Thomas R. Harter has been named chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, based here. He was with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in San Francisco.

Richard O'Hare has been named chief mortgage loan officer of Town & Country Mortgage & Investment Corp., a subsidiary of Town & Country Properties Inc., based in Northern Virginia.

Herbert L. Arey, whose office is in Glen Echo, has been elected president of the Consulting Engineers Council of Metropolitan Washington. Other officers ara Gerry Higgs, John H. Federick Jr., Charles P. Johnson and Robert L. Meyer.

Thomas L. Phillips Jr. has been elected a vice president of Bethesda Realty Co. and Ann R. Miller has been promoted to property manager.

Frances Hawkins, formerly with Simmons Properties, has opened her own real estate firm at 2629 Connecticut Ave. NW. Hawkins is active in sales and management in the Adams-Morgan area.

Daniel W. Talbott, formerly with Hittman Associates in Columbia, has joined the Research Foundation of the National Association of Home Builders as director of energy conservation services.

Karen Liptak, resident manager of White Oak Towers in Silver Spring, recently was awarded the Roberta R. Hayes scholarship for professional study by the National Society of Professional Resident Managers.

Melvin Burdett has joined KRB Inc., which builds new houses in this area, as director of operations. Michael T. Rose, president, said that Burdett will be in charge of construction, purchasing and land development.