LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, a nationally-renowned real estate research center, announced today the appointment of Bill Witte, chairman and CEO of Related California, as board chair and Nadine Watt, CEO of Watt Companies, as vice chair.
Witte becomes board chair after serving for three years as vice chair. He replaces Emile Haddad, chairman and CEO of FivePoint Holdings, who served as chair since 2017. As part of the Lusk on-going succession planning, both were appointed simultaneously to their previous board roles following the retirement of industry legend Stan Ross, who served as chairman for 18 years. This revolving process ensures continuity and expert board leadership.
“Bill and Nadine continue a tradition of strong leadership for the Lusk Center. Just as I have had the good fortune of being able to rely on Stan and Emile’s council in years past, I now have the good fortune of being able to rely on Bill and Nadine’s wisdom and expertise in the years to come,” said Richard Green, chair of both the Lusk Center and USC’s Wilbur H. Smith III Department of Real Estate Development.
Since founding Related California in 1989, Witte has overseen both the company’s affordable and market-rate divisions. Today, the company is one of the largest developers of urban and multifamily housing in the State of California. The Related California portfolio includes tens of thousands of affordable and mixed-income housing units. Previously, Witte was deputy mayor for Housing and Neighborhoods under Mayor Art Agnos and director of Housing and Economic Development for the City of San Francisco under Mayor Dianne Feinstein.
“Building upon the strong history, research and resources of the university, it is my mission to lead the Lusk Center and help address the unique and challenging environment the real estate industry finds itself in today in dealing both with the COVID pandemic as well as an unprecedented homeless crisis and need for affordable and bridge housing,” said Witte.
Watt has more than 20 years experience in all aspects of real estate and is a widely respected industry and philanthropic leader. In her position as Chief Executive Officer of Watt Companies, she oversees day-to-day activities and strategic planning for all of its commercial investment activities, including acquisitions, development and asset management for the company’s more than 6-million-square-foot portfolio.
“The USC Lusk Center for Real Estate seeks to advance real estate knowledge, inform business practice, and address timely issues that affect the real estate industry, the urban economy, and public policy all things I am passionate about. Additionally, I am excited to witness the progress of the next generation of industry professionals through the Ross Minority Program,” said Watt.
The two real estate veterans’ combined expertise in both the public and private sectors and across multiple real estate types and regions solidifies the Lusk Center’s status as a preeminent real estate research center.
To learn more about the Lusk Center’s research, membership and industry events, visit https://lusk.usc.edu/.
About the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate
The University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate seeks to advance real estate knowledge, inform business practice, and address issues that affect the real estate industry, the urban economy, and public policy. Operating jointly with the Marshall School of Business and the Price School of Public Policy, the Lusk Center helps to promote practical application of learned skills and interaction between USC’s students, alumni and industry leaders by producing relevant and timely research, supporting educational programs for students and executives, and convening professional forums that bring together academics, students, business and community leaders. For more information, please visit www.lusk.usc.edu.