Executive Director

Company: Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda)

Location: Seattle, WA

Job Function: Other


SCIDpda’s mission is to preserve, promote, and develop the Seattle Chinatown International District (CID) as a vibrant community and unique ethnic neighborhood. The community of the CID recognized the need for an organization to be a steward to the neighborhood. The City of Seattle recognized the need for an entity to “go and do” where the City could not. To that end, SCIDpda was chartered in 1975 to support the community’s growth and development in a manner that preserves the character and culture of this unique neighborhood through rehabilitation, restoration and preservation of existing buildings and landmarks, assisting property owners in rehabilitation and development of their properties, advocating for thoughtful redevelopment of the area, and revitalizing open spaces for the CID. Over SCIDpda’s 45-year history, the organization has adapted and grown to meet the needs of the community. SCIDpda fulfills its mission by providing services in three major areas:

  1. Affordable housing and commercial property management
  2. Real estate development
  3. Community economic development and community engagement.

Affordable Housing & Commercial Property Management

SCIDpda currently owns and/or manages affordable housing for more than 400+ low-income residents and 160,000 square feet of commercial/retail space for dozens of independent businesses, neighborhood nonprofit organizations, and service providers.  SCIDpda manages these properties through ten wholly owned entities that have been created to provide a mechanism for SCIDpda’s redevelopment of various properties in the international district. SCIDpda exercises complete management and financial control over these entities and their financial activities are incorporated into SCIDpda’s basic financial statements.

Real Estate Development

SCIDpda has developed new projects and rehabilitated historic buildings to meet the community’s needs and encourage future growth in the Chinatown International District and continues to implement physical development projects that enhance and support the mission of SCIDpda, provide major upgrades to SCIDpda-owned buildings to prolong the useful life of these assets, identify opportunities on non-SCIDpda projects that further our mission through technical assistance and consultation, and partner with non-profits and for-profit developers and organizations to develop projects in the CID and beyond.

Community Economic Development & Community Engagement

SCIDpda focuses its support on projects that aim to revitalize the neighborhood and support economic growth.  Projects are divided into four program areas: Business assistance, design, neighborhood safety, and real estate development.

During the pandemic, after closure of the neighborhood food bank location and onsite meal programs for low-income seniors, SCIDpda was instrumental in bringing creative strategies and funding to the CID, leveraging private sector, federal and other aid of over $900,000 in pandemic relief funds for businesses and restaurants. SCIDpda created and executed a program to bring over 8000 meals to low-income residents, from local CID restaurants, as well as coordinating meal delivery to low-income seniors.  SCIDpda’s current community and economic development focus is on pandemic recovery efforts, as well as community response to public works projects and other issues impacting the CID.

For more details about SCIDpda, please see the organization’s website at www.scidpda.org.

SCIDpda Structure and Leadership:

A Public Development Corporation, SCIDpda is governed by a thirteen-member Board of Directors comprised of three persons appointed by the Mayor of Seattle, with the other board positions selected by the board itself.

SCIDpda is also supported by The Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Association (CIDPDA), a legally separate, tax-exempt component unit of the SCIDpda, with a distinct and separate board, which acts primarily as a fund-raising organization to benefit SCIDpda.

Reporting to the Board, the new Executive Director will lead a team of 43 employees, including three direct reports: The Directors of Finance, Community Initiatives, and Property Operations.  SCIDpda’s 2022 operating budget is $9.3M.


The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation & Development Authority (SCIDpda) is seeking a passionate, strong, and community-oriented executive leader, with a long-term strategic mindset, who can develop and collaboratively lead toward a vibrant vision for Seattle’s Chinatown International District community. A high performing public development authority chartered in the City of Seattle Municipal Code and formed by the community, SCIDpda has a $9.3 M operating budget, manages a $55M asset base, including 6 properties, and has worked for 45+ years to provide neighborhood sustainability through innovative programs and projects that engage the community, and balance development and preservation.

Working Conditions:

Work is performed typically in an office environment and a variety of settings among diverse stakeholders and audiences. A considerable amount of time will be spent in meetings, at a computer screen for extended periods, and at SCIDpda events. Frequent use of phones and e-mail will be required to communicate with stakeholders. This position frequently works outside normal working hours and will travel to work performed with other stakeholders in the community. Occasional travel out of town and out of state will be required.


