PIDC names Jodie Harris as its next president
Harris will be the 12th president and first African American woman to serve in the role in the organization’s 65-year history.
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After a robust regional and national search, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) has found its new president in Jodie Harris.
Currently serving as director for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), Harris has established herself as an esteemed industry leader, bringing with her three decades of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
“Philadelphia’s economy is at a critical crossroads, and our city is poised for continued long-term growth despite uncertain global economic conditions. That’s why it’s so important for someone with Jodie’s intellect, passion, and ingenuity to be at the forefront of helping drive economic growth to every neighborhood and community,” said Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement.
He added that with her extensive background and knowledge of the CDFI community nationwide, Harris is “the perfect person to build upon Philadelphia’s strengths and growing industry sectors.”
During her four years as director of the Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund director, Harris has successfully ensured that the agency fulfilled its critical function of supporting mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically underserved communities across the country.
Under her leadership, the CDFI Fund has administered $3 billion in pandemic recovery funding — the highest level of appropriated grant funding in CDFI Fund history. Harris is also responsible for an annual budget of $331 million in fiscal year 2023, consisting of grant and administrative funding that supports the administration of various economic programs, including $5 billion in New Market Tax Credits, $500 million in bond guarantees and more than $300 million in affordable housing grants.
“I’m thrilled that Jodie will be part of the next wave of strong leaders dedicated to moving our great city and region forward. I’m confident that, with her economic development acumen, extensive experience advancing historically underserved communities, and passion for financial inclusion, Jodie is fully prepared to lead PIDC long into the future,” said Chellie Cameron, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
“I’m confident that Jodie will provide steady leadership as PIDC continually works to understand and address Philadelphia’s challenges and opportunities while ensuring that PIDC’s resources go where they can have the most impact,” she added.
Harris noted that she is “honored and thrilled” to lead PIDC “during this critical time for Philadelphia’s economy.”
“I’m especially excited for the opportunity to lead such an important and impactful organization in my hometown of Philadelphia. As head of the CDFI Fund, I know first-hand what it takes to drive meaningful, sustainable, and equitable economic growth, especially in historically underserved communities,” she continued.
After working in the nation's capital for the past several years, Harris' new role will mark a homecoming for the Philadelphia native.
Prior to working in government, Harris held various roles related to community economic development and empowerment.
She began her career as a community development credit analyst with Meridian Bank before expanding her portfolio by working in the private sector as a strategic planning director at Accenture, and in academia as a social and education policy researcher with New York University.
Harris has also worked in the nonprofit sector supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in New York City, including serving two years as president of the Urban Business Assistance Corporation.
“Jodie’s background leading multifaceted teams while deploying economic development initiatives will be an invaluable asset as she takes the helm at PIDC later this year,” said Salvatore Patti, senior vice president at WSFS Bank and chair of the PIDC Board of Directors.
Harris will officially assume the role of PIDC President on June 1, 2023. Sam Rhoades, executive vice president and interim president of PIDC, will continue to lead the organization as interim president until that time.
Bovaird Nevins has since joined Accelerator for America as its director of economic development.
PIDC is Philadelphia’s official economic development corporation whose mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive inclusive growth to every corner of Philadelphia.