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The Long and the Short of It: A New Model to Strengthen the Region

Thursday, March 15, 2018 -
9:30am to 11:30am PDT
Autodesk Gallery
One Market, Floor 2 , San Francisco, CA 94105
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The Bay Area is known for innovative solutions. Our ingenuity as a region is being put to test by the need to simultaneously address challenges that impact communities now and those that are surfacing more slowly but no less urgently. The lack of affordable housing, racial inequities, and health disparities must be tackled along with the impacts of increased flooding and extended catastrophic wildfire seasons. But how do we, for example, halt the displacement of low-income people due to skyrocketing housing costs while also addressing their displacement from flooding and rising sea levels? As funders, public-sector decision makers, businesses, financial institutions, and community leaders, we need to tackle multifaceted problems in a resourceful way. 

Doing just that in the Bay Area is the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge. It was launched through generous funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, with support from other regional and local funders, to model a new approach to developing multi-benefit solutions to address the impacts of climate change. With 10 community design efforts underway in 10 diverse locations across the Bay Area, the Challenge brings together designers, community members, public/private financing specialists, government agencies, and youth leaders to spark innovative approaches to the long-term threat, current challenges, and essential infrastructure needs of communities on the frontline of climate change.

Please join us for a discussion about the role the philanthropy community can play in strengthening our region’s resilience to the effects of climate change, while addressing urgent regional concerns related to displacement, income inequality and more. We will also discuss how philanthropy can work in partnership with communities to help catalyze critical public and private sector stakeholders to tackle these complex challenges.

Join Us To: 

  • Learn about innovative solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities in the Bay Area
  • Explore the intersections between protecting communities from flooding, fire risks, and other climate change-related risks, and promoting equitable community economic development, displacement prevention, affordable housing, and vibrant open spaces
  • Explore opportunities for public-private partnerships in building a resilient Bay Area, and where philanthropy can have the greatest impact
  • Discuss ways to promote equitable planning and design practices that empower and engage vulnerable or marginalized communities, within this new innovative model

Who Should Attend 

This program is open to NCG members and nonmembers from philanthropy, business, government, and the nonprofit sector. 


Amy Chester is the Managing Director of Rebuild by Design, a collaborative, design-driven problem-solving approach to help communities and cities build resilience. Rebuild was first undertaken in New York City after Hurricane Sandy and has since expanded its model of resilience planning to meet needs globally in conjunction with 100 Resilient Cities. Amy has spent close to 20 years in urban affairs, municipal policy, community engagement, and real estate development. As Rebuild’s Managing Director, she is responsible the organization’s day-to-day operations and management and oversees its fundraising and strategic direction. During her tenure in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, she served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Legislative Affairs and as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability. In this role she was responsible for the public engagement strategy of PlaNYC, the Mayor’s sustainability agenda. She has also held positions at the New York City Council, where she successfully ensured the inclusion of affordable housing in large-scale neighborhood re-zonings, and at the New York City Housing Authority, where she created development plans to increase the utilization of government owned properties across the city. Outside of government, Amy has also consulted for numerous nonprofit organizations and on many electoral campaigns. At the Freelancers Union, she was responsible for the design and construction of two medical practices. As the lead organizer for Listening to the City, she crafted a democratic process to include community participation in the plans for the World Trade Center site redevelopment.

Allison Brooks is the Resilient by Design Executive Board Chair and Executive Director of Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC).  In her role at BARC, she helps to coordinate regional planning efforts of the Bay Area’s four regional agencies with a primary focus on aligning climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The agencies include the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). Prior to joining BARC, Allison led the national organization Reconnecting America, where she helped develop data-driven and interdisciplinary solutions to better integrate transportation and land use to meet broader climate, social equity and economic goals in metro areas across the United States, and across federal agencies. Prior to Reconnecting America, Allison directed the Livable Communities Initiative at the East Bay Community Foundation where she helped launch the Great Communities Collaborative.

Richard Kennedy is Senior Principal at James Corner Field Operations, a leading landscape architecture design firm, and a member of the Resilient by Design | Field Operations Team.  Richard heads up the firms design offices in San Francisco and leads the design of the New Presidio Parklands Project in San Francisco, a new 15- acre park that connects the Presidio to San Francisco’s Bayfront, and Pier 70, a 28- acre mixed-use development and waterfront park in San Francisco. Prior to joining Field Operations, Richard worked with Hargreaves Associates in San Francisco on various international design projects including the Brightwater Wastewater Treatment Facility; South Lake Union Waterfront Park in Seattle, Washington; and 555 Mission Street Plaza in San Francisco, California.

Douglas Mundo is the Co-Director of Shore Up Marin, the Founder and Executive Director of the Canal Welcome Center, partnering with the Resilient by Design | Bionic Team. Douglas has vast experience in program management, leadership and community outreach and represents Shore Up Marin and the Canal in several community, local government and regional planning and policy development processes.  For his personal accomplishments, professional achievements, and outstanding contributions to San Rafael community, Douglas has been recipient of different recognitions and community awards such as the 2004 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from the Marin County Human Rights Commission, the 2008 Grassroots Organizer Award from the Social Justice Center of Marin and the 2011 Spirit of Marin Award.

Francesca Vietor (moderator) serves as Senior Advisor, Donor and Development Services for The San Francisco Foundation, developing grantmaking recommendations for donors and implementing programs to advance racial, economic and environmental equity. Previously, Francesca served for two years as Senior Director for Expanding Access to Opportunity at the foundation, directing grantmaking and initiatives in criminal justice, workforce development, transit, education and infrastructure. Before her promotion to Senior Director in 2016, Francesca served as Program Director for Environment, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement at the Foundation for five years. Francesca also serves as one of five commissioners on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), where she leads policymaking for the City and County of San Francisco’s water, wastewater, and municipal power services. Francesca has served as President of the SFPUC twice in her nine year tenure. Before coming to The San Francisco Foundation in 2010, Francesca was executive director of the Chez Panisse Foundation, president of the Urban Forest Council, president of the Commission on the Environment, and chair of Mayor Newsom’s Environmental Transition Team.