Charles M. Collins


Charles M. Collins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of San Francisco.  Founded in 1853, the YMCA of San Francisco is a not-for-profit organization with an $85 million annual budget that is committed to serving the diverse communities of the Bay Area. The 2020 Vision of the YMCA of San Francisco is “that the healthiest children in America will live in the Bay Area gaining the skills and habits to reach their highest potential and through the strength of our communities, make a valuable contribution to the common cause.”

With 2000 employees and over 2000 volunteers, the YMCA offers dozens of programs and services for over 183,000 children and adults in 14 major branches in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin counties and over 120 other off-site program locations. 

From 1983 to 2002, Mr. Collins was President and Chairman of WDG Ventures, Inc., and its affiliated companies which are engaged in the investment and development of commercial and residential real estate. Among the signature development projects completed during Collins’ tenure were The Metreon and the Four Seasons Hotel and Condominiums.

Mr. Collins has practiced law and was a former Deputy Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency for the State of California.  He also has an extensive city planning background and direct a comprehensive study for the City and County of San Francisco incorporating economic and fiscal considerations, land use planning, transportation systems, and housing requirements resulting in the Downtown Plan for the City and County of San Francisco.

Mr. Collins serves on the San Francisco Arts Commission, co-Chair of the  ShapeUp SF Coalition, a board member of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and former trustee of Williams College, the San Francisco State University Foundation and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Mr. Collins received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from Williams College, Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School. Under a fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, he was awarded a Diploma from the Athens Center of Ekistics in Athens, Greece. Upon completion of M.I.T, he was named the outstanding graduate student in the Department Urban Studies and Planning.  He received the Bicentennial Medal from Williams College in 1999.

Mr. Collins is the author of The African Americans, Viking-Studio Books 1993 (paper 1995) and senior editor of A Day in the Life of Africa, The Tides Foundation and Penguin, 2002.


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Job Title

President and Chief Executive Officer