Deidre Schmidt is honored to be the President & CEO of CommonBond Communities, where she is entrusted with the legacy of CommonBond’s portfolio and reputation. She is ultimately responsible for maintaining the organization’s programmatic, administrative, and financial health – a charge that she shares with CommonBond’s Executive Team. Her most critical job is to make the path forward clear and compelling to those inside and outside the organization. Over the last 25 years, Deidre has worked in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors in consulting, project and enterprise-level management, real estate development, investment analysis, and underwriting. Her career path has taken her to other mission-driven organizations like Artspace Projects, the National Equity Fund, Brighton Development Corporation, the Affordable Housing Institute, and One Roof Global Consulting.
Deidre loves to help others understand the importance of affordable housing and to demystify how it is produced in the U.S. and around the world. She was the John T. Dunlop Lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and now teaches at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is a frequent public speaker. Deidre was also a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, and a Marshall Memorial Fellow for the German Marshall Fund.
Why this work matters:
I hold two personal values above all others: respect and responsibility. Respect is about recognizing every person’s intrinsic value and potential to contribute. Responsibility is about using your own talents and advantages to achieve something for others. CommonBond embodies both.
At CommonBond, we are motivated not by a sense of charity but rather an understanding that each individual is worth an investment and that we all benefit from making such investments. CommonBond uses the collective assets of the staff, board, partners, stakeholders, and residents to make housing and services available to 12,000 people – we and they contribute positively to vibrant communities.
Favorite CommonBond memory:
I was about to speak at a big event at our Upper Post Veterans Community when a resident’s service dog, Dutchess, came over to sit on my foot and leaned in closely. I took it as a compliment since I love dogs. Her owner later explained to me that Duchess is drawn to people who are anxious or who might need comfort. It was a perfect example of how we can never predict when we will need help – or who will be in a position to help us out in our time of need.
Respite, Support, Love