Ben Hecht was appointed president and CEO of Living Cities in July 2007. Since that time, the organization has adopted a broad, integrative agenda that harnesses the collective knowledge of its 22 member foundations and financial institutions to benefit low-income people and the cities where they live. Living Cities deploys a unique blend of more than $140 million in grants, loans, and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity.
Prior to joining Living Cities, Hecht co-founded One Economy Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting low-income people to the economic mainstream through innovative, online content and increased broadband access. As president from 2000 to 2007, Hecht led the growth of the organization from 4 employees to a $12 million organization with 50+ staff, online media properties serving more than 150,000 low-income people a month, and programs in 40 states, the Middle East, and Africa.
Hecht received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his CPA from the State of Maryland. For 10 years, he taught at Georgetown University Law Center and built the premier housing and community development clinical program in the country. In 1997, he was awarded Georgetown’s Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award.
Hecht has written three books, all published by John Wiley & Sons:
- ManagingNonprofits.org (2001) with Rey Ramsey
- Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations (3rd Edition, 2006)
- Managing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Building Stable Communities (1996) with James Stockard
Hecht is currently chairman of EveryoneOn, a national initiative founded by the Federal Communications Commission to connect low-income Americans to digital opportunity. He also sits on the National Advisory Board for StriveTogether and Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) Advisory Council.
In 2013, Hecht was selected as one of the Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide in the area of Urban Policy.