December 9, 2013 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation has named Theresa Nakata vice president, external affairs officer.

She will serve on The Foundation’s Executive Leadership Team and provide strategic leadership for Marketing & Communications, Regional Outreach, San Diego Women’s Foundation, Volunteer Engagement, Community and Government Relations, the Public Policy Committee, and the San Diego Regional Disaster Fund.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Theresa join The Foundation in this leadership capacity and help support our mission in the San Diego region,” said Bob Kelly, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “The 22 years of marketing and communications experience as well as community and government relations experience she brings to The Foundation is a great asset to this critical role. Her proven ability to develop and sustain a clear vision, objectives and action plans to guide organizational efforts will be instrumental in supporting The Foundation’s commitment to excellence and community engagement.”

For the last seven years, Nakata served as the senior vice president of marketing for Pierce Education Properties. She was responsible for business development, sales, market research, community relations, public relations and advertising for corporate, the $200 million student housing portfolio, third-party management contracts and real estate development contracts.

Prior to her term at Pierce Education Properties, Nakata served six years as the senior communications advisor at San Diego State University Research Foundation where she promoted faculty and staff research initiatives and led the community relations strategy team working on the city of San Diego College Community Redevelopment Projects abutting the SDSU campus.

Before moving to San Diego with her family, Nakata was the national public relations manager for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Corporate in Scottsdale, AZ, and director of marketing at Downtown Tempe Community, a volunteer-based nonprofit management organization charged with marketing the Mill Avenue Entertainment District near Arizona State University in Tempe.

Raised in Hawaii, Nakata earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and marketing from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and an MBA degree in marketing from Arizona State University.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $624 million in assets, almost half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $842 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600,
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, (619) 235-2300,