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California Philanthropy’s Role in Making the Federal Government Work For All

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 -
9:30am to 11:30am PDT
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street Suite 360, San Francisco, CA
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During a time of immense change in Washington, DC, the philanthropic community is demonstrating an unprecedented level of interest in the condition and direction of our federal government. Foundations and philanthropists have recognized how important a healthy, high-performing government is to fostering positive change in the causes they deeply care about. But complex questions remain: What are the most important challenges and opportunities facing our federal institutions? And how can California’s philanthropic community play a constructive role in sustaining and improving our government’s health, so that both California’s residents and our federal civil servants can benefit during an age of uncertainty?

Please join Max Stier, President and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, and Barbara Kibbe, Director of Organizational Effectiveness at the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, for a Q&A about the Partnership’s observations on current dynamics in the federal government, as well as its emerging effort to help government connect with, and learn from, the dynamism and innovative thinking in California.

During the session, Barbara will interview Max about his observations from the work the Partnership has conducted with federal agencies, Congress, and new political leadership during and after the presidential transition. We'll discuss the opportunities for private and philanthropic audiences in California to help agencies improve their operational integrity, and their capacity to deliver on their long-term missions to serve the public both within California and across the country. In addition, the session will offer ample opportunity for participants to ask questions about what is happening in government at this time, and how and why California’s philanthropic community can play a unique role in making government work better for all Americans.


Barbara Kibbe joined the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation as director of Organizational Effectiveness in 2013. In this role, she is responsible for fostering a culture of continuous learning, improvement, innovation, and strategic risk-taking. Barbara works with program staff to enhance grantmaking practices for impact and to develop grantee effectiveness and sustainability. She comes to the Foundation with 25 years of experience in philanthropy as an executive, a consultant, a grantmaker, and a foundation program director working with family, private, corporate, and community foundations. Barbara is co-author of Succeeding with Consultants and Grantmaking Basics. In 2010, she co-authored What’s Next for Philanthropy. She is a founder of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), an organization dedicated to building knowledge, promoting learning, and encouraging dialogue on nonprofit and grantmaker effectiveness. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art from Wagner College and a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School.

Max Stier is the founding president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. Under his leadership, the Partnership has been widely praised as a first-class nonprofit organization and thought leader on federal government management issues.  Max has worked previously in all three branches of the federal government. In 1982, he served on the personal staff of Congressman Jim Leach. Max clerked for Chief Judge James Oakes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1992 and clerked for Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court in 1994. Between these two positions, Max served as Special Litigation Counsel to Assistant Attorney General Anne Bingaman at the Department of Justice.  In 1995, Max joined the law firm of Williams & Connolly where he practiced primarily in the area of white collar defense.  Max comes most recently from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, having served as the Deputy General Counsel for Litigation.  A graduate of Yale University and Stanford Law School, Max is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration, the Administrative Conference of the United States and the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard College.

Target Audience

This program is open to all NCG members.


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