Alumni Changemaker: Nani Coloretti

Alumni Changemaker: Nani Coloretti

Managing Resources and Leading People with Care

To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Alumna Nani Coloretti completed the Junior Summer Institute at UC Berkeley in 1990.

Nani Coloretti embodies the values of passion, collaboration, and resourcefulness. She blends her natural talents and skills with her interest in leading and managing complex organizations to deliver results that serve the public good. She credits this to her experience in PPIA's Junior Summer Institute. There, she learned about public policy as a field and learned analytical and communication skills that helped her gain confidence in handling the requirements of graduate school.

Nani works with data and evidence to find insights to solve complex problems. In San Francisco, she worked to improve outcomes for children, youth, and their families by setting forth priorities driven by community input and evidence. She later supported then-Mayor Gavin Newsom as his policy advisor and budget director, helping guide the city through the great recession in her last year there.

From there she went on to work for the US Department of the Treasury as the Assistant Secretary for Management. She was not only responsible for developing and executing the budget but also for the management of the headquarters and bureaus. While at Treasury, she helped to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and became its acting Chief Operating Officer. And she didn’t stop there. 

Nani's next contribution was to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she served as Deputy Secretary in the last two years of the Obama Administration. She oversaw HUD’s day-to-day operations, 8,000 employees, and a $45 billion dollar budget, and was the highest-ranking Filipino American in the Obama Administration.

“Pay attention to how you operate in the world – your knowledge of yourself becomes much more important the higher up you go in an organization.”

Her experience now encompassing both local and federal programs, and in particular, her federal service of creating a new consumer agency, using data to guide policy decisions, innovating in technology infrastructure and her efforts to improve fair and affordable housing earned her much deserved recognition.

Nani has been recognized with several awards, including UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy Special Award for Policy Innovation, the National Public Service Award, the Public Policy and International Affairs Achievement Award, the Government Finance Officers Association Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, and the Federal 100 Award.

She is currently the Senior Vice President for Business and Financial Strategy at the Urban Institute where “the well-being of people and places” is the focus of data-driven research. Here she continues to diagnose challenges in collaboration with leaders across many areas to create solutions and implement change.

On November 24, 2021, Nani was nominated by President Joe Biden to be the next Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). If confirmed by the Senate, she would be one of the highest-ranking Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, or Pacific Islanders serving in government.

"It's an honor to serve with a group of individuals dedicated to helping people live in affordable homes and to improve their lives."

We celebrate you, Nani, for helping to build networks that support well-being! Your ability to lead people and use evidence to manage resources is a tribute to both who you are and what you have cultivated throughout your life. The scope and scale of your influence on the lives of those you serve continues to inspire future leaders to participate in public service. Thank you for nurturing and sustaining the infrastructures that hold our society together.


Read more Changemaker profiles here!