Verónica (Vero) R. Soto, AICP
Verónica (Vero) R. Soto, AICP, is the Director of the Neighborhood and Housing Services Department at the City of San Antonio. The Neighborhood and Housing Services Department was created in February 2017 to focus on neighborhood engagement, implementation of the Neighborhood Improvement Bond Program, housing policies and programs, administration of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program grants and the Tax Increment Finance programs. The Department has an operating budget of over $20M and staff complement of 46. Previously she served as Director of the Community and Human Development Department at the City of El Paso, Texas, where she worked to revitalize low-income neighborhoods, enhance human services and expand housing opportunities through administration of over $13M in federal and state grants. Her career in planning and community development has included positions with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the City of New York, NY, the City of Sunland Park, NM and the El Paso Downtown Management District.
- Dual Master of Public Affairs and Regional Planning, Harvard College and of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University
Professional Memberships and awards
- President of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) - first Hispanic elected to serve
- Latinos and Planning Division of AP
- 2012 Edward J. Blakely Award, Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning - first honorable mention
- for her social justice work, her promotion of equitable development and for mentoring women of color in the planning profession, and advancing diversity within APA and AICP in New Mexico, Texas, and at the national level.