Alex Schafran, CA FWD’s Director of Public Policy, leads the organization’s public policy and research agenda focusing on issues that are vital to ensuring the California Dream is accessible to everyone. From housing, broadband and climate resiliency to workforce and local financing policy, he works with CA FWD’s vast network of partners to move policy priorities forward. His work also focuses on the civic infrastructure underlying the policymaking process, to ensure that our systems for making policy better serve Californians.
Schafran was born and raised in California and spent the first decade of his career in social services, immigrant rights advocacy, tenant organizing, housing policy and community development, before transitioning to academia. He is a recognized expert on the politics of housing and urban development and has published dozens of articles in academic journals and magazines. He is the author of The Road to Resegregation: Northern California and the Failure of Politics (2018) and The Spatial Contract: A New Politics of Provision for an Urbanized Planet (2020). He currently serves on the board of the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, and previously served on the board of the Metropolitan Council on Housing in New York and Planners Network.
Prior to joining CA FWD, Schafran served as a consultant to Facebook’s affordable housing initiative and was a lecturer for the School of Geography at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University, a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College, City University of New York, and a doctorate in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.