Speakers + Moderators

Stonly Baptiste

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Stonly is a Co-Founder and Partner of Urban Us, a venture fund investing in pre-series A startups that make cities and city life better, and an active online community of founders, investor, and industry experts.

Urban Us is a partner with BMW/MINI at the URBAN-X Accelerator, which invests in pre-seed companies building the future of urban living.

With more than 40 investments, Stonly helps startups reimagine cities with a focus on sustainability. Urban Us’ portfolio represents the most promising startups in sectors including real estate, public safety, transport, logistics, water, energy, waste, air quality, construction, architecture and local government.

David Benson


David C. Benson is Fannie Mae’s President. In this capacity he is responsible for leading the development and execution of the strategic plan for the organization, focused on driving innovation and organizational performance in support of its mission to provide liquidity and promote affordability and access to the U.S. housing finance system. David leads the Single-Family and Multifamily businesses, and is also responsible for corporate functions, including information technology, business operations, finance, strategy, human resources, communications, marketing, and economic research.  

Prior to becoming Fannie Mae’s President, David was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this role he was responsible for all of Fannie Mae’s financial management functions as well as corporate strategy, economic research, and enterprise innovation. Previously, David served as Executive Vice President – Capital Markets, and Senior Vice President and Treasurer.

Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 2002, David was a Managing Director in the Fixed-Income Division of Merrill Lynch & Co. During his 14-year tenure he held leadership positions in risk management, fixed-income and currency trading, debt syndication, and e-commerce based in New York and London.

David earned his M.B.A. from Stanford Business School, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his B.S. in Psychobiology, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Andrew Bon Salle


Andrew Bon Salle is Executive Vice President – Single-Family Business at Fannie Mae. Reporting to the President, Andrew is responsible for all aspects of the Single-Family business, including engagement with customers, managing the performance of the credit portfolio, and overseeing all capital markets activities. Andrew also leads the company’s efforts to integrate with the Common Securitization Platform.

Most recently, Andrew served as Fannie Mae's Senior Vice President and Head of Underwriting and Pricing and Capital Markets, overseeing the company’s credit risk management and pricing strategies to maximize the profitability of the single-family credit book throughout different economic cycles.

During his tenure at Fannie Mae, Andrew has held many positions within Capital Markets including Senior Vice President, where he managed the Single-Family Products Group, providing lender execution services such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and structured product sales and trading, whole loan acquisition and conduit activities, and early funding transactions. Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 1993, Andrew was Vice President at Hamilton, Carter, Smith & Company, Inc.

Andrew has a bachelor of science in business administration from American University and a master of business administration in finance from American University’s Kogod College of Business Administration. He serves on the Board of Directors of MBA's Opens Doors Foundation.

Catherine Bracy


Catherine Bracy is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the TechEquity Collaborative. Before founding TEC, she was Code for America’s Senior Director of Partnerships and Ecosystem where she grew Code for America’s Brigade program into a network of over 50,000 civic tech volunteers in 80+ cities across the US. During her tenure, Code for America’s Brigade was responsible for 64% of the total growth in the civic tech community in the country. She also founded Code for All, the global network of Code-­for organizations with partners on six continents. During the 2012 election cycle she was Director of Obama for America’s Technology Field Office in San Francisco, the first of its kind in American political history. She was responsible for organizing technologists to volunteer their skills for the campaign’s technology and digital efforts. Prior to joining the Obama campaign, she ran the Knight Foundation’s 2011 News Challenge and before that was the Administrative Director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She is on the board of directors at the Public Laboratory and the Data & Society Research Institute.

Vik Chawla


Vik Chawla is a Principal at Fifth Wall. Previously, Vik was an investment associate at Echelon Asset Management, a special situations fixed income hedge fund focused on the non-bank lending asset class, where he led the firm’s fundamental due diligence processes.

Vik began his career at The Blackstone Group where he worked on advisory transactions spanning the energy, real estate, and financial services spaces.

Vik is from Danville, CA, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he received his BS in economics with concentrations in finance & statistics and a minor in mathematics. Vik additionally co-founded the Kairos Society, the largest and most recognized global network of entrepreneurs under the age of 25, during his years as an undergraduate .

Amanda Daflos

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Amanda Daflos serves as the Director of the Innovation Office for Mayor Eric Garcetti in the City of Los Angeles. Her team was established in 2015 with a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. The team works on key mayoral priorities and collaborates with residents, community organizations and City agencies to improve the experience and outcomes of City government.  She also drives the Mayor’s goals of moving the City toward gender equity.

Her team’s work has led to awards for government innovation and design such as the 2018 Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award, Center for Digital Government’s Best Government Experience, Government Technology’s Best of California Award and Los Angeles Business Council’s Architectural Award.

