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Navigating Change: The Journey of Seven CEOs

Monday, December 16, 2019 -
11:30am to 1:30pm PST
Skoll Foundation
250 University Avenue, Suite 200 | Palo Alto, CA
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We are once again seeing a wave of transitions among foundation CEOs in our region. These transitions have come about in a number of different ways. A significant number of CEOs retired from their positions. Others have come about due to the natural evolution of careers, interests, and opportunities. Whatever the case, understanding what these transitions are like for the leaders—current and former—is instructive to both the field and the larger community.

Join us for this last NCG program of the year where we will be in conversation and celebration for new and outgoing foundation CEOs. This is an opportunity to learn about their leadership, change philosophy, impact, and a glimpse of life after and beyond philanthropy.

Join us to: 

  • Learn about effective management of transitions for both incoming and outgoing leaders
  • Hear from a range of philanthropic leaders—those who have helmed their organization for a decade or more, to leaders who have just assumed their positions
  • Hear stories, experiences, and insights about what it’s like to steer organizations that have such significant impact in communities and trying to address intransigent issues
  • Celebrate our philanthropic leaders 


Headshot of Cathy ChaCathy Cha, President, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

As President of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Cathy leads the Fund’s work to fulfill its founders’ vision of a society in which all people can live, work, and raise their families with dignity. Cathy’s work is driven by a career-long commitment to equity and opportunity.

Cathy stepped into the role of President of the Fund in 2019 after serving for two years as Vice President of Programs. In that position, she oversaw grantmaking and the development of program strategies. Cathy helped create the California Campus Catalyst Fund, a coalition of funders, educators, and advocates who are working to expand support and services for undocumented students and their families across 32 campuses in California’s public higher education systems. Learn More about Cathy > 

Headshot of Sophie FanelliSophie Fanelli, President, Stuart Foundation

Sophie Fanelli is the President of the Stuart Foundation where she is responsible for leading the foundation’s investments to advance whole child education in California and Washington State.  She oversees four grantmaking portfolios: School Finance & Accountability, Educator Leadership, Creativity & Arts Education, and Adolescent Learning. Sophie first joined the Stuart Foundation as Senior Program Officer for Education in October 2012.

Previously, she served as Director of Research & Policy at the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA) at UCLA where she oversaw public policy and legislative efforts focused on education equity and access, student and parent engagement, and school transformation. Learn More about Sophie > 

Headshot of Don GipsDon Gips, Chief Executive Officer, Skoll Foundation

Don Gips, recently announced as the CEO of the Skoll Foundation, leads the organization’s work investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs to create lasting social change around the world. His experiences span public service, politics, business, finance, and technology.

Most recently, he led Albright Stonebridge Group’s Africa Practice, consulting with companies, entrepreneurs, and foundations investing across the continent. Previously, he served as Director of Presidential Personnel in the Obama White House, ushering in the most diverse administration in U.S. history. He served as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa where he managed more than 1,000 staff and a budget of over $600 million across multiple government agencies. Learn More about Don > 

Headshot of Carol LarsonCarol Larson, President & CEO, David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Carol S. Larson is President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a position she has held since January 2004. Carol was appointed a vice president of the Foundation in 2000 and served as its director of programs from 1995 through 1999. She is responsible for the overall management of the Foundation and its grantmaking activities.

The Foundation awards approximately $300 million in grants domestically and internationally in the program areas of Conservation and Science; Population and Reproductive Health; and Children, Families, and Communities. Learn More about Carol > 

Headshot of Nicole TaylorNicole Taylor, President & CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Nicole Taylor is president and CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. She brings together a rich background in Bay Area philanthropy, nonprofit administration and fundraising with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors.

In joining SVCF in December 2018, Nicole returns to the Bay Area from Arizona, where she served as vice president of the ASU Foundation. She also previously served as deputy vice president and dean of students at Arizona State University. Prior to her time at ASU, Nicole was the associate vice provost of student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity at Stanford University, after serving as president and CEO of Thrive Foundation for Youth in Silicon Valley. Learn More about Nicole > 

Headshot of Bob UyekiBob Uyeki, Chief Executive Officer, Y & H Soda Foundation

Bob joined the Foundation in 2004 as Senior Program Officer and was promoted to CEO in 2008.  He oversees all of the Foundation's grantmaking strategies and community leadership work, as well as its finance and administrative functions.  Bob has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in the Bay Area, having previously worked at the East Bay Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation and as the Director of the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival. 

Bob has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the East Bay Community Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers, Rise Together, the Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth, the Family Independence Initiative and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.  He currently serves on the Local Advisory Board of Bay Area LISC. Learn More about Bob > 

Headshot of Rick WilliamsRick Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Sobrato Family Foundation

Rick is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sobrato Family Foundation (SFF). Prior to joining SFF, Rick founded and was President of Realize Consulting Group, a management consultant firm for philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Rick also served at the Director of the Asset Funders Network, USA, a national community of foundations and grantmakers helping low-income individuals build and protect financial assets, and was National Programs Director at the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation where he oversaw grantmaking in the areas of homelessness, substance abuse, foster youth, after-school services, and poverty prevention. Rick is on the Board of the National Center for Family Philanthropy, Northern California Grantmakers, Silicon Valley Children’s Fund and Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY). Learn More about Rick > 

Target Audience

This event is open to member and nonmember funders. 

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