The Executive Director will inherit an organization with strong community connections, a strong staff, and a solid financial position. SCIDpda recently adopted a Strategic Impact Plan for 2022-2026 to guide its future activities. To be able to leverage the organization’s program and service capabilities, the new Executive Director initially will need to learn about the organization and the community, and build relationships and trust, including:

  • Becoming familiar with the neighborhood, its deep history, cultures, SCIDpda organizational history, and its unique role as a PDA in the neighborhood ecosystem today, to be able to fully understand the community’s concerns and needs
  • Building trust with strategic partners through strong and regular communication including SCIDpda’s unique role with the City of Seattle as a public development authority
  • Understand SCIDpda’s role in working with non-English speaking populations
  • Join and build personal and professional networks with residents, businesses, elected leaders and government agencies, philanthropic partners, and nonprofit partners
  • Learn the complex business models, multiple approaches, and revenue streams of the organization to provide executive oversight, and support board and management with key performance indicators
  • Listen to and develop a thorough understanding of staff and departmental capacities, structures, and needs. Support and strengthen internal culture, teams, cohesion and rapport towards shared vision and accountability, after 2+ years of remote work.

Building upon the above capacities, the new Executive Director will need to address the following key priorities in their first 18-24 months:

  • Understand and continue to execute the newly adopted strategic plan and current priority projects. By the end of the period, develop and bring new vision and strategies to the plan, as the new Executive Director learns more about pressing or emerging needs, and SCIDpda’s unique capacities, leverage, and opportunities.
  • Maintain strong financial position and project and program execution and accountability. Manage property portfolio in a financially sound manner.
  • Assure current real estate and pipeline projects, including the 316 new units under development currently on the Pacific Hospital North Lot & Yesler sites, are completed on time and leased up and assure that the organization is ready for property management and capital needs.
  • Provide leadership to guide staff and team development including establishing policies and goals in this “post-pandemic” situation, educating staff to understand processes at an organization-wide level through orientations, trainings, etc., facilitating departments working together more collaboratively, and fostering accountability and ownership of work areas.
  • Position SCIDpda to play a leading role in COVID recovery for the neighborhood – recognizing and addressing immediate and long-term challenges and ongoing community needs and broken systems. Public safety, business recovery and vacancies, and social isolation are particular needs.
  • Continue to address displacement and preservation of the CID as a unique ethnic neighborhood by playing SCIDpda’s traditional role in bringing the right people together to facilitate a coordinated/unified community voice on the issues at hand. For example, currently, SCIDpda can guide the neighborhood in how to address impacts and mitigation from the siting of the new Sound Transit station.


SCIDpda is seeking a passionate, strong and community-oriented executive leader, with a long-term strategic mindset, who can develop and collaboratively lead toward a vibrant vision for Seattle’s Chinatown International District community.  The successful candidate will be an emotionally intelligent, inquiry-minded, and level-headed leader with a growth mindset, and a simultaneous willingness to get into the weeds as necessary to adapt to the many changes in SCIDpda’s community and overall operating environment.  To drive growth of the organization, including a steady, sustainable flow of new projects, the new Executive Director would ideally have the following experience, skills, and qualifications:

  • Affinity for, understanding of, and commitment to the Seattle Chinatown International District neighborhood and its cultures and history. AAPI lived experience, and/or neighborhood connections, experience, and language a plus.
  • Good listener and communicator, at all levels (staff, residents, business owners, community organizations, elected officials, grant makers); boundary-spanner, comfortable working with people who don’t speak English as a first language.
  • Visionary, strategic, and creative problem solver for complex issues and implementation of solutions for the neighborhood.
  • Excellent leadership skills and supportive manager and team builder; Accessible, collaborative, and approachable, able to navigate conflict in a positive way.
  • Significant experience in real estate development, affordable housing development, financing, and asset/property management, including the use of complex legal instruments.
  • High level of understanding of complex budgets and balance sheets and skill in developing and leading a financially sustainable business model.
  • Community-builder, connector and advocate, relationship-builder, critical thinker, good negotiator, and facilitator.
  • A successful track record working with and developing a community-oriented board of directors.
  • Comfort and success working with elected officials and government agencies, leveraging political support.
  • Fundraising experience including institutional, government, philanthropic, and major donors.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field required. Master’s Degree preferred. Equivalent professional experience may substitute for educational qualifications.

Job Requirements:

  • Willing and able to travel for business within the SCIDpda service area, using some combination of public transit, commercial transportation and/or private vehicle travel.
  • If driving for SCIDpda business, must have a valid driver’s license, safe driving record, and current vehicle insurance.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.  The successful candidate may be required to pass a civil, educational and/or credit background check.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $155,000-$180,000 DOE plus an annual bonus of up to 10% of salary based on the organization meeting performance goals.
  • Benefits include medical, dental, and vision coverage, life and disability insurance, and employer contribution toward a 401a retirement plan.
  • Cell phone stipend.
  • Generous PTO package.

How to Apply

SCIDpda has engaged Jan Glick & Associates to facilitate this search. To apply, interested candidates should e-mail their resume and cover letter to: SCIDpda@janglick.com

Only e-mail applications with a cover letter and resume will be accepted. The position is open until filled.