Mayor London Breed Appoints Joaquín Torres As Director of Office Of Economic And Workforce Development


Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London N. Breed  appointed Joaquín Torres to serve as the Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), where he has served as Deputy Director since 2013.

“I am proud to name Joaquín Torres as the new Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development,” said Mayor Breed. “During his time with OEWD he has successfully led numerous initiatives to create jobs, support small business, and strengthen commercial corridors in our neighborhoods. This is a critically important role for the economic future of San Francisco and I am confident that Joaquín’s passion, energy, and strong community ties make him the right person for the job.”

Torres has spearheaded numerous initiatives during his time as Deputy Director of OEWD to support women entrepreneurs, increase healthy food options in neighborhoods, and attract, retain, and stabilize business. He has also led programs to support merchants impacted by construction and natural disasters, increase access to capital for underserved entrepreneurs, and create community benefit and cultural districts.

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development is responsible for supporting the economic vitality of San Francisco by promoting programs that attract and retain business, promote workforce development, maximize long-term public benefits in new development, strengthen small businesses, create international business opportunities in the City, and facilitate the revitalization of commercial corridors.

“I’m honored to serve Mayor Breed, together with our extraordinary team, in this leadership role to support the ongoing economic vitality of San Francisco and our communities,” said Joaquín Torres, Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “Together with partners both public and private, I’m committed to strengthening the cultural and economic diversity of our neighborhoods and commercial corridors, supporting our small and growing businesses that contribute to their character, and creating equitable pathways for good paying jobs and housing opportunities so that all San Franciscans may realize their potential and benefit from the prosperity of our City.”

For the past five years, Torres has served as the President of the San Francisco Housing Authority Commission, leading the oversight body during the rehabilitation of over 3,400 units of public housing. This process consisted of $750 million in improvements and the transfer of ownership and management to affordable housing providers to best serve low income communities.

“Joaquín’s leadership will be a great asset for OEWD,” said Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director of Chinatown Community Development Center. “His work at Invest in Neighborhoods demonstrates that he knows how to work with communities on the verge of a tipping point - balancing the need to stimulate economic activity while preserving the best of our cultural assets. I’m excited for the new era at OEWD under Joaquín.”

Prior to his recent appointments, Torres served as Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS) under Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Under former Mayor Gavin Newsom, Torres served as the Liaison to the Latino and American Indian communities and to Districts 9 and 11. 

"I am elated and proud that Joaquín—an effective, skilled, diligent, and highly respected Latino community leader—has been selected by Mayor Breed to lead the Office of Economic and Workforce Development,” said Sam Ruiz, Executive Director of Mission Neighborhood Centers. “I am confident that in his new position he will continue to advocate for communities of color in relationship to the equity goals of OEWD."

Torres is a current participant in the Government Alliance for Racial Equity program and serves as Chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the American Conservatory Theatre (A.C.T.). He is a graduate of Stanford University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in the Outer Mission with his wife Ruibo Qian.


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