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Mayor Lee Appoints Colin Lacon as Mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships

Nonprofit, Foundation & Government Leader to Lead City’s Partnership Efforts to Challenges of 21st Century

Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced his appointment of Colin P. L. Lacon as Mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. Lacon has more than 30 years of professional leadership experience in the government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors, including over a decade as CEO of Northern California Grantmakers, a 250+ member association of private, corporate, and community foundations. Recently, Lacon served as the interim Associate Vice President of Development for California State University East Bay, and also has served in the Oakland Mayor’s Office and for the City of Oakland. 

“Colin is a proven leader with the right experience who shares my vision of creating public-private partnerships that benefit the people of San Francisco,” said Mayor Lee. “More and more, governments at all levels are engaging the private and non-profit sectors to tackle critical and complex challenges to provide better public service for its residents, and this new position will be a bridge between the Mayor’s Office and the philanthropic and corporate communities and better connect our City together in the 21st Century.”

With increasing and diverse demands for government services, traditional governmental models are challenged to address the complicated and interrelated issues facing municipalities in the 21st Century, and public-private partnerships allow governments to take advantage of the expertise and human and financial resources of the private and non-profit sectors. Several states and cities have established “Offices of Strategic Partnerships” to coordinate these efforts.

The Mayor’s Director of Strategic Partnerships will work closely with the philanthropic and non-profit community as well as City agencies to establish new partnerships to address the City’s highest priorities and to align and coordinate existing public-private partnerships including HOPE SF and the Mayor’s Middle Grades Leadership Initiative and the more than 80 other existing collaborations.

This is a public-private partnership made possible by the investment and support from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Hellman Family Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and the Silver Giving Foundation.

“We are excited to collaborate with the Mayor on this important position,” said Walter and Elise Haas Fund Executive Director Pamela David. “Having our work more aligned and strategic will have even greater impact on our city and the investments being made by the philanthropic community.”

Lacon is well known and highly respected in the philanthropic community for his leadership at the helm of Northern California Grantmakers. He also has extensive programmatic experience, having led youth development and other grantmaking areas at the Stuart Foundation. As the Interim Associate Vice President of Development California State University East Bay, Lacon led the overall strategic fundraising across the University’s departments and coordinated major corporate and foundation gifts and a comprehensive development campaign.

As Director of Strategic Grants Management in the Oakland City Manager’s Office, Lacon coordinated support to City departments to seek, apply for and acquire non-city funding and coordinated planning and strategic implementation of citywide programs and developed interagency partnerships between governmental institutions and non-profit organizations to provide an array of services and programs to Oakland residents, including the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, a voter-approved legislative initiative, that set aside a portion of City funds over a twelve year period for allocation to youth programs, youth development and youth-to-youth grant making.

As Director of the HOPE VI Grant for the Oakland Housing Authority, Lacon administered the $5 million community services portion of the $25.5 million federal HOPE VI Housing and Urban Development award to the City of Oakland and managed the delivery of programs and services of 15 community-based organizations.

Lacon has also held positions as Assistant in the Mayor’s Office for Community and Economic Development in Oakland, Assistant Director of the Mayor’s Office of Drugs and Crime in Oakland, Fiscal and Policy Analyst in the Legislative Analyst’s Office in Sacramento, and Policy Analyst at the National Urban League in Washington, D.C.

Lacon received a Bachelor’s degree in Policy Analysis from the Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Public Management and Policy from the Heinz School of Urban and Public Affairs at Carnegie Mellon University.