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Community and Economic Development Executive Profile

Appointed in July 2018, Jeff Robinson is the Director of the Community and Economic Development Department. Jeff is responsible for the development, administration, leadership and implementation of the City’s strategies and programs for neighborhood revitalization and business assistance, business recruitment, retention and expansion, as well as housing initiatives and partnerships that will offer equitable access to programs and resources for the citizens of Tacoma with a special focus on under-served or underrepresented communities.

Jeff has more than 35 years of experience in the public, private, non-profit and financial sectors in community and economic development.  This experience includes leadership positions at the local, state, and regional levels.  He served as the first Manager of the Washington State Housing Trust Fund and Housing Finance Unit in the Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development and later became an Assistant Director where he directed the state’s community development programs related to business expansion and retention, downtown revitalization, and economic development-based infrastructure funding.  He has also served as the Vice President of Community Development of U.S. Bank Washington and Regional Vice President for Mercy Housing with oversight of operations in Washington, Idaho and Utah. 


For the ten years prior to coming to the City of Tacoma, Jeff worked for the City of SeaTac as the Economic Development Manager and then Director of the department of Community and Economic Development where he led the planning, building, economic development and engineering review divisions. He also has extensive past experience in Tacoma working as the manager of the Upper Tacoma Main Street Initiative, the Tacoma Empowerment Consortium and managing the redevelopment and operation of the Foss Harbor Marina. 


Jeff has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Washington State Community Development Loan Fund and Reinvestment Association, Washington Economic Development Finance Authority, Impact Capital, Tacoma R/UDAT Implementation Task Force, Tacoma-Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium, Low-Income Housing Institute and the Mayor’s Southeast Seattle Development Committee.


He was the first recipient of the “Friend of Housing” award from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and received the Governor’s Distinguished Management Leadership award.


Jeff is a native of Seattle but has been a longtime City of Tacoma resident.


  • Master’s Program, Urban Planning and Community Development, Portland State University
  • B.S. in Political Science, Willamette University

Photo of Jeff Robinson, CED Director 

Jeff Robinson

Community and
Economic Development