President & Chief Executive Officer
Jim Wunderman serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization in the San Francisco-Oakland-Silicon Valley Bay Area. Led by its CEO members, the Bay Area Council is the strong, united voice of more than 275 of the largest Bay Area employers, representing more than 500,000 workers, or one of every six private sector employees. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has led the 64-year-old public policy organization to become one of the most influential, effective institutions of its kind.
Under Wunderman’s leadership, the Council has grown significantly in membership, revenue and profile, and has developed a global competitiveness strategy for the Bay Area that serves as a model for other regions. Some of the core elements of the global competitiveness strategy are to develop world-class infrastructure, a second-to-none education system, and to enact a smart growth plan that will stand in an era of climate change and economic pressures. Wunderman has also helped the Council develop deep and collaborative relationships with leaders in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento.
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Prior to the Bay Area Council, Wunderman held key positions in both the private and public sectors.
From 1997-2004, Wunderman was Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Providian Financial Corporation, where he managed government relations, community affairs and oversaw the company’s philanthropy program. Before joining Providian, Wunderman operated his own consulting company, The Wunderman Group, providing public affairs and marketing strategies for major organizations from diverse sectors.
From 1992 through 1995, Wunderman served as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor Frank M. Jordan. He oversaw the operations of all city departments and was responsible for annually balancing San Francisco’s $3 billion budget during a particularly challenging economic period.
From 1988 through 1991, Wunderman was General Manager for two of Norcal Waste Systems’ largest subsidiaries, the first serving a 200-square-mile area in Silicon Valley, and the second operating in San Francisco. He instituted several recycling programs that were ahead of their time.
From 1984 to 1988, Wunderman worked in San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein’s administration in a variety of roles, including serving as the liaison to the Board of Supervisors and as a budget and policy analyst overseeing the city’s infrastructure. He also played a key role preparing the city for the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
In addition to his work at the Bay Area Council, Wunderman is an active member of the community and serves on numerous boards and commissions. Currently, he serves on the board of California Pacific Medical Center, where he chairs the Public Policy & Real Estate Committee. He also serves on the board of Bridge Housing Corporation, the Advisory Board of the Keston Institute for public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, the Advisory Board of the Partnership for America's Economic Success, the Bay Center, the Community Advisory Board for KB Home and the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics. Wunderman serves as a member of the SB 375 Regional Targets Advisory Committee and participates as Visiting Executive at the U.C. Davis – Graduate School of Management where he teaches an executive leadership seminar. Additionally, Wunderman is a member of the NBC Bay Area Editorial Board.
Among many previous boards, Wunderman was the Chairman of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Executive Committee of the California Childcare Resource Referral Network.
He graduated with honors from San Francisco State University, majoring in Political Science. In 2003, he was inducted into San Francisco State’s Alumni Hall of Fame. He also holds an Associate of Applied Sciences Degree (summa cum laude) from Kingsborough College of the City University of New York, where he majored in Business Administration.
While Wunderman has lived and worked throughout the region, he currently resides in Contra Costa County and has four children.