Natalie Donlin-Zappella brings 15 years of cross-sector, inclusive community development experience working with public agencies, CDCs, community-based organizations, philanthropy, and CDFIs to produce and preserve affordable housing and protect communities of color from gentrification, displacement and natural hazards.
Natalie most recently served as Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners in Southern California where she provided technical assistance focused on COVID-19 equitable recovery, inclusive neighborhood and regional planning and development, climate and community resilience, community ownership models, and community-driven policy. Prior to this, she managed a technical assistance center to assist health departments and train facilitators to provide evidence-based health programs across the state of California.
Natalie also spent 5 years in Michigan where she received her dual master’s degree from University of Michigan Ann Arbor in urban planning and social work and held positions with the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and the Program on Intergroup Relations at University of Michigan. She led multi-sector community development initiatives with community members, public agencies, hospitals, and faith-based organizations. Her experience developing a regional workforce and sustainable development plan and teaching and developing curriculum for social justice education classes greatly influenced her approach to advancing social, housing, and environmental justice through participatory methods. In her prior work, Natalie provided direct services to families and youth, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an art minor from San Diego State University.