle market lending, builder finance, private banking, and asset-based lending. He also brings considerable bank turn-around and loan workout experience, as well as bank regulator experience with the OCC and Resolution Trust Company.