SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) and Jacobs Family Foundation (JFF) today announced the appointment of Reginald Jones to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.
“After an extensive review of qualified candidates, and a search that began here and then spanned the nation, our selection team of board, staff, and residents is thrilled that our process led us to a truly outstanding candidate. Reginald brings a unique combination of resident-led development experience and a solid background in nonprofit management,” stated Valerie Jacobs, Chair of the Board of JCNI and JFF. “Place-based philanthropy requires a huge network of partners to get work done, and Reginald has a long history of building the type of alliances we need to move into our next phase of work and ensure its sustainability.”
“I have long admired the work of the Jacobs Family Foundation and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation,” said Jones. “But more than that, I am impressed by the dedication and creativity of the residents in southeastern San Diego. I am thrilled to be selected to lead JCNI into its next phase of growth and know that ‘leading,’ in this instance, means a true hand-in-hand partnership with the residents who are transforming their community.”
Prior to joining JCNI, Jones served as President of Chicago-based Steans Family Foundation, a philanthropy committed to North Lawndale, a disinvested community on Chicago’s west side. In that role, Jones worked extensively with culturally diverse residents and partner organizations to develop and implement an ambitious neighborhood revitalization plan. Earlier, Jones managed culture and education grant programs at the Joyce Foundation and created the Joyce Awards Initiative to support artistic works by minority artists. Jones also has experience fostering cultural tourism initiatives along with work in affordable housing administration.
In keeping with its commitment to resident leadership, the president selection process engaged a team of volunteers from the community. “It was conversations with residents, and my opportunity to meet so many of them, that sealed the deal. It affirmed everything I believed about the unique nature of this community-led work,” Jones said.
As a leader in family philanthropy and innovative grassroots change, Jones has served on the board of the Council on Foundations and Grassroots Grantmakers. Janis Foster Richardson, executive director of Grassroots Grantmakers, called Jones “a visionary leader and a strong voice for the central role of residents in guiding community change.” Jones’ former employer, Harrison Steans, chair of the Steans Family Foundation, called Jones “extraordinary,” and added emphatically, “Chicago’s loss is truly San Diego’s gain.”
Jones takes the helm Dec. 3, replacing Roque Barros, a longtime Jacobs executive who served as Interim President. Barros will return to his position leading JCNI’s groundbreaking resident engagement programs.
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Jacobs Family Foundation are partnering with resident teams in southeastern San Diego to transform 60 acres of blight into The Village at Market Creek, a vibrant LEED-certified neighborhood and cultural destination. Through a network of nonprofit and for-profit partners, locally owned and national tenant businesses, a community and conference center, and a portfolio of social enterprise projects, JCNI and JFF are creating assets which will be transferred to community ownership when the foundation sunsets in 2030. Under the banner of “Resident Ownership of Neighborhood Change” the people who live and work in the community create the vision, lead the implementation, and will finally own the assets related to this work.