Cecilia V. Estolano is a leading expert on contemporary urban planning issues with experience in economic and workforce development, land use, environmental equity, and urban revitalization for cities and communities across the country.
She has worked directly with public, private, institutional and non-profit clients to plan, finance, design, implement, and operate policy-driven programs and projects that promote sustainable solutions tailored for each community.
Known for her progressive thought leadership, Cecilia has helped to envision, plan, entitle and structure real estate transactions in support of mixed-use, urban infill redevelopment projects that advance green urbanism and environmental stewardship. As an advisor to the Goldhirsh Foundation, Surdna Foundation and Open Society Foundation, she has helped design programs and grant making strategies that promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.
Cecilia believes that public education is pivotal to building thriving communities. She is currently a Regent of the University of California and has served as President of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. She has taught courses on equitable urban development and law and the quality of urban life at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.
Cecilia sits on the boards of Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the National Employment Law Project. She previously served on the California Coastal Commission and on the boards of Manufacturing Renaissance, the California League of Conservation Voters, Lambda Legal, and California YMCA Youth and Government.
Prior to founding Estolano LeSar Advisors in 2011, Cecilia served as Chief Executive Officer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA); practiced land use and environmental law while Of Counsel at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; and served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the Clinton Administration, and as Environmental Policy Advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
Cecilia received an A.B. with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law.