January 3, 2024 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation announced four personnel appointments today, including the hiring of Danny Kim, Ph.D., as Sr. Director of People, Culture and Diversity; Liz Zajd as Director of Events and Project Management; and Nicole White Forrest as Executive Director of the San Diego Housing Fund. James Howell, SDF Chief Financial Officer, will expand his leadership as board member and Managing Partner for the San Diego Housing Fund.

“The contributions of Danny, Liz, Nicole and James to the San Diego Foundation and San Diego Housing Fund teams will help propel forward our work in inspiring enduring philanthropy and enabling community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region,” said Mark Stuart, President & CEO of San Diego Foundation.

As the largest community foundation in San Diego County, the San Diego Foundation team is committed to delivering world-class philanthropy and effective, collaborative partnerships. San Diego Foundation has been selected as a top workplace by The San Diego Union-Tribune for four years in a row.

Launched in 2023, the San Diego Housing Fund is an investment fund to improve housing accessibility that partners with investors, developers and property owners to create housing for all San Diegans.

Danny Kim, Ph.D., SDF Sr. Director of People, Culture & Diversity

Kim’s career in organizational development spans from the nonprofit sector to Fortune 500 companies, providing leadership in the areas of organizational effectiveness, executive coaching and employee engagement. Raised by first-generation Korean immigrants, he credits much of his work ethic and passion for people to his parents’ dedication to education, resilience and overcoming challenges. Kim looks forward to elevating the culture and employee experience at San Diego Foundation and beyond. He holds a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology.

Liz Zajd, SDF Director of Events & Project Management

Zajd has more than a decade of experience in special event planning and donor relations. Dedicated to making an impact one event at a time, Zajd loves working with others to create memorable experiences for attendees. As a native San Diegan, Zajd is excited to contribute to an organization making a significant impact in the region, especially for those who need it most.

Nicole White Forrest, San Diego Housing Fund Executive Director

Forrest has been a real estate developer and investor for 20-plus years, specializing in strategic partnerships and joint ventures. During her career, she has consulted for private equity, development and construction companies in Washington D.C., New York City, Boston and Southern California. Forrest has a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.

James Howell, San Diego Housing Fund Managing Partner & Board Member

Serving as the SDF Chief Financial Officer since 2015, Howell is a 30-year finance and investment professional. He previously served as Chief Investment Officer at Canterbury Consulting and Scripps Research Institute. As UPS Retirement Plan Alternative Investment Officer, he managed a $3 billion institutional private equity and real estate portfolio and served on numerous real estate fund LP Advisory Boards and the Institutional Real Estate Letter Editorial Board. Howell holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Georgia State University.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. For more than 48 years, SDF and its donors have granted $1.7 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.

Headshots available online


Lorena Nava Ruggeo, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365