A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Ryan Chao

Vice President, Civic Sites and Community Change, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Funders Together Board Member

ryan_chao_sized.jpgAs vice president of civic sites and community change at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ryan Chao oversees the Foundation’s place-based investments. Central to this work are significant neighborhood-transformation initiatives in Baltimore and Atlanta, where the Foundation is linking economic, educational and housing programs to strengthen families and communities. A nationally recognized leader in housing and community development, Chao pursues strategies that reduce disparities for low-income people and neighborhoods.

Before joining the Foundation, Chao served as executive director of the Berkeley, Calif.-based Satellite Housing, where he led the development of affordable housing communities serving a broad range of people and created innovative partnership models combining housing with comprehensive supportive services. He previously worked at the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. He has participated in the Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellowship.

Chao earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.


We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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