Why Oakland hired a housing developer to do economic development is of some concern. If you need a housing person, put them in the Oakland housing office. Alexa Jeffress has no formal training in economic development. No master’s degree in urban planning with a specialty in economic development.
Oakland, CA — Oakland City Administrator Sabrina Landreth today announced she has appointed Alexa Jeffress as the new Director of the Economic & Workforce Development Department. Ms. Jeffress has been serving as the Interim Director since late September and assumes the permanent role effective immediately.
Ms. Jeffress is an affordable housing professional and attorney with extensive private and public sector experience. She is a seasoned public administrator with nearly two decades of experience leading cross-functional teams and brings a demonstrated track record of building partnerships at the local, state, and federal level.
“Alexa has demonstrated she is a top-notch leader who brings the right mix of technical expertise, vision, drive, and collaborative decision-making to this critical role,” said City Administrator Sabrina Landreth. “I am delighted that she will permanently join our executive leadership team as we collectively advance Oakland’s development, small business, and housing needs.”
Ms. Jeffress had previously served as the City of Oakland’s Real Estate Managing Director, then the Interim Director of the department, where she led a departmental staff of approximately 52 professionals engaged in six divisions: Business Development, Cultural Affairs, Real Estate Asset Management, Public Private Development, Workforce Development and Administration with a $15 million budget.
Prior to coming to the City, Ms. Jeffress was Vice President of Real Estate Development at BRIDGE Housing, where she oversaw the development of affordable and mixed-income real estate projects in the East Bay and San Francisco.
Before joining BRIDGE Housing, Ms. Jeffress served as the Asset Management Director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Multifamily West Region in San Francisco where she managed a team of federal employees in four regional offices servicing a portfolio of over 200,000 affordable housing units in California, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho. During her more than seven years with HUD, Ms. Jeffress directed the West Region’s preservation efforts, working to preserve more than 32,000 units of affordable housing in high-cost, low-vacancy rental markets in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Portland.
Ms. Jeffress is an attorney and member of the California State Bar. A native of the East Bay, she holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She was a Presidential Management Fellow and completed a clerkship with the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco. Prior to her career in real estate, she worked in software development and information management in Oakland and Silicon Valley after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York.
“I am honored and excited to join the City of Oakland leadership team as the Director of Economic & Workforce Development,” said Ms. Jeffress. “I look forward to continuing to work with the talented EWD staff and the entire Oakland community toward an inclusive, thriving economy. Together, we can advance our shared goal of ensuring equitable economic development in which all Oaklanders benefit from the City’s growth and prosperity.”
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