February 23, 2023
Kevin Lessard, PIDC
Liz Ferry, Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Peterson, City of Philadelphia
Harris, who currently leads the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund), will be the 12th chief executive and the first African American woman to serve in the role in PIDC’s 65-year history.
PHILADELPHIA (February 23, 2023) – PHILADELPHIA — The PIDC Board of Directors announced today that, after a robust regional and national search, Jodie Harris—an industry leader with three decades of experience spanning the public, private, and nonprofit sectors—has been selected to become the next president of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). PIDC is Philadelphia’s official economic development corporation, founded by the City and Chamber of Commerce 65 years ago with the mission to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive inclusive growth to every corner of Philadelphia.
“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. “With her extensive background, deep working knowledge of the CDFI community across the country, and passion for her hometown city, I know that Jodie will be the perfect person to build upon Philadelphia’s strengths and growing industry sectors—among them life sciences, logistics, and advanced manufacturing—as we deploy strategies to create more economic opportunities and accessible jobs for all residents. Her expertise across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, along with her track record of forging cross-sector partnerships, will be instrumental as we work together to drive equitable growth.”
Since January 2019, Harris has served as the director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) with the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. As the head of the CDFI Fund, Harris successfully ensured 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. The CDFI Fund plays an important role in generating economic growth and opportunity in some of our nation’s most distressed communities by offering tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital.
Under her leadership, the CDFI Fund administered $3 billion in pandemic recovery funding, the highest level of appropriated grant funding in CDFI Fund history. Harris is responsible for an annual budget of $331 million in fiscal year 2023, which consists 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. “With Jodie at the helm, I look forward to continuing the critical partnership between our organizations as we work together, along with all of our economic and workforce development partners, to drive inclusive economic growth across our entire region. With her deep experience, including as head of the CDFI Fund, 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.”
Before becoming director, Harris served for 15 years in a variety of roles at the Department of the Treasury, including program manager, senior advisor, and director of community and economic development policy. While her work at the Treasury Department has crossed several sectors, Harris has long focused on initiatives that expand access to capital, with additional experience in community development finance and financial inclusion.
“I am honored and thrilled to be selected by the PIDC Board of Directors to lead the talented and dedicated staff at PIDC during this critical time for Philadelphia’s economy,” said Jodie Harris. “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. I look forward to working with PIDC’s partners at the City and Chamber, along with our stakeholders in the business, civic, and philanthropic communities, to drive inclusive economic growth, vitality, and opportunity to every corner and zip code of Philadelphia.”
Prior to her work in government, Jodie 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. In addition to her experience in the public and private sectors, Harris also worked in the nonprofit sector supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs in New York City, including two years as president of the Urban Business Assistance Corporation.
“Jodie Harris brings nearly three decades of deep experience in sustainable economic and community development, paired with a passion for and commitment to driving equitable and inclusive growth strategies across the country that will pay dividends for our entire city, especially our local businesses, workers, and entrepreneurs,” said Salvatore Patti, senior vice president at WSFS Bank and chair of the PIDC Board of Directors. “In addition, 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. I also know she is eager to lay out her vision of PIDC’s future success through the organization’s recently-developed Strategic Framework and Theory of Change which drives PIDC’s vision for a more inclusive Philadelphia where all residents benefit from economic development and a growing global economy. In addition, I must thank the members of the Board selection committee for their tireless dedication to a robust regional and national search, which was instrumental in helping us identify, interview, and ultimately select the best qualified person for the job.”
Harris is a native of Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the University of Maryland and has also earned two graduate degrees from New York University: an MBA in finance and management and an MPA in public policy.
In June 2022, following the announcement that Anne Bovaird Nevins would step down as president, the PIDC Board of Directors initiated a selection committee, composed of a diverse and cross-sector group of members of the Board, including: Salvatore Patti, senior vice president of WSFS Bank, chair of PIDC, and chair of the selection committee; Andrea Allon, chief operating officer of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and vice chair of PIDC; Craig Carnaroli, senior executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania; Diana Cortes, city solicitor for the City of Philadelphia; Anne Fadullon, director of planning and development for the City of Philadelphia; Juan Lopez, executive vice president, CFO, and treasurer of Independence Health Group; Suzanne Mayes, chair of the public and project finance practice group at Cozen O’Connor; Anne Nadol, director of commerce for the City of Philadelphia; and Bret Perkins, senior vice president of external and government affairs for Comcast Corporation.
Following a competitive RFP process, in September 2022, the Board selection committee selected Korn Ferry as PIDC’s executive search firm for its ability to garner a diverse pipeline of executive candidates to fill the role. After a months-long regional and national search, the Board’s selection committee put forth the recommendation for Harris’ appointment, which was unanimously approved by the full PIDC Board of Directors on February 21, 2023.
Harris will officially assume the role of president on June 1, 2023. Sam Rhoads, executive vice president and interim president of PIDC, will continue to lead the organization as interim president until that time.
A headshot for Harris is available for download online.
PIDC is Philadelphia’s city-wide, public-private economic development corporation. As a nonprofit founded in 1958 as a partnership of the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Over the past nearly 65 years, PIDC has settled over 13,000 transactions with a diverse range of clients – including more than $18.5 billion of financing and 3,350 acres of land sales – which have leveraged tens of billions of dollars in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia.
For more information about PIDC, visit www.PIDCphila.com and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.