In 2015, Erik Caldwell was appointed director of the City of San Diego’s newly created Economic Development Department. The department is focused on strengthening communities by establishing strategic partnerships that cultivate a sustainable, dynamic economy and create community development opportunities. Under Mr. Caldwell’s leadership, the Economic Development Department supports the continued growth of San Diego’s established analytics, cleantech, cybersecurity, defense, life science, and maritime industry clusters. The department also is charged with leading the city’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% and powering the city’s buildings and homes with 100% clean energy by 2035.
Prior to joining the city, Mr. Caldwell served as vice president of government partnerships for Figtree Financing, a San Diego-based clean energy financing company. Mr. Caldwell’s experience also includes a long career in public policy, during which he advised elected officials at the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, California State Board of Equalization, and California State Assembly. Mr. Caldwell previously worked for the City of San Diego as deputy director of policy to former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. In this capacity, he was responsible for the implementation of the mayor’s economic development strategy and leading the city’s efforts to support the region’s innovation economy.
Mr. Caldwell earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from California State University San Marcos and a Master’s in Business Administration from San Diego State University.
Sundip R. Doshi is the founder and CEO of AerNos, Inc., a nano gas sensor company. Mr. Doshi has more than 25 years of c-level executive experience in technology and business, with expertise in gas sensor development, nanotechnology, semiconductors, IP and patents, product development, software development, software-as-a-service and global supply chain. He has designed, developed, and shipped technology products to b2b and b2c customers and distributors in over 64 countries. His customers have included governments, healthcare institutions and multinationals, including mobile and technology companies.
With a passion for entrepreneurship, business and community, Mr. Doshi has founded and led CEO technology forums, designed and built a technology office building to attract innovative companies to the region, taught entrepreneurship and mentored at his alma mater and other universities, and helped the state of California to implement state-mandated reporting services for the medically indigent population.
Mr. Doshi received his Bachelor of Science degree with Departmental Honors in Computer Science from California State University, San Bernardino and has been recognized as a College of Natural Science Outstanding Alumnus for his contribution to the university, community and his industry. He was featured in “Who’s Working for California,” a California State System publication showcasing the efforts of its graduates making a difference in the California economy.
John Valencia was appointed executive director of the City of San Diego’s Office of Homeland Security in November 2014. In this position, John is responsible for coordinating and overseeing citywide, multi-department emergency plans, training, exercises, and operations for the eight largest city in the United States. He joined the Office of Homeland Security in 2008, and has held previous positions in the office as supervising homeland security coordinator and program manager. Mr. Valencia is also a director for the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and he has served as EOC director during numerous exercises and two activations. He regularly provides input and advice to numerous security and public safety stakeholder groups
Prior to joining the Office of Homeland Security, Mr. Valencia served for 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Armor Officer. His most significant active duty military experience includes: assisting the coordination of the U.S. multi-agency response to the 1998 terrorist bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa; implementing and supervising enhanced and enduring physical security measures for the San Diego Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks; coordinating and leading the same reserve center’s emergency evacuation during the 2003 San Diego wildfires; serving as the senior watch officer for the international military task force that responded to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; and leading a military advisor team embedded within an Iraqi Army battalion in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006-07. He currently serves in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.
John graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in History, and from the University of Oklahoma with a Master of Public Administration degree. He is married, has one daughter, and lives in San Diego, California.