Prior to joining Mayor Garcetti’s Office, Amanda worked as a Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting for more than a decade. There she lead federal, state and local government transformation projects in the US and abroad with a focus on organizational and technology transformation and business strategy.  Previous to Deloitte she served as Director of Programs for an international non-profit and a Project Manager for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Daflos has maintained a long commitment to the country of Nepal and served as a Deputy to the Los Angeles Honorary Consulate General to Nepal, a role she accepted in the wake of the 2015 earthquake. Originally from New York, she holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado and a B.A. from Hamilton College and now lives in Los Angeles.

Liam Dillon

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Liam Dillon covers California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times and is based in Sacramento. He specializes in writing about the state’s housing affordability crisis, and regularly appears on panels, radio and television across California to discuss the issue. He’s also the co-host of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast, which publishes every other week. Prior to joining The Times in 2016, Dillon covered local politics in San Diego and Southwest Florida. 

Carol Galante

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Carol Galante is the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy and the Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.  She also co-chairs the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center of Real Estate and Urban Economics.

Carol served in the Obama Administration for over five years as the Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing programs. As FHA Commissioner, Carol was responsible for the oversight of the FHA’s trillion dollar insurance portfolio, which includes single family and multifamily housing as well as insured health care facilities. She was also responsible for HUD’s two million apartments with rental assistance.

Prior to her appointment at HUD, Carol was President and Chief Executive of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, the largest non-profit developer of affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use developments in California. She holds a Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan.

David Garcia


David Garcia is the Policy Director for the Terner Center. He leads the Center’s engagement in local, state and federal housing policy and supports the generation of research-driven policy ideas, proposals, and papers.

Prior to joining the Terner Center, David worked as the Chief Operating Officer for Ten Space, a real estate development company in Stockton, California focused exclusively on infill projects in the downtown neighborhood. As COO, David managed various aspects of the development process, including development agreements, environmental review, and project design. During his tenure, Ten Space won several awards for their projects, including the American Planning Association’s Award of Excellence in Urban Design for their California chapter.

David has also worked as an advocate in the Central Valley, serving on numerous boards and commissions related to a wide array of planning issues such as increasing cycling infrastructure, implementing smart growth policies, and developing incentives for infill growth. Prior to his work with Ten Space, David was a Research Analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in Washington, DC. David holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles as well as a Master's in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies in Baltimore, Maryland.

Nima Ghamsari


Nima Ghamsari is CEO and co-founder of Blend, a Silicon Valley technology company propelling consumer lending into the digital age. He leads the company's corporate and product strategy toward the vision of a more frictionless, compliant, and accessible consumer finance ecosystem. Nima in currently focused on expanding the Blend platform both in breadth and depth, bringing a seamless process to more consumers across more of their financial lives. He is also spearheading a number of the company's initiatives around emerging technologies and how to implement them. Prior to founding Blend, Nima was one of the first employees of the commercial group at Palantir Technologies. He is a graduate of Stanford University where he earned a B.S. in computer science.

Steve Glenn

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Steve Glenn is the founder and CEO of Plant Prefab, Inc., the first prefabricated home factory in the nation dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes, and operations. Plant recently completed a major financing round which included Amazon, their first investment in a home builder, Obvious Ventures, who led the Seed Round, and others.

Previously, Glenn worked with the William Jefferson Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa.  Glenn is founder and former Chairman and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions. Glenn was a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised $1 billion. Glenn also worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio. Glenn co-founded Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer where Glenn later served as a marketing specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow.

Alesia Haas


Alesia Haas is the Chief Financial Officer of Coinbase. Before that, she was CFO of Och-Ziff Management, a global alternative asset management firm based in NYC. In her role there she oversaw all aspects of accounting, tax, treasury, financial operations, internal audit and shareholder services.

Prior to Oz Management, Alesia served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Strategy for OneWest Bank, N.A. Her prior experience includes senior finance, investment and strategy roles with Merrill Lynch and General Electric.

Jeff Hamel


Jeff Hamel is the Director of Global Energy and Enterprise Partnerships at Google, where he works with partners to develop customer-focused programs that bring the best of Google to consumers. Prior to joining Google, Jeff was the Executive Director for EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization team, with responsibilities for growing broad collaboration with global utilities and governmental agencies. Before joining EPRI in 2007, Jeff worked at General Electric for 8 years, and was responsible for managing and leading new growth in GE’s power business. Jeff earned his Bachelors or Science, a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine License, and his commission in the U.S. Naval Reserves while attending Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In addition, Jeff has also earned an MBA from Santa Clara University. Together with his wife and two sons, Jeff resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shawn Hill


Shawn Hill is a Venture Partner at Moderne Ventures where he focuses on running the Moderne Passport and Strategic Corporate Partnership programs. 

