Board of Directors
Janet Y. Spears
Janet Y. Spears
Chief Executive Officer | Metta Fund
Janet Y. Spears is Chief Executive Officer of Metta Fund, a private foundation dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of San Francisco’s aging population. Established in 1998, the foundation has a current endowment of more than $80 million and grants out approximately $2.4 million per year. Under Janet’s leadership, Metta Fund has pursued an audacious vision of an inclusive, connected, multi-generational, healthy and thriving San Francisco. She has established new organizational priorities and spearheaded innovative opportunities for collaboration in service of the health and wellness of the community.
Before joining Metta Fund, Janet was Chief Operating Officer at the East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF), a community foundation located in Oakland, California with approximately $400 million in assets. During her tenure, she oversaw development, grantmaking, communications, and donor services, and guided EBCF to a programmatically strong and financially healthy position. Prior to EBCF, Janet enjoyed a 23-year career at AT&T, where she led complex sales solutions as Sales Vice President.
Janet was appointed to the San Francisco Disability and Aging Services Commission in 2019 and also serves on the boards of Northern California Grantmakers, the Giants Community Fund, and the University of the Pacific (UOP), her alma mater. There, she is Chair of the Academics and Student Affairs Committee, and previously served as Board Secretary. She was also formerly on the Board of UOP’s Pacific School Alumni Association.
Janet holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Pacific, where she was named distinguished alumna in 2012. She also holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and an Advanced Management Certificate from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Janet is a California native and longtime San Francisco resident.
CEO | Stupski Foundation
Glen Galaich is the CEO of the Stupski Foundation, a Bay Area-based foundation spending all of its assets within the next 10 years to address some of the Bay Area’s and Hawai‘i’s biggest challenges so one day everyone can benefit from the resources and opportunities in the places the Foundation calls home. He is responsible for leading the overall spenddown strategy of the Foundation as well as overseeing programmatic focus areas and operations.
Glen previously served as Chief Executive Officer of The Philanthropy Workshop, whose mission was to educate, inspire, and activate a peer network of effective, engaged, and innovative philanthropists. His career in strategic philanthropy started with the founding team of the Global Philanthropy Forum where he was responsible for launching the first and second Conferences on Borderless Giving. He also served at Human Rights Watch as the deputy director of development for North America where he had strategic oversight of the Human Rights Watch Council, a network of supporters and opinion leaders committed to raising money for, and awareness of, human rights in five major cities.
Glen has written and published on the role of ethnicity in the formation of political parties, human rights, and in the use of political violence and repression in sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in political science, and a B.A. in political science from the University of California at San Diego.
Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Programs | Akonadi Foundation
Cecilia Chen (she/her) is the Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Programs at Akonadi Foundation, where she oversees strategy development across Akonadi’sprogram areas and implementation of Akonadi’s five-year initiative, All in For Oakland. Before joining Akonadi, Cecilia was the Public Policy Director at Northern California Grantmakers. She built the association’s policy advocacy infrastructure and led advocacy to protect immigrant rights, ensure an accurate census, and fight for equitable tax reform. Cecilia also served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General’s Office, advancing the Attorney General’s policy priorities around criminal justice reform and childhood trauma. Cecilia was previously the Associate Director of Policy at the Center for Youth Wellness, where she led statewide efforts to prevent and address childhood adversity and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on children’s health. She was also the 2011-2013 Thurgood Marshall Civil RightsFellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Cecilia graduated from Tufts University and received her J.D. from Boston College Law School. A Bay Area native, Cecilia lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter, and fur baby Sherlock. In addition to being an unabashed dessert lover (especially ice cream), Cecilia enjoys exploring the Bay Area and trekking internationally. Cecilia can be reached at Cecilia@akonadi.org
Lucia Corral Peña
Lucia Corral Peña
Senior Program Officer | Blue Shield of California Foundation
Lucia Corral Peña is a senior program officer for Blue Shield of California Foundation managing the Breaking the Cycle of Multigenerational Violence Initiative in California. She leads the Foundation’s portfolio of grants to prevent domestic and family violence.
Prior to her role at the Foundation, Ms. Corral Peña was principal of Corral Peña Consulting where her practice focused on creating opportunities for diverse and low-income communities, addressing the unmet needs of immigrants, agricultural workers, and women in California. With almost 25 years of programmatic and grantmaking experience, Ms. Corral Peña has contributed to national- and regional-level collaboratives on Latino leadership, reproductive justice, and civic engagement projects. She previously served as director of the Western Region for Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), where she managed the organization's award-winning Funders' Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities in five states. She has also served as program director at The California Wellness Foundation where she focused on state and local projects promoting the health of California's low-wage workforce.
Ms. Corral Peña received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She is a member of the California State Bar, and an alumnus of The San Francisco Foundation's Multicultural Fellowship. She has served as pro bono counsel, and on a variety of nonprofit boards, including Equal Rights Advocates and Centro Legal de La Raza.
