Thought leader. Problem Solver. Tactician.
Guiding effective philanthropy
for positive social impact.
Parzen Civic Solutions is Tad Parzen’s vision to create a platform where people with good intent can improve local, regional, and global outcomes. Tad is a widely regarded thought-leader, problem-solver, and tactician who develops and implements comprehensive strategic plans that solve acute, complex, and chronic community and organizational challenges.
Tad’s career began as a litigation and trial attorney where he represented a diverse set of clients, ranging from alternative energy developers to the Humane Society. As a partner in the firm of Hillyer & Irwin, he successfully litigated matters valued up to $300 million and was consistently named among San Diego Magazine’s “Top Attorneys” along with Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV” Preeminent Attorney Rating for the highest peer-reviewed level in “Ability and Ethical Standards.”
During this chapter, Tad was deeply involved in public education reform advocacy, serving as Chair of the San Diego Business Roundtable for Education and in other leadership roles within youth advocacy and community development.
Finding more personal purpose advocating for the public interest, Tad accepted a position as General Counsel for the San Diego Unified School District, one of the largest urban school systems in the U.S. His involvement in important education reform initiatives catalyzed his work as a strategic philanthropy professional. Here he worked as a consultant and served as the Executive Vice President of Price Philanthropies, where he was responsible for integrated and comprehensive place-based efforts in the areas of health, wellness, safety, education and economic development within San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.
For the last decade, Tad has been serving philanthropists, nonprofits, and government agencies throughout the United States—helping them execute their vision for positive social change and civic advancement. His work has been funded by the following organizations (among others):
- Gates Foundation
- Ford Foundation
- Price Philanthropies
- Lundquist Foundation
- California Endowment
- Los Angeles Unified School District
As part of his consulting practice, Tad often acts as an executive and operating officer for his clients. He currently serves as the Strategic Philanthropy and Civic Initiative Advisor for the Burnham Foundation. In this role, he supports the foundation’s efforts to create and implement initiatives throughout the San Diego, California region to make the community a better place to live, work, and play.
In his spare time, Tad serves on the board of his synagogue and collaborates with and mentors other civic, philanthropic and non-profit leaders in his community. Tad is a working amateur jazz musician, and he is also a leader in San Diego’s regional Jewish community. In addition to public service, he enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and three dogs.
“Together, our work can improve organizations, communities, neighborhoods,
and local quality of life.”
I’m passionate about change that matters in people’s everyday lives within their local communities. If I can help solve the most complex and persistent challenges, the time, energy and effort it takes to work through obstacles are worth it. Together, our work can improve organizations, communities, neighborhoods and local quality of life.
Nonprofit management/organizational improvement/executive coaching
Strategic design and implementation of collective impact and community initiatives
Data and metric-driven evaluation/continuous improvement
Cross-sector outreach, problem solving, collaboration, and engagement
Public education reform