Shawn brings 20 years of sales and operational experience in the real estate, lending, and financial services sectors. Prior to joining Moderne, Shawn was the Sr. Director of Business Development at DocuSign for its Real Estate vertical. His responsibilities included building and executing DocuSign’s Real Estate strategy and creating strategic customer and technology partnerships throughout the industry.

Over his career, he has overseen industry-shaping technology sales and implementations with the major residential and commercial real estate brands, property management firms, home builders, and multi-family organizations while expanding reach and revenue in these segments for multiple companies. He specializes in technology-driven go-to-market execution while bridging strategic business needs with innovative industry technology solutions. Prior to DocuSign, Shawn worked as a GM and Director of Sales at Constellation Software and senior operational positions at Chase and Bank of America.

Rick Holliday


Bay Area native Rick Holliday graduated from UC Berkeley, earning both an undergraduate degree in urban policy and a master’s degree in city and regional planning. In the early 1980s, Rick launched Eden Housing and later BRIDGE Housing Corporation, two of the most successful affordable housing developers in the nation. In 1988, Rick launched Holliday Development, a market rate housing developer that has built thousands of transit-oriented, urban-infill housing units in the Bay Area over the past 30 years.

In 2016, Holliday Development completed the construction of a 136-unit project in San Francisco that utilized off-site construction. As a result of the dramatic time and cost savings of this project when compared with conventional construction, Rick became a strong believer in the merits of off-site construction. After a year of market research and meetings with architects, contractors, developers, and other stakeholders in the world of Off-Site Construction, Rick formed Factory_OS in 2017 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer.

Adam Jiwan


Adam Jiwan is the founder and CEO of Spring Labs. Adam is a FinTech pioneer, with more than 15 years of experience founding, investing and growing companies in the space. Before Spring Labs, Adam was a seed investor and founding board member of Avant. He was also the Co-Founder and Chairman of Future Finance, a student loan platform that’s raised more than $325M. Adam also acted as the CEO of UK/Asia for TPG-Axon, and held roles at Goldman Sachs, Soros Fund Management, and the Blackstone Group. Adam is a graduate of Harvard University.

Kimberly Johnson


Kimberly H. Johnson is Fannie Mae's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Kimberly is responsible for leading technology, data, enterprise models, operations, the enterprise program management office, and resiliency.

As COO, she is charged with continuing the innovation work already underway throughout the company. Kimberly partners closely with business units and the enterprise innovation team to focus resources on innovations that have the potential to enhance the company's business model, support the execution of strategy, and evolve the housing finance system for the better.

Previously, Kimberly served as Fannie Mae's Chief Risk Officer. Prior to that, she held several other key leadership positions, including Deputy Chief Risk Officer, Senior Vice President – Multifamily Capital Markets and Pricing, Vice President for Capital Markets – Multifamily, and Vice President – Credit Risk, Enterprise Risk Management. Before joining Fannie Mae in 2006, Kimberly was a Director at Credit Suisse. Earlier, she was a U.S. Equity Trader at D.E. Shaw & Co.

Kimberly has a bachelor of arts in economics from Princeton University and a master of business administration in finance from Columbia Business School. She serves as a Director on the Board at Calvert Impact Capital.

Melissa Koide

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Melissa Koide is the CEO of FinRegLab, a nonprofit financial services research organization that examines how technology and data can help achieve public policy aspirations, address regulatory requirements, and lead to a more efficient and inclusive marketplace. FinRegLab provides an independent platform for financial stakeholders to dialogue and gain an evidence-based understanding of new financial technologies. Prior to establishing FinRegLab, Melissa served as the U.S. Treasury Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Policy. Melissa helped to build the first government offered preretirement savings product, the myRA, and she established the $5 million Innovation Fund to support research and strategies to improve consumers’ financial health and their access to safe and affordable financial products and services. 

Melissa is currently a FinTech advisor to the Milken Institute, and before joining the U.S. Treasury Department, she was the Vice President of Policy at the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

Laura Kusisto


Laura Kusisto covers housing and the economy for The Wall Street Journal. Most recently, she has written about issues ranging from the slowdown in the housing market, to the impact of climate change on home prices and why it costs $750,000 to build an affordable housing unit in California. 

Laura also covered four years economic development in New York for the Journal, focusing on big real-estate projects and affordable housing policy. Before that she worked at the New York Observer and as a freelance reporter in Turkey and Israel. She has a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University and a masters in English literature from the University of Toronto 

Jonathan Lawless

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Jonathan Lawless, Fannie Mae’s Product Development and Affordable Housing Vice President, is driving innovation in the mortgage industry to expand access to credit and affordable housing across the country. Jon leads the development of test and learn initiatives to address changing market needs as well as developing other creative solutions to support lenders and services so they can better serve their borrowers.

Jon has led the development of several key Fannie Mae initiatives – including HomeReady®, the company’s flagship affordability product. He designed and implemented several programs to address a variety of housing issues through partnerships with numerous institutions across the country.

