United States

Dr. Paula Cecilia Pineda

Division Manager, Economic Development

City of Houston


Dr. Paula Cecilia Pineda

Paula, Pineda, Division Manager, Economic Development, City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department. Dr. Pineda is currently designing and leading the City of Houston’s new Economic Development Division within the Department of Housing and Community Development. Under her leadership, the City of Houston will pursue a small business development strategy, with an emphasis on micro-enterprises and disenfranchised business owners. Dr. Pineda is committed to providing economic opportunity for all Houstonians as a means to empower under-resourced communities and address inequality. Dr. Pineda draws from her experience across academia and government to contribute data-driven, strategic leadership to this mission. As a scholar of ethnic identity, ethnic conflict, and decentralization institutions, Dr. Pineda draws on her research background and interests to design programming and policy that addresses structural inequalities. An excellent communicator, Dr. Pineda has presented on identity, ethnicity, institutional design, and inclusive policy design across the US, UN-partnered initiatives, and abroad.

Partnership opportunities:

I lead Economic Development at the City of Houston’s Housing and Community Development Department. Our departmental mission is to promote equity in our City, and my efforts have led to the design and implementation of small business development programming that emphasize access to capital for microenterprises, particularly those owned by women and minorities. This work is a function of my research interests and collaborations, which have traditionally been on a global scale. As such, I value the opportunity to continue cross-national collaboration in hopes of promoting, and contributing, to the establishment of best practices, efficiency, and data-based research methods in this space.


Best practices regarding small business development strategies, technical assistance for small business development programming.

ACE Goals:

Main areas of work: