The Urban Land Institute (ULI) is pleased to announce the promotions of Leslie Nagao to ULI’s chief marketing officer and Wendy Richards to chief people officer. These recent appointments signal a renewed investment in ULI’s most important asset–its people.
“Leslie and Wendy bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the ULI team,” said Ed Walter, ULI’s global CEO. “Leslie’s focus on storytelling and data gives her unique insight that will inform how ULI can best expand its visibility and build strong relationships with current and future members. Wendy’s comprehensive development and talent management guidance will be invaluable as she helps make ULI an even more rewarding place to work for our team located across the globe. I’m confident they will continue to work to ensure ULI is a place that fosters our core values, that facilitates an open exchange of ideas, and where ULI staff and members can come together to grow professionally and personally while supporting our mission.”
In her previous role as ULI’s senior vice president of membership and marketing, Nagao oversaw the strategic direction, vision, and growth of ULI’s membership base in ULI’s three regions: Americas; Europe, Africa and the Middle East; and Asia Pacific. In addition, she managed the marketing strategy and execution of ULI’s products and services, along with six global flagship conferences and events annually. As chief marketing officer, Nagao will be responsible for furthering ULI’s development of a cohesive brand and growth strategy that drives engagement and assures ULI continues to serve its members and its mission. Prior to joining ULI, Nagao held senior marketing roles at Time Warner, AARP Services, and ExxonMobil.
“I’ve always said that ULI and its mission is the best kept secret,” said Nagao. “The priorities we focus on – decarbonization, attainable housing, and continued education opportunities – will have a positive impact that goes beyond the built environment and reaches everyone. That’s why I’m excited to shine a light on our mission-driven work, accelerate ULI’s momentum as a thought leader in the industry, and ensure our work provides a meaningful difference for members and communities across the globe.”
Richards will lead the global People function across the Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions. In her new role, Richards will lend her extensive experience in international, people-focused organizations as ULI continues to make an impact in communities worldwide. She first joined ULI in December 2021 as senior vice president of human resources. Before joining ULI, she worked with several international organizations, including PwC, international law firm Baker McKenzie, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
“It’s a genuine honor to both be a part of the ULI team and to lead the People agenda at such an important time,” said Richards. “ULI’s commitment to driving change on the most important issues facing the real estate industry sets it apart as a global organization. This then attracts a team of strong, mission-driven professionals, who bring great benefit to ULI. In return, we want to provide our team members with an environment where everyone can develop their careers, bring their whole selves to work, and enjoy working in a truly collaborative and connected environment. As we build our agenda for the next two years around strengthening this experience in all these ways and more, the People team and myself are excited for what is to come.”