Don Terner


I. donald TErner with nelson mandela

Please read this piece from Faculty Director, Carol Galante, honoring Don Terner twenty years after his passing.


Ian Donald Terner, known simply among colleagues, friends and family as Don, was a true social entrepreneur who had enormous impact on the field of affordable housing. An architect who held three academic degrees from Harvard University, Don approached the problem with an understanding of the power of communication. He brought that passion to his teaching at UC Berkeley, as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and as the founding President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing.

Don died tragically on April 3, 1996, in a plane crash with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 31 others.

For Don, success lay in social entrepreneurship: inspiring all sectors of society, and all people, to make their best contribution to bettering their community. Don emphasized doing "whatever it takes,” to solve housing problems,  whether it's new financing strategies, improved building techniques or more inventive approaches to planning.

He instilled a sense of innovation and drive that provides the inspiration for the work undertaken by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation. More on Don's life and achievements can be found in this short video and in this article.