As Chief Executive Officer of CivicWell, Bernadette Austin supports leaders responding to the climate crisis and its impact on their communities. She leads a nonprofit organization with a 40-year track record of inspiring, equipping, connecting, and cultivating leaders working toward a more sustainable and resilient future.
Prior to her work at CivicWell, Bernadette co-led a university research center and managed the financing and development of affordable housing and infill development. Her portfolio of community-engaged research has supported affordable housing development, social equity in transportation policy, and carbon neutrality in state policy-making. Her community development projects include Sacramento’s first true transit-oriented development and the first project in the country to implement a program combining housing vouchers and health services for disabled adults.
Bernadette has served on city and county commissions for 15 years. She has served on Advisory Committees for the California Department of Housing and Community Development and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Office of Health Equity at the California Department of Public Health. She is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and American Planning Association and serves on the Board of Directors for SAFE Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit unions in the country.
Bernadette holds a Master of Science in Community Development from UC Davis. She is a woman of color and second-generation descendant of immigrants. She grew up in a rural community in Silicon Valley and lives near California’s capital with her partner and two children.