Executive Director, San Diego Housing Impact Fund

Our Story

The lack of affordable housing poses a major threat to our region’s quality of life. In partnership with the County of San Diego and other key funders, San Diego Foundation (SDF) is launching the San Diego Housing Impact Fund (SDHIF), an exciting new initiative to begin tackling the housing affordability crisis in San Diego County. Functioning as both a privately owned real estate development and investment firm, and a newly formed subsidiary of SDF, SDHIF will lead and execute a county-wide affordable housing development strategy. Its mission will be to collaborate with public, private, and philanthropic investors and partners, to form a real estate investment fund that will accelerate the production and preservation of housing meeting the following pillars: 1) community-focused, 2) equitable, 3) sustainable and 4) supports good jobs for working families. These pillars are SDHIF’s core, guiding our efforts to ensure the San Diego region builds the right kind of housing, in the right places, and does so with modern design characteristics, construction cost controls, energy-efficiency and environmental requirements, and income mixing.

Leadership & Culture

The Board of Governors leads San Diego Foundation in partnership with President and CEO Mark Stuart. Comprised of 19 diverse professionals, the Board is passionate about San Diego and identifying opportunities to realize our community’s potential. A career nonprofit professional, Mark brings nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of fundraising, community-building, and leadership. Since joining the organization in 2019, Mark has overseen incredible growth at SDF, focusing on a culture of inclusivity, transparency, and innovation. This includes funding and launching groundbreaking new initiatives such as SDF’s Black Community Investment Fund, the COVID Small Business Relief Fund, and the San Diego Housing Impact Fund. Under his leadership, SDF announced its $10M commitment to seed the SDHIF, the largest discretionary grant in SDF’s 47-year history. San Diego Foundation’s CFO, Jim Howell, to whom this position reports, has been a key partner in launching SDHIF. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Jim brings over 30 years of finance, investment and real estate experience to SDHIF. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2015, he served in senior investment and finance positions for leading organizations such as The Scripps Research Institute and UPS. In this highly collaborative role, the new Executive Director (ED) will work closely with Mark, Jim, and SDF’s Chief Innovation Officer, Susan Guinn, to raise additional capital and develop partnerships to scale this exciting new initiative.

Benefits & Features

  • Salary – $300,000 – $350,000 DOE/NEG
  • Medical, dental, vision, LTD, and life insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • 13 paid holidays
  • PTO with up to 25 days accrued annually
  • 401k with up to 4% match and a discretionary contribution, 100% vested at year 3


This is a hybrid role, with an office located at the San Diego Foundation – 2508 Historic Decatur Rd #200, San Diego, CA 92106.

Position Summary

Reporting to the SDF CFO and SDHIF Board, the ED will oversee strategic planning, project management, and financial oversight for ground-up development projects, while maintaining the highest standards of excellence in terms of asset quality. They will be responsible for start-up through long-term success of the program – from site identification, design, and diligence, through to funding, construction and long-term asset management. The ED will oversee four primary operating segments:

  1. Land acquisitions, entitlement, commercial and financial structuring.
  2. Development and construction.
  3. Property management and maintenance.
  4. Capital formation, investor relations, and finance and administration.

Certain operating segments may be fully integrated, while others are managed by highly experienced, reputable, and local operating partners. This will be a highly visible and collaborative role, therefore, it is paramount that the ED has strong leadership and problem-solving capabilities to improve and expedite the development process, while maintaining budgets, schedules, and quality expectations. This is an excellent opportunity for an extremely organized, dynamic, and relational leader who is an excellent communicator, and will function well in a fast-paced, vibrant environment to lead and execute a social housing development strategy across San Diego County.

Priorities in the first year will include:

  • Recruiting and managing a team of professionals dedicated to maximizing the growth potential and value of SDHIF.
  • Investor relations and fundraising with a $100M+ goal.
  • Partnership/operations development and management.
  • Land sourcing.

Duties and Responsibilities  

Leadership & Operations:

  • Foster and maintain a positive image and reputation of the company, engaging municipal, corporate, and other investment partners, as well as community representatives, for strategy input and impact assessment.
  • Ensure that SDHIF has an effective management team below the level of the ED and has a plan for management development and succession.
  • Provide leadership and direction to the other members of the management team.
  • Promote a positive and ethical work climate that is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating top-quality employees at all levels.
  • Develop, or supervise the development of, and recommend to the Board a long-term strategy and vision for the company that leads to the enhancement of unit-holder value.
  • Achieve the company’s financial and operating goals and objectives.
  • Lead capital raising sourced from corporate, banking, and philanthropic relationships; $300-$400M goal by year 3.
  • Maintain responsibility for the integrity of the financial reporting process, timely disclosures, and internal controls.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for the company, subject to the direction of the Board.

Real Estate:

  • Lead site identification and development planning initiatives, including operating partner relationship management, project funding and financing, and contracting associated with SDHIF and project-specific objectives.
  • Secure approvals during the entitlement phase of the development process; maintain positive relationships with jurisdictions and planning commissions to ensure the same.
  • Adhere to strict specifications and cost management discipline during the design development phase.
  • Coordinate bids, negotiation, and construction contract processes.
  • Oversee formation and management of budgets and derive solutions to correct adverse deviations from plans.
  • Facilitate a smooth transition from construction completion to the marketing, leasing and asset management stages of projects.
  • Monitor projected vs. actual operating costs, ensuring any anticipated deviations are highlighted, addressed, and communicated to the proper parties.
  • Maximize the long-term asset value through arrangements for expert property management and maintenance.
  • Ensure compliance with current code, as well as health and safety laws and internal requirements.

Background Profile

  • Demonstrated experience in acquisitions, entitlement, funding and finance, development, project management, real estate, and/or construction.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, particularly with senior leadership and Boards.
  • Skillful and experienced in strategic planning, resource allocation, and project management.
  • Analytical skills with the ability to foresee issues, develop constructive solutions, and provide decisive recommendations.
  • Ability to work independently and react quickly in a demanding, fast-paced environment; manage multiple projects at one time, balance priorities and deadlines; motivate and direct people effectively through positive, impactful leadership.
  • Connectivity to San Diego;experience working within and across the region, with a deep understanding of the local history and affordable housing environment, as well as a strong reputation as a community and relationship builder.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

The selected finalist will be asked to upload a copy of their vaccination card at time of hire. If they are not vaccinated, other arrangements will be made.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Sarah Thompson, Director
1855 First Ave., Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101