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How Philanthropy Can Support and Enhance the Government Response to COVID-19

Thursday, March 12, 2020 -
9:00am to 10:00am PDT
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In the face of COVID-19 outbreaks in California and across the world, philanthropy has an important role to play in supporting community preparedness and response. In order to do so most effectively, it is important to first understand the way the government response is organized, and how philanthropy can support and augment local, state, and federal leadership on this issue.

Building on the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s March 5th webinar on How Philanthropy Can Respond, please join Philanthropy California for a webinar to identify the unmet needs at a range of levels, from your family and organization to your grantees and the broader community. Speakers will share best practices for grantmakers in pandemic preparedness and response while emphasizing community resiliency and support for our most vulnerable community members. 


Alan Kwok, Disaster Resilience Director, Northern California Grantmakers 

Alan seeks to strengthen and galvanize the philanthropy sector in California around investments in community-based disaster resilience. He brings to his role a wealth of experiences in community health, youth and workforce development, and disaster management. He managed a FEMA award-winning community resilience initiative in the Bay Area American Red Cross and continues to research on community disaster resilience. He earned his Ph.D. in emergency management at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. His research is published in World Bank and government publications, as well as in peer-reviewed journals.


Abby Browning, Chief, Office of Private Sector/ Non-Governmental Organization Coordination, CalOES

Abby Browning is the Chief of the Office of Private Sector/ Non-Governmental Organization Coordination at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. Abby is responsible for developing and maintaining CalOES’s relationships with businesses, associations, companies, and universities, as well as nonprofit, nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations.

Prior to joining CalOES, Abby was the Special Advisor for International Trade in the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She was an essential member of the Brown Administration’s international team, working on trade missions to China and Mexico, as well as fostering countless other international business connections for California.

Abby has also worked with the California Chamber of Commerce in the International Affairs and Corporate Relations departments, as well as the California Seismic Safety Commission. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from West Virginia University and she earned an M.A. from the School of Government at California State University, Sacramento.

Kathleen Kelly Janus, Senior Advisor on Social Innovation, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the newly appointed senior advisor on social innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom. This new position elevates the role of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations as innovators. Janus was a lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship from 2013 to 2019 and was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School from 2007 to 2012. She worked as pro bono counsel at Covington & Burling from 2009 to 2013 and was an associate at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP from 2003 to 2007. She co-founded Spark in 2005. Janus earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Judith A. Monroe, MD, President and CEO, CDC Foundation

Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, has dedicated her career to protecting people and saving lives. She joined the CDC Foundation in February 2016 as president and CEO, following her role as a deputy director of CDC and director of CDC’s Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support. In her work at the CDC Foundation, Dr. Monroe advances priority programs that improve the health of people around the world and prepare other nations to better prevent, detect and respond to dangerous health threats. The CDC Foundation mobilizes philanthropic and private-sector resources to support CDC’s critical health protection work, managing hundreds of programs in the United States and in more than 130 countries. The CDC Foundation is supporting several states with their response to the opioid epidemic and is also collaborating with CDC to establish public-private partnerships designed to reduce high blood pressure in the private-sector workforce and communities.

Under Dr. Monroe’s leadership, the Foundation responded to the Zika epidemic as an implementing partner in addition to mobilizing resources; supported the response and recovery from the 2017 hurricane season; and serves as CDC’s strategic partner for global health security. Dr. Monroe currently co-leads a Global Health ATL team focused on improving humanitarian logistics during disasters. In 2019 she was recognized by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce with a MAC Heroes of Global Health award. Prior to the CDC Foundation, Dr. Monroe oversaw key activities and technical assistance at CDC supporting the nation’s health departments and the public health system. Throughout the 2014–15 Ebola epidemic she served as senior advisor for the domestic response. During her tenure as the state health commissioner for Indiana she served as president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials through the H1N1 pandemic. She envisioned and founded the ASTHO president’s challenge in 2008. This leadership platform resulted in initiatives with significant health improvements and focus of ASTHO annual meetings.Dr. Monroe currently serves on the board of directors for the Georgia Global Health Alliance and is a member of the Milken Institute’s Public Health Advisory Board. She also is a member of the Executive Management Team for the Food Fortification Initiative. Additionally, she serves as a member of the World Health Organization Foundation’s Advisory group, as well as many national advisory committees and boards.

Dr. Monroe was recognized in 2019 with the American Public Health Association’s Presidential Citation for her work to improve the health and well-being of people around the world, and for her commitment to the future of public health as a mentor to young physicians and public health students. Monroe received her doctor of medicine from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of science degree from Eastern Kentucky University. She completed her residency in family medicine at the University of Cincinnati, a rural faculty development fellowship through East Tennessee State University, and a mini-fellowship in obstetrics through the University of Wisconsin. She also participated in the State Health Leadership Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and received an honorary doctorate from Purdue University in Health and Human Services.

Lauren A. Smith, MD, MPH, Co-CEO, FSG

As co-CEO of FSG, Lauren oversees one of the world’s leading social impact consulting firms. She helps drive the vision and growth of the firm to advance its mission of achieving equitable social impact at scale. Lauren brings more than 25 years of experience working at the intersection of the health care delivery and management, public policy and public health fields. She has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on health equity and the implication of social policies on child and family wellbeing. She has also served on numerous national and state advisory committees focused on public health and health care. Since joining FSGin 2015 to oversee the firm's US health practice, Lauren has led dozens of engagements with health foundations, health insurers, health systems and health care companies, as well as multi-sector collaboration projects focused on infant mortality reduction and early childhood care and education. She speaks regularly on the topics of strategic philanthropy and collective impact.

She has also helped lead FSG’s staff development efforts related to diversity, equity and inclusion. Lauren’s previous leadership roles have included serving as the medical director and then interim commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the senior strategic advisor for a 50-state, federally-funded innovation and improvement network focused on reducing infant mortality, the national medical director of the Medical Legal Partnership for Children and the medical director of the pediatric inpatient service at Boston Medical Center, where she was on faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine. Her experience in federal and state government includes roles as a policy analyst in the Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Health and Human Services and as a W.T. Grant Health Policy Fellow in the office of the Massachusetts Speaker of the House. Lauren holds a BA with honors in biology from Harvard College, an MD from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. She completed her pediatrics residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital Boston and her general pediatrics fellowship at Boston Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics.

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