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Oakland Announces Appointment of New Director of Housing & Community Development

Shola Olatoye brings strong, savvy leadership and breadth of experience to lead department through regional housing crisis.

Photo of Shola Olotoye

Oakland, CA — Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth today announced the appointment of Shola Olatoye (o-LAH-twoh-yay) as the new Director of the Department of Housing & Community Services effective February 11.

“Following a robust national recruitment that generated many outstanding candidates from across the country, I am delighted to welcome Shola Olatoye as Oakland’s new Director of Housing & Community Development,” said City Administrator Landreth. “Housing is the most critical issue facing Oakland and the region right now, and I am excited to have Shola at the helm to lead this department with a focus on equity, compassion, and innovation. An experienced executive leader, Shola brings two decades of affordable housing, community development, real estate, and banking expertise, along with passion for coaching teams and community engagement.”

Ms. Olatoye is an experienced real estate and management executive with more than 20 years of experience launching and managing public-private partnerships. She served as Vice President of Business Development for Suffolk Construction, a national construction management firm. Prior to joining Suffolk, Shola served as Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the nation. As a Mayoral appointee, Shola launched NextGeneration NYCHA, the agency’s 10-year turnaround plan. She led her team to balance the $3.1 billion operating budget for three consecutive years, launched a major real estate development program, and founded a social impact nonprofit, the Fund for Public Housing.

She is a sought-after speaker on leadership and affordable housing, most recently as a panelist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also a project consultant to the Yale Berkeley School of Divinity’s emerging leadership initiative, as well as a leadership coach to executive women.

Prior to entering public service, Ms. Olatoye spent more than 18 years in the private and nonprofit sectors. From 2009-2014, Shola served in leadership roles at Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing organization. She was New York’s Vice President & Market Leader and led the market’s 60-person team, investing more than $150M annually in equity, debt, and grants in New York’s neighborhoods.

Before Enterprise, Ms. Olatoye was the Vice President and Community Development Manager for South Florida and the District of Columbia for HSBC Bank, N.A., where she directed regional community development investing and lending activities, and managed philanthropic relationships. Before relocating to South Florida, Shola worked at HR&Advisors (formerly HR&A), a private NYC-based a real estate advisory firm. She specialized in public/private partnerships with universities, parks, and redeveloping neighborhood development organizations.

Ms. Olatoye said: “I am excited to join this Administration and the hardworking public servants of the City of Oakland as the Director of Housing & Community Development as we work to provide opportunity for the city’s families. My experience in NYC, the District of Columbia, and South Florida has been instrumental in shaping my views about housing policy, equity, administering programs, and leveraging public and private collaboration. I look forward to joining the talented team at the Department of Housing & Community Development in applying a fresh look and practical problem-solving approach to building and preserving affordable housing for Oakland’s families and residents.”

Ms. Olatoye has received numerous awards including the 2018 NAACP Public Service Award, 2018 Roger Starr Citizens Housing and Planning Commission award, the 2017 Coalition for Queens public service award, the 2016 Boys and Girls Club of Harlem M.L. Wilson Award for Public Service, the 2016 New York Housing Conference public service award, the Institute for Public Architecture and the 2017 Wesleyan University Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2014, Crain’s named Ms. Olatoye to its “40 under 40” list of New York’s “most talented, driven, and dynamic” young professionals.

Ms. Olatoye grew up in Connecticut and graduated with a B.A. with honors in history and African American studies from Wesleyan University. She also earned a master’s degree in public administration from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she currently serves as a Visiting Scholar teaching in the Masters of Urban Planning program on management and leadership.

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Posted: January 10th, 2020 3:38 PM

Last Updated: January 26th, 2022 1:21 PM

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