A New Era Begins At The Jacobs Center
For Neighborhood Innovation
We are proud to announce the appointment of Reginald Jones as President and CEO effective December 3. He comes to Jacobs after 10 years at the Steans Family Foundation in Chicago, where he served as President and Executive Director. As a nationally recognized nonprofit leader with experience in both place-based and family philanthropy, Reginald has worked on neighborhood issues and is committed to resident engagement and ownership.
“Reginald will lead the foundation during an exciting time as we move toward expanded community engagement and capacity building in preparation for full transition to resident ownership in 2030,” said Valerie Jacobs, Chair of the Board of JCNI and JFF. “Place-based philanthropy requires a huge network of partners to get work done, and Reginald has a long history of building the type of alliances we need to accelerate our work and ensure its sustainability.”
In keeping with its commitment to resident leadership, the president selection process engaged a team of volunteers from the community. Adam Manhbaoboua, a resident who served on the selection committee, said "It was an honor and privilege to be a part of this very important committee to select the right leadership for not only the Jacobs Center, but the community as well. Having community members who represent the diversity of the community be part of the selection process is another example of Jacobs’ deep and overarching commitment to ‘resident ownership of neighborhood change’.”
Jones replaces Interim President Roque Barros, who will return to his position as Director of Community Building, leading the Foundation’s ground-breaking resident engagement work. “It was an honor to serve as Interim President, and it is time for me to get back to the work I love most – problem-solving with residents to bring about the change they want to see in their community.”
I have long admired the work of the Jacobs Family Foundation and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. But more than that, I am impressed by the dedication and creativity of the residents in southeastern San Diego. I am thrilled to be selected to lead JCNI into its next phase of growth and know that ‘leading’ in this instance means a true hand-in-hand partnership with the residents who are transforming their community. I’ve had the privilege to work with diverse groups of people on a wide range of issues, and look forward to rolling up my sleeves again.
The process by which I was selected taught me a lot about the community, the Jacobs family, and even about myself. In fact, it was conversations with residents, and my opportunity to meet so many of them, that sealed the deal. It affirmed everything I believed about the unique nature of this community-led work. I am excited to get started.