San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center Announces New Board Members and Board Chair

The San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center (PIC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping solve the region’s biggest problems, announced today the addition of former U.S. Congressperson Susan A. Davis and longtime community leader Michel Anderson to its board of directors. Ben Haddad has assumed the role of board chair, replacing P. Kay Coleman, president and CEO of Del Mar Venture Group, who will continue to serve as PIC’s chair emeritus.

Additional returning PIC board members include Dr. Constance Carroll, president and CEO of the California Community College Baccalaureate Association; Lisa Cuestas, CEO of Casa Familiar; Jim Howell, vice president and CFO of San Diego Foundation; Mel Katz, co-founder and executive officer for Manpower Staffing Services of San Diego; Ernest Rady, chairman and CEO of American Assets Trust; and Mark Stuart, president and CEO of San Diego Foundation.

“The depth of experience each of our board members bring to PIC plays a critical role in setting us up for success,” said PIC President and CEO Susan Guinn. “As a newer nonprofit, we are honored to have so many impressive local leaders serve on our board and provide invaluable guidance as we work to bring about transformational change in our region.”

Davis is most widely known for her service in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001-2021, representing San Diego’s Central District. During her tenure, Davis served on the Armed Services Committee, Education and Workforce Committee, and in her last few years, the House Administration and Election Reform Committee. Prior to her service in the House, Davis was elected to the California State Assembly in 1994 and served for two terms. In the Assembly, Davis chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Economic Development, and Government Efficiency. In 2013, Davis received the Congressional Management Foundation’s Life in Congress Award for a worker-friendly office, boosting morale and professional development. In 2020,Davis was inducted as a Trailblazer into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame.

Anderson, principal of Michel Anderson & Associates, is a recognized community leader with more than 35 years of experience as a business and land use consultant specializing in government relations, project management, entitlements and public affairs. Beyond his role with PIC, Anderson serves as board chair for several local organizations, including the San Diego Parks Foundation, San Diego County Capital Leasing Corporation and Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems. He has also served on the California Southern Small Business Development Corporation board since its inception in 1989,helping small and mid-size businesses secure financial assistance.

Haddad, principal of California Strategies, has served on the PIC board since its inception. He brings extensive leadership and government experience to his role as board chair, having previously served in senior staff capacities in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and San Diego. Haddad joined California Strategies, a full-service government relations firm, in 2006 as a principal and established the firm’s office in San Diego. He has worked with clients spanning the economic spectrum, from homeless services providers to major manufacturers, from high technology to sports innovators.

Prior to California Strategies, Haddad was senior vice president for communications at Science Applications International Corporation. His leadership abilities were further honed while serving as chief of staff to both a congressman and a mayor, and as a senior official in former California Governor Pete Wilson’s Administration.

Since launching in August 2021, PIC has been on a mission to break down silos and build strong working relationships among San Diego’s regional leaders, government agencies, municipalities, and other community stakeholders. By doing so, PIC cultivates cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional collaborations focused on developing effective, research-informed solutions to key issues in the region and securing the federal and state funding needed to implement those solutions.

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