Don Chen is the new president of the Surdna Foundation in New York City. He most recently led the Just Cities and Regions team for the Ford Foundation. In that role, he worked on Ford’s approach to urban development strategies that reduce poverty, expand economic opportunities and advance sustainability in the U.S. and countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Prior to the Ford Foundation, Chen was the founder and CEO of Smart Growth America, where he led efforts to create the National Vacant Properties Campaign, which later became the Center for Community Progress, and Transportation for America. Surdna made a seed investment and provided core support to Chen when he first launched Smart Growth America.
He is a founding member of Funders for Housing & Opportunity and former board member of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.