Richard Raya

Richard Raya headshot
Chief Strategy Officer, Mission Economic Development Agency
Chief Strategy Officer, Mission Economic Development Agency

As Chief Strategy Officer, Richard uses Mission Promise Neighborhood's cradle-to-career, collaborative approach to help drive systems change across the city of San Francisco, moving from Promise Neighborhood to Promise City. Promise City aligns the best practices from Mission Promise Neighborhood with the Mayor's COVID recovery plan, creating holistic, cradle-to-career solutions in the city's hardest hit neighborhoods. Richard is also a Board Member for the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), co-chair of the African American Latino Action Alliance, and a member of the Executive Committee for End Child Poverty in California. Prior to this, Richard was the Chief of Staff for an Oakland City Council member, and the Director of Administration for the Alameda County Public Health Department. Richard’s great-grandparents were indigenous Yaquis who came to the Bay Area after fighting in the Mexican Revolution. His parents worked as farmworkers in Northern California and came of age during the Chicano Movement. They laid the foundation for him to earn a B.A. and Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. He’s accompanied on this journey by his urban planner wife, five sons, and their rescue pit bull.

Now is the time for structural solutions to legacies of inequity in low-income communities. I am thrilled to partner with the EdRedesign Lab and my fellow cohort members in developing my community's big idea for the city, school district, philanthropy, and CBOs in San Francisco to come together to create the first Promise City in the nation, based on the development of multiple Promise Neighborhoods. This networked, all-hands-on-deck approach for hardest-hit neighborhoods can align systems around common goals, improve student learning outcomes, and support the implementation of the Mayor’s Recovery Plan. – Richard Raya