San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center Announces Multi-Year Partnership with The Brookings Institution. Learn More 

Climate resilience, critical infrastructure, community wealth disparities, and housing affordability, are challenges that require massive collective effort. We build partnerships to create cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional solutions.

The San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center (PIC) is a partnership between The San Diego Foundation, the County of San Diego, and the world’s leading think tank – The Brookings Institution – to conduct research and policy analysis and help solve the region’s biggest problems.

The University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has named The Brookings Institution "Think Tank of the Year" and "Top Think Tank in the World" every year since 2008.

Learn more about The Brookings Institution
Amy Liu speaks at a podium at a Brookings Institute event

We envision a future where strong alliances have brought about a thriving and equitable region. 

Our mission is to unlock the region’s potential by cultivating and building partnerships. Our niche is to address intractable issues that can only be solved with cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional collaborations.

Meet Our TeamSee Our Partners

We bring people together

Since launching in August 2021 as a 501(c)(3) organization, PIC has been working to break down the silos that exist in the region. We build strong working relationships among San Diego regional leaders, government agencies, municipalities, and other community stakeholders to help solve problems that extend beyond the reach of any single agency or department.

Through our Government & Agency Council and partnership with The San Diego Foundation, we bring deep, long-standing government and community relationships together to work across sectors and jurisdictions and build consensus and direction for the region. This multi-issue, multi-jurisdictional, coordinated approach is essential to transformational systems change.

Homeless tents along a downtown city street

We find solutions supported by research

Described by The Economist as “perhaps America’s most prestigious think tank” and consistently ranked as one of the top think tanks in the world, The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization that conducts high-quality, independent research, and provides forward-thinking, practical recommendations for policy makers and the public based on that research.  

Through a long-term partnership between PIC and Brookings– the first-of-its-kind in the nation – Brookings provides a dedicated team of Metropolitan Policy Program scholars to work collaboratively with PIC’s researchers to use equity-centered research to identify our region’s biggest needs and opportunities for change, highlight effective policies and programs from around the country, and then lend insights on how those concepts might be implemented locally.

We unlock resources for the region

Securing the capital and other resources needed to implement new solutions can be difficult and time-consuming, but necessary. Using our deep expertise in grant writing, fundraising, and data driven analysis, PIC identifies opportunities to activate federal and state funding streams and support innovation across the region.  

To date, our team has developed and submitted several million dollars in federal funding applications and provided insight into how COVID-19 recovery funding can lay the groundwork for significant large-scale federal grants and projects to address critical needs.

The University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index Report has named The Brookings Institution "Think Tank of the Year" and "Top Think Tank in the World" every year since 2008.

We bring ideas to life

We are already hard at work with our regional partners developing a pipeline of potential projects and pilots that improve the lives of all San Diegans, focused on four key areas – climate resiliency, affordable housing, community wealth, and infrastructure.  

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re working on:

Building Community Wealth

In July 2022, PIC filed an application to the California Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) in collaboration with over 70 local entities for a $5 million planning grant that could lead to an additional $25–$50 million to support economic recovery in Imperial and San Diego Counties. Our application is under review with the State.

Assessing Our Region’s Climate Risk

In partnership with our Brookings colleagues, we are conducting a parcel-by-parcel analysis of wildfire, flood, and extreme heat risks for all properties located within the City of San Diego. With this data, PIC and others can apply for federal and state adaptation grants to help prevent such occurrences – something our region previously did not always qualify for due to a lack of specific property data.

Identifying Affordable Housing Opportunities

To increase housing affordability across the region, PIC is researching, recommending policy, and assisting local governments with developing principles, goals, and requirements related to affordable housing. This work includes the creation of a publicly accessible tool that identifies government-owned parcels across the County of San Diego, City of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista that may be good candidates for new affordable housing projects. See our Land Locator map!

Researching Opportunities for More Green Jobs

As we look to improve the region’s climate resiliency, PIC and Brookings are working together to research the infrastructure needed to support the creation of more green jobs and offer recommendations related to workforce training and education. This will also include an analysis of which careers may have peaked, and which are poised to provide quality wages and increased opportunities in the future.

We value relationships

Our team has years of experience working in and with the public sector. We have strong relationships with local, state, and federal officials and a vast network of private, philanthropic, and community leaders and innovators.

Join our growing network of supporters and partners.

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Supporting Partners

Leadership Council

Health Net Community Solutions

San Diego & Imperial Small Business Development Center

David C.Copley Foundation

GOVERNMENT & AGENCY ADVISORY COUNCIL

Chair: Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Board of Supervisors

County of San Diego

City of San Diego

City of Carlsbad

City of Chula Vista

City of Coronado

City of Del Mar

City of El Cajon

City of Encinitas

City of Escondido

City of Imperial Beach

City of La Mesa

City of Lemon Grove

City of National City

City of Oceanside

City of Poway

City of San Marcos

City of Santee

City of Solana Beach

City of Vista

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)

Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)

Port of San Diego

San Diego Airport Authority

News & Events

Check out our latest activities, events, and milestones. For media inquiries, please email Ashley Bendas or Sandy Young at J. Walcher Communications, or call (619) 295-7140.

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The Brookings Institution Partnership Announcement

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Media Advisory

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Launch Announcement

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The San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center Team

Susan Guinn

President & CEO
susan@sdrpic.org

Audra Herrmann-Hayes

Director of Government Grants
audra@sdrpic.org

Jamal Russell Black

Senior Officer, Analytics & Impact
jrussellblack@sdrpic.org

Rachel Lozano Castro

Senior Officer, Programs & Impact
rlozanocastro@sdrpic.org

Tedi Doychinova

Officer, Network Engagement
tedi@sdrpic.org

Josh Jacobsen

Officer, Government Relations & Policy
josh@sdrpic.org

Victoria Vasquez

Executive Assistant
vicki@sdrpic.org

Niloufar Nasrollahzadeh

Associate, Research & Analytics
niloufar@sdrpic.org

THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION Collaborators

Adie Tomer

Infrastructure, Transportation & Digital Technology
See Profile

Jenny Schuetz

Housing & Urban Economics
See Profile

Joe Kane

Environment, Transportation & Water
See Profile

Board of DIRECTORS

Kay Coleman

Chair & Executive Committee Chair
President & CEO, Del Mar Venture Group

Constance Carroll

Vice Chair
Chancellor Emerita, San Diego Community College District

Jim Howell

Treasurer, Finance & Administration Committee Chair
Chief Financial Officer, The San Diego Foundation

Ben Haddad

Secretary
Partner, California Strategies

Lisa Cuestas

Audit Committee Chair
CEO, Casa Familiar

Mel Katz

Governance Committee Chair
Co-founder & Executive Officer, Manpower Staffing Services

Ernest Rady

Chairman & CEO, American Assets Trust & Philanthropist

Mark Stuart

President & CEO, The San Diego Foundation

Susan Guinn

President & CEO, San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center

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