Practitioner in Residence

photo of Tuere Fa’aola

Tuere Fa'aola

2024 Practitioner in Residence

Tuere Fa’aola is a Certified Professional Transportation Planner and the Sustainable Communities Program Manager in the Regional Planning Department at SANDAG. She has 20 years of experience in transportation and land use planning with an emphasis on regional planning studies, housing policy, multimodal corridors, transit, alternative forms of transportation, and transit-oriented development to support sustainable community planning. In her current role, Tuere leads SANDAG’s Housing Acceleration Program, the Regional Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, and all agency efforts related to social equity in planning, including the tribal consultation program.

Tuere has served on boards for the WTS San Diego County chapter, City of Chula Vista Safety Commission, 2018 WTS International Conference, and ULI Mentorship Program. Her leadership and commitment to advancing women and young professionals in the planning industry resulted in her being honored with the 2015 Member of the Year and 2020 Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Awards by the WTS San Diego County chapter. Her leadership continued in her role at SANDAG where she collaborated to form and chaired for 2 years their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

Tuere earned her the Master’s in City Planning from San Diego State University and Bachelor of Science in Geography from Old Dominion University. Name pronunciation: Tuere (to-air-ray) Fa’aola (fāh-āh-o-la)

photo of David Estrella

David Estrella

2023 Practitioner in Residence

David Estrella joined the County of San Diego in 2002. He is currently the Director of Housing and Community Development Services (HCDS) in the Health and Human Services Agency. He oversees funding for the development of permanent affordable housing, community improvement projects and the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides rental subsidies for approximately 11,000 families. Under his direction, HCDS has invested $205M and made eight (8) County excess sites available for development, which will result in the creation of 3,990 affordable housing units in 45 developments across the region. These investments leveraged nearly $1.8B in federal, state, local and private sources. The newly developed units will be home to 41,000 low-income residents over the course the properties’ lifetimes.

David was the first Director of the Office of Integrative Services in the County’s Health and Human Services Agency. Integrative Services was created to functionally thread housing solutions throughout the various Health and Human Services Agency service departments. A key accomplishment during his tenure was the implementation of Project One for All (POFA). This regional program combined street outreach, ongoing services, and housing subsidies for hundreds of San Diegans experiencing homelessness with serious mental illness.

Prior to joining HHSA, David was the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO) for the County of San Diego’s Community Services Group. As the DCAO for Community Services Group, David was one of the five general managers that report directly to the County’s Chief Administrative Officer. In this role, David ensured fiscal responsibility and provided management direction for six high-visibility County departments including: Registrar of Voters, Animal Services, County Library, Housing and Community Development, General Services, and Purchasing and Contracting. He led a team of 1,000 employees and had a budget of $334M. His departments’ notable accomplishments during his time as DCAO include construction of the downtown Waterfront Park (which transformed vast parking lots into the most significant green space on the downtown bayfront, providing family recreation and hosting special events and music festivals); construction of new libraries in various communities; sheltering of 25,000 animals annually; conducting presidential/state/local elections; operating 33 regionwide libraries; and managing a multi-billion dollar contract portfolio for all County services/acquisitions.

During his tenure with the County, David has served as the County of San Diego’s Executive Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion and the Chair of the County’s Diversity and Inclusion Executive Council. David is a graduate with distinction from San Diego State University. He holds a degree in Mexican-American studies and a law degree from California Western School of Law.

Prior to joining the County of San Diego, David worked for LISC AmeriCorps, the Fair Housing Council of San Diego and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

photo of Pascual Benitez

Pascual Benitez

2022 Practitioner in Residence

Currently Chief Investigator for the County of San Diego, Office of the Alternate Public Defender. I started my career in 2000 as an intern and found my passion for defense investigations. Throughout my career I have worked on juvenile delinquency and dependency cases, criminal felonies, as well as various homicide cases. As a manager I have trained and mentored dozens of investigators and over hundreds of Investigative interns. I have served for over 16 years on the Executive Board of the Defense Investigators Association (, an organization whose mission is to provide guidance and leadership opportunities through professional development and training.


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