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The board of directors of the urban think tank SPUR has appointed Alicia John-Baptiste as its new president and executive director.
John-Baptiste, who will be the first female president in the history of the 112-year-old organization, replaces Gabriel Metcalf, who led SPUR from 2005 to 2018. He left last year to lead an urban planning organization in Sydney.
John-Baptiste, a former chief of staff for both the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Planning Department, joined SPUR as deputy director in 2015. She has been acting director since Metcalf left.
Search committee Chairwoman Lydia Tan, head of development for developer Bentall Kennedy, cited John-Baptiste’s “transformational vision for SPUR, her inclusive leadership style, her deep knowledge of the Bay Area, as well as her truly unmatched ability to get things done.”
“Our ambitious list of must-haves described someone who could take SPUR to the next level while expanding our tent to include the diverse representation that makes the Bay Area special,” she said.
During Metcalf’s tenure the organization grew from four to 40 employees and opened offices in San Jose and Oakland. The nonprofit, which has a $7.5 million annual budget, also built a new headquarters on Mission Street in downtown San Francisco, where it hosts a full calendar of lectures and panel discussions.
“The Bay Area has the elements it needs to become a place of belonging and opportunity for all. It is with that vision in mind that I am excited to lead SPUR’s work,” said John-Baptiste.
SPUR is a nonprofit that works on finding solutions to problems faced by Bay Area cities, including issues such as transportation, infrastructure and housing.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SPUR-which-seeks-solutions-to-Bay-Area-s-urban-13683473.php.