LISC names Cindy Wu as executive director to lead community

|Apr 6|magazine8 min read

OAKLAND, Calif., April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has named a highly regarded San Francisco community leader as the new executive director of LISC Bay Area.

Cindy Wu, who most recently served as deputy director of the Chinatown Community Development Center (Chinatown CDC), will oversee LISC's local programs and investments related to affordable housing, economic development, health, community safety and jobs. Since 1981, LISC has invested more than $924 million in Bay Area communities and leveraged more than $4 billion in total development activity.

As a key collaborator in the Partnership for the Bay's Future, LISC manages the Bay's Future Fund, a $500 million fund that invests in affordable housing production and preservation across a five-county region of the Bay.

"We're thrilled that Cindy is bringing her passion and experience to LISC's work throughout the Bay Area, especially now, as the global health crisis threatens the well-being of millions of Americans," said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. "She is equal parts grassroots activist and pragmatic problem-solver," he explained. "Her deep expertise will help fuel inclusive development, and her track record of community organizing will ensure that local considerations are at the center of everything we do."

In her 13 years at Chinatown CDC, Wu led work on a range of challenges—from affordable housing to equitable transportation to culturally sensitive economic development. She helped grow Chinatown CDC's affordable housing portfolio from 1,700 to 3,000 units over the last five years, and she also managed the organization's planning program, helping residents advocate for their community and attracting more than $45 million in neighborhood capital improvements.

"The Bay Area has a rich landscape of non-profit, public and private partners that have engaged in strategies to create economic equity in our region," Wu said. "Amid our current health and economic crisis, we must double down on our ability to support vulnerable people and small businesses in the weeks and months to come."

In addition to her non-profit experience, Wu has served on the San Francisco Planning Commission, including a term as president, where she worked to develop strategies that protect neighborhood businesses and streamline affordable housing construction. In 2018, she won a LISC Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship to study neighborhood-based approaches that mitigate displacement amid gentrification.

"I'm grateful for this opportunity to help build strong communities, give residents a clear voice in their future, and provide the resources they need to realize it," Wu said. "I am excited to get started."

Wu holds a master's degree in city planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and B.A. in architecture from UC Berkeley. She can be reached at [email protected].

About LISC
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested $22 billion to build or rehab more than 419,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 70.3 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

Media contact:
Cindy Wu, LISC Bay Area executive director
[email protected] or (415) 870-4129.

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SOURCE LISC