Denise Fairchild is the inaugural president of Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, with affiliates in major urban centers across the United States. Dr. Fairchild was recruited in 2010 to launch ECC, a coalition of labor, business, and community-based organizations founded to accelerate the growth and distributive benefits of the emerging green economy.
Dr. Fairchild has dedicated over 30 years to strengthening housing, jobs, businesses, and economic opportunities for low-income residents and communities of color domestically and internationally. In 1995 she founded and directed the Community and Economic Development (CED) Department at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, as well as an affiliated nonprofit community development research and technical assistance organization, CDTech. She helped launch the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI), an initiative of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College to provide inner city residents with career and technical education for high-growth/high-demand jobs in the L.A. region, with a focus on the green economy. From 1989 to 1994, Dr. Fairchild directed the L.A. office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and is credited with raising over $100 million in equity, grants, and loans for community-based housing and commercial development projects and, generally, with building the nonprofit housing and community development industry in the L.A. region.
Her civic and political appointments have included the California ScholarShare Investment Board, the California Commission on Regionalism, the California Economic Strategy Panel, the California Local Economic Development Association, the Urban Land Institute National Inner City Advisor, the Coalition for Women’s Economic Development, and the Los Angeles Environmental Quality Board. Dr. Fairchild also served as mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s special advisor for South L.A. Investments.