The Urban Land Institute, San Francisco Appoints Natalie Sandoval as Its New Executive Director

San Francisco, CA – (January 6, 2022) – The Urban Land Institute (ULI), San Francisco announced today that Natalie Sandoval is appointed Executive Director of the non-profit organization, whose aim is to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide. 

As Senior Director for ULI SF since 2016, and a member of ULI since 2007, Sandoval brings in-depth knowledge of the organization and the real estate industry to the role of Executive Director. Over the last six years, Sandoval led all of the organization’s public sector work, was instrumental in launching and directing its Housing the Bay initiative and ULI’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion efforts, and has touched nearly all of its programmatic work during her tenure. 

“We are thrilled to have Natalie step into the role of Executive Director,” said Eric Tao, Chair of ULI San Francisco and Managing Partner of L37 Partners. “The Bay Area is at a critical transition point as we navigate a new normal and meet our continually evolving economic, social, and environmental conditions. Natalie’s skills, intelligence, compassion, in-depth knowledge of ULI, and the respect she has in this industry makes her a perfect fit for this role. Her passion and collaborative nature will enable ULI San Francisco to scale our impact alongside our members and other industry leaders.” 

Michelle Malanca Frey, who has led the organization for over five years, is transitioning out in mid-January to focus her career on climate change. “We are indebted to Michelle for her incredible work as Executive Director over the last five years,” said Tao. “Michelle has been a fantastic leader and we are grateful for the impact she has made. We will miss her and her vision for and commitment to making the world a better place.”

Sandoval’s experience in the industry includes leadership positions around the country. Prior to joining ULI, Sandoval worked in the New York office of HR&A Advisors, an economic development and real estate consulting firm, as the Director of Marketing and Business Development. Prior to HR&A, she was the first Marketing and Business Development Manager for SWA Group, an international landscape architecture and urban design firm. Sandoval received her MBA from the Presidio Graduate School and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College. 

“As a ULI member and as staff, I’ve always appreciated ULI’s unique role in bringing multidisciplinary leaders together to solve some of the most challenging issues in our industry,” said Sandoval. “As we enter 2022, we must work together now more than ever to build a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous future for everyone, and I look forward to collaborating with ULI SF’s incredible members, partner organizations, public agencies, and ULI’s global network to do just that.”

Established in 1936, the Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute with 45,000+ members across the globe. With over 2,100 members in the Bay Area, ULI San Francisco carries forth its mission by serving the Bay Area’s public and private sectors with pragmatic land use expertise and education.

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