What is the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center?

We are a hub for innovative partnerships. Through multi-jurisdictional collaboration, original research, and data analysis, the Policy & Innovation Center addresses broad regional challenges, meets the needs of underserved communities, and jumpstarts transformational shifts to strengthen our economy and build regional resilience.

A key piece of our work is attracting funding and resources to the San Diego region. Our immediate focus is supporting recovery from the cascading economic effects of COVID-19 by working with local municipalities and regional agencies to co-design new programs and pursue federal recovery and infrastructure funding.

Over the longer-term, our vision is to craft new policy solutions, drive large-scale private partnerships and investment opportunities, and advance regional development.

As a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of The San Diego Foundation, the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center benefits from The Foundation’s community knowledge; strong relationships with all sectors of the San Diego economy, including community-based, grassroots organizations; mission and vision of just, equitable, and resilient communities; and its support systems and resources to help achieve goals.

Press Release: The San Diego Foundation Launches New Regional Policy & Innovation Center

What We Do & How We Do It

We address barriers to long-term growth and resilience. By conducting best-in-class applied policy research, the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center assists local leaders in addressing issues, such as affordable housing, homelessness, broadband access, infrastructure needs, climate resilience, health equity, and quality jobs.

Our core work is organized around four pillars—People, Ideas, Resources, and Impact—and based on direct engagement with partners in the public and private sectors. These strategic collaborations help to develop effective, practical, and equitable solutions for improving critical infrastructure, creating stable high-paying jobs, and generating measurable long-term socio-economic and environmental benefits.

Our Partners

San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center will be advised by the organization’s Government & Agency Advisory Council with members selected from the County of San Diego and the region’s 18 municipalities, as well as San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), Port of San Diego and San Diego Airport Authority.

The Leadership Council of Regional Organizations, consisting of Alliance Healthcare Foundation; Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC); and San Diego Unified School District, will also provide input and guidance.

Our Team

The San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center team has decades of experience working in the public sector and strong relationships at federal, state and local levels as well as with private, philanthropic and community organizations.


Susan Guinn

President & CEO

Ben Shorofsky

Senior Officer, Strategy and Grants

Josh Jacobsen

Officer, Government Relations and Policy

Board of Governors

Ben Haddad

Partner, California Strategies

Constance Carroll

Chancellor Emerita, San Diego Community College District

Ernest Rady

Chairman & CEO, American Assets Trust and Philanthropist

Kay Coleman

President & CEO, Del Mar Venture Group

Lisa Cuestas

CEO, Casa Familiar

Mel Katz

Co-Founder and Executive Officer, Manpower Staffing Services

Mark A. Stuart, CFRE

President and CEO, The San Diego Foundation

Jim Howell

Chief Financial Officer, The San Diego Foundation

Susan Guinn

President and CEO, San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center

Contact Us

Many exciting projects and ideas are in the works. To learn more, contact us to share your interest in our upcoming agenda and activities, or to start a conversation. We look forward to hearing from you!