Prior to his current position, Jon was Underwriting and Pricing Analytics Vice President, where he leveraged data to influence key pricing, underwriting, and portfolio management decisions. Jon joined Fannie Mae in 2000 as a Statistical Analysis System intern in credit policy and has contributed to many teams during his career at Fannie Mae. Jon also works with 2Seeds Network, a non-profit group involved in agricultural development in East Africa.

Jon has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from St. John’s College and a Master of Science in finance from George Washington University.

Adhi Nagraj


Adhi Nagraj is the San Francisco Director of SPUR, where he oversees all policy formation and advocacy in the City.  Prior to that he was a Director of Development at BRIDGE Housing where he oversaw the financing and development of over 1,600 units of affordable housing, including the largest affordable modular project in California.  He also managed BRIDGE's refinancing and rehabilitation of over 700 units of public housing in San Francisco as a part of the City's visionary RAD initiative.  

Nagraj recently rolled off as the two-year Chair of the Oakland Planning Commission, and was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Board of CHPC, a statewide affordable housing finance and policy organization.  He is a licensed attorney, and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia Law School.

Tia Boatman Patterson


Tia Boatman Patterson has been Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency since 2014. Under her direction, CalHFA has increased its single family lending from essentially zero to $2 billion per year, and closed multifamily loans worth more than $1 billion. 

Tia has served on the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Housing Agencies since September 2015, and was elected President of the Board in October 2018. She has also served on the Federal National Mortgage Association Affordable Housing Advisory Council since April 2015, chairing the Council from 2016-17, and on the BBVA Compass Bank Community Advisory Board since August 2015.

 Before her appointment as Executive Director, Tia served on the CalHFA Board and was general counsel for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. She previously served as special assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly, providing policy expertise and advice to committees on Housing and Community Development, and Jobs and Economic Development.

Dan Parolek

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Dan Parolek is the Founding Principal of Opticos Design. His passion for helping people design and plan better communities began with his small-town upbringing in Columbus, Nebraska, which inspired a lifelong interest in studying American towns and how they work best. He is the driving force behind the movement for “Missing Middle Housing,” a term he coined in 2010, which has been covered by The Washington Post, Professional Builder, NextCity, Planetizen, and AARP.

Dan has a deep understanding of the collaborative process that goes into designing and building communities and towns, and has a long track record of successful partnerships on projects ranging from small infill to large master plans. He is particularly focused on developing housing that meets the needs of a changing demographic audience and allowing builders and developers to target their projects for the widest possible range of buyers.

In addition, as an international expert in Form-Based Coding, Dan is a sought-after partner in bringing place-based thinking to zoning. He is a founding board member of the Form-Based Codes Institute and co-author of the seminal book: Form Based Codes: A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers.

Sam Ruben

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Sam Ruben is the Vice President of Compliance and Sustainability at MightyBuildings. He brings an innovation & sustainability focus to everything he does. He is passionate that today’s organizations consider sustainability as a core aspect, not merely as a moral principle but as an avenue towards an improved bottom line and increased brand value. He is excited about the promise of technologies such as 3D printing to help make it easier to embrace sustainability and develop new ways of solving problems that result in 21st century solutions.

Sam believes deeply in the importance of effective cooperation between the public, private, & non-profit sectors in order to leverage the strengths of each to ensure that we are maximizing resource utilization as we address today’s most pressing problems with systemic solutions.

This is driven by a deep understanding of the public, nonprofit and private sectors honed through professional experience and his learning as a graduate of the Presidio Graduate School with a Dual MBA/MPA in Sustainable Management to complement his BA in Political Science/Economics from Vassar College.

Scott Wiener


Elected in November 2016, Senator Scott Wiener represents District 11 in the California State Senate

In the Senate, Senator Wiener works to make housing more affordable, invest in our transportation systems, increase access to healthcare, support working families, meaningfully address climate change and the impacts of drought, reform our criminal justice system, reduce gun violence, reduce California’s alarmingly high poverty rate, and safeguard and expand the rights of all communities, including immigrants and the LGBT community.

During his term in the Senate to date, Senator Wiener has passed 26 bills that were signed into law. Among those bills are SB 35, a landmark bill to streamline housing approvals in cities not meeting their housing goals; SB 822, which enacts the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation; SB 1045, which expands and strengthens California’s conservatorship laws to help individuals who are living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders; SB 700, which significantly expands access to renewable energy; and SB 923, which modernizes California’s eyewitness identification standards to ensure innocent people are not sent to prison.

Senator Wiener grew up in New Jersey, the son of small business owners, and attended public school. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Cory Weinberg


Cory Weinberg is a reporter for The Information, covering the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. His work has also appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times and Slate.