Bill Pitkin has worked in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for nearly 30 years, in fields as diverse as teaching, community organizing, research and planning, and strategic philanthropy. Currently, he is Senior Policy Fellow at the Urban Institute, where he leads research and work on housing justice, racial equity, and economic mobility in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center and Research to Action Lab. Since 2019, he has advised organizations and foundations on catalyzing social change and equity through investments in collaborative leadership and systems and policy change. He is also a Fellow at the FrameWorks Institute, collaborating on strategic communications to influence media and public discourse on key social issues, and Professor of Practice in Pardee RAND Graduate School‘s Community-Partnered Policy and Action policy engagement stream.
Previously, Bill was Director of Domestic Programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, overseeing the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the domestic priority areas (homelessness, transition age foster youth, substance use prevention and youth workforce development). Among his accomplishments, he developed the strategic initiative approach and Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MEL) framework for the foundation and oversaw the development of a new communications function at the Foundation, leading a communications audit and redesign of the website. He also helped establish the Home for Good Funders Collaborative, which has brought together over a billion dollars of public and philanthropic funding toward collective solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County, and the LA County Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, which is a model for coordinating public funding toward rental subsidies.
Prior to joining the Hilton Foundation, he was director of research and planning at United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he oversaw the publication of research reports and led a strategic planning process resulting in that organization’s 10-year action plan to fight poverty in Los Angeles. Other past positions include executive director at the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation and research director at the Advanced Policy Institute in the UCLA School of Public Affairs.
Bill served on the Funders Together to End Homelessness board of directors from 2008-2021 (chair from 2015-2018). He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theological studies from Wheaton College (IL) and master’s and doctorate degrees in urban planning from UCLA.
Bill lives in Los Angeles with his family.