Shola Olatoye, Director of Housing and Community Development, City of Oakland
Shola Olatoye is an experienced real estate, affordable housing and management executive with more than twenty years of experience launching and managing public-private partnerships. Currently, Shola serves as the Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Oakland. She leads the city’s strategic development plans to implement Mayor Libby Schaff’s Housing Plan to create and to preserve 17,000 units of affordable housing in the City of Oakland. Shola manages the $69M department of professionals focused on providing deeply affordable units, especially to Black and Brown residents, through targeted programmatic, policy and financial interventions. Before relocating to the west coast, Shola served as Vice President of Business Development for Suffolk Construction, a national construction management firm in New York City. Prior to joining Suffolk, Shola served as Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the nation. As a Mayoral appointee, Shola launched NextGeneration NYCHA, the agency’s 10-year turnaround plan. She led her team to balance the $3.1 billion operating budget for three consecutive years, launched a major real estate development program and founded a social impact nonprofit, the Fund for Public Housing.
Prior to entering public service, Ms. Olatoye spent more than 18 years in the private and nonprofit sectors. From 2009-2014, Shola served in leadership roles at Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing organization. She was New York’s Vice President & Market Leader and led the market’s 60-person team and invested more than $150M annually in equity, debt and grants in New York’s neighborhoods. Before Enterprise, Shola was the Vice President and Community Development Manager for South Florida and the District of Columbia for HSBC Bank, N.A., where she directed regional community development investing and lending activities, as well as, managed philanthropic relationships. Before relocating to South Florida, Shola worked at HR&Advisors (formerly HR&A), a private NYC-based a real estate advisory firm. She specialized in urban public/private partnerships with universities, parks, and redeveloping neighborhood development organizations. Before focusing on housing and real estate, Shola worked for a number of NYC education reform nonprofits focused on equity and access.
Shola is a sought after speaker on leadership and affordable housing. She’s consulted on efforts including the Yale Berkeley School of Divinity’s emerging leadership initiative and has served has a leadership coach to executive women. Ms. Olatoye has served on numerous boards including Wesleyan University, the Council for Large Public Housing Authorities, the Fund for Public Housing, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and the Community Opportunity Fund. Shola is also a life-long member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is also a member of the Church of the Heavenly Rest, and served as the co-chair of “Explore,” a five-year strategic planning initiative. Ms. Olatoye has received numerous awards including the 2018 NAACP Public Service Award, 2018 Roger Starr Citizens Housing and Planning Commission award, the 2017 Coalition for Queens public service award, the 2016 Boys and Girls Club of Harlem M.L. Wilson Award for Public Service, the 2016 New York Housing Conference public service award, the Institute for Public Architecture and the 2017 Wesleyan University Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2014, Crain’s named Ms. Olatoye to its “40 under 40” list of New York’s “most talented, driven, and dynamic” young professionals.
Ms. Olatoye grew up in Connecticut and graduated with a B.A. with honors in history and African American studies from Wesleyan University. Shola also earned a master’s degree in public administration from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she also served as a Visiting Scholar teaching in the Masters of Urban Planning program on management and leadership. She lives in Oakland, California with her family.