Member At Large
Member At Large
Senior Program Manager, Power Infrastructure | The California Endowment
Alexandra Desautels joined The California Endowment as Program Manager for Strategy Development in January 2014 and has since moved into the role of Senior Program Manager, Power Infrastructure. In this role, Desautels is responsible for working with staff across the foundation to sharpen the core elements of the BHC strategy. Desautels also manages portfolios related to building the state’s power infrastructure, from building narrative power to increasing the strengths of networks and alliances. Prior to joining The Endowment, Desautels served as the local Policy Manager for the Alameda County Public Health Department(ACPHD). While there, she oversaw the implementation of Place Matters, ACPHD’s first local policy initiative for advancing health equity through social and environmental policy change in criminal justice, economics, education, housing, land use, and transportation. Other positions held at ACPHD include serving as the Community Health Advisor to Oakland Mayor’s office where she advised the Mayor and his staff on the health equity implications of various policy issues and serving on numerous technical advisory boards, including theWest Oakland Specific Plan, a Metropolitan Transportation Commission study on health facility locations and access to transit, Oakland Sustainable Neighborhoods Initiative, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Advisory Council. Before joining ACPHD, Desautels worked in youth development in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She is the recipient of the Mabel Goode Management and Planning Award and the Davenport Research Award for Public Policy. Desautels earned her B.A. in American Studies, with honors, from Wesleyan University in Middleton, CT, and her Master of Social Welfare (MSW) with a Management, Planning, and Policy focus from the University of California, Berkeley.
Cecilia Oregón, MPP, MPH
Cecilia Oregón, MPP, MPH
Executive Director | Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy
Cecilia identifies emerging health policy topics and guides the Institute’s portfolio of work. She also leads strategy and operations for IHP. Cecilia joined KP in 2013 as the Director of Safety Net Partnerships for the National Community Benefit program where she helped accelerate safety net grant strategy and initiatives. She also fostered the development and spread of national and regional safety net partnerships.
Before Kaiser Permanente, Cecilia served as a program officer for Blue Shield of California Foundation where she managing the portfolio of grants focused on strengthening California's healthcare safety net. She has also served as a senior program officer with The California Endowment where she provided strategic direction to The Endowment's efforts to promote school health, expand public health insurance coverage, and strengthen the healthcare safety net. Before that, she was with the California HealthCare Foundation as a policy analyst. Outside of philanthropy, she has served as a legislative analyst for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in Washington, D.C., and as a special projects associate for the Alameda County Public Health Department.
She is an alumnus of the Presidential Management Fellowship program, and in 2012 she was selected as a participant in the Grantmakers in Health Terrance Keenan Institute for Emerging Leaders in Health Philanthropy. She currently serves as an Alameda County First 5 Commissioner and serves on the boards of directors for the California School-Based Health Alliance and the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP). In 2018, she received a Latino Heritage Leadership Award from California Senator Bob Wieckowski for her record of leadership and service.
Executive Vice President, Community Action, Policy and Strategy, Silicon Valley Community Foundation
As executive vice president, community action, policy and strategy, Gina is responsible for leading Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s impact team to ensure Silicon Valley is a place where all people can lead financially secure, safe and fulfilling lives. As a member of the Executive Leadership team, Gina helps ensure that the principles of equity are applied to all the initiatives SVCF pursues in fulfillment of its mission.
Prior to her appointment as EVP, Gina served as senior vice president for public policy and special advisor to the CEO, driving SVCF’s public policy agenda at the regional, state and national levels. SVCF’s California lobbying work is centered around affordable housing, education, immigration, economic security, equity and justice. With Gina’s leadership, SVCF became a leading voice in Washington, D.C., on topics that advance the philanthropic sector.
Gina was pivotal in the passage of the California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2015, and sponsored by Silicon Valley Community Foundation. She serves as a member of the Council on Foundations’ Policy Committee, the League of California Community Foundations’ Policy Committee and Chair of its Housing Committee. Previously, Gina was SVCF’s director of grantmaking. She also led SVCF’s education grantmaking strategy, as well as the Silicon Valley Common Core Initiative.
Prior to joining SVCF, Gina was director of innovation at the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. Before moving to the United States, she held several positions related to urban economic development and regulatory economics in the federal and state public sector in Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from ITAM in Mexico City, a Master of Science in economics from the University of London and a Master of Arts in international policy studies from Stanford University. She is an American Leadership Forum Fellow. She resides in Palo Alto with her husband and has two wonderful children.
Allen Fernandez Smith
Allen Fernandez Smith
Head of Philanthropy, West Region Corporate Responsibility | JPMorgan Chase
Allen Fernandez Smith is the West Region Executive for Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. In this capacity, Allen is responsible for the firm’s strategic philanthropy throughout the Western United States. His team supports eligible nonprofits focused on racial equity and building a more inclusive economy through community development, small business, workforce development, and financial empowerment. Fernandez Smith has been committed to issues of social, racial, and economic empowerment since his early years growing up in Chicago, where he got a firsthand look at inequality and the systematic exclusion of low-income families and communities of color from economic and political opportunities.
Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, Fernandez Smith was a Principal for Low-Income Programs and Strategies at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), based in San Francisco, CA. At PG&E, he led the company’s comprehensive approach to support its 2 million low-income customers throughout California with energy savings tools, financial assistance programs, and community partnerships. Fernandez Smith also served as the President and CEO of Urban Habitat, an environmental justice non-profit dedicated to providing leadership and policy guidance to local governments and communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. At Urban Habitat, Fernandez Smith focused on the intersections of transportation, housing, land use, and climate change in urban communities. Prior to his tenure at Urban Habitat, Fernandez Smith was the Executive Director of the California School-Age Consortium (CalSAC), a statewide organization dedicated to advancing the professional development of youth workers across the state through high-quality trainings, policymaking, and advocacy. As President of the Board of Directors and then as Executive Director, he led the organization in developing and implementing a multi-year strategic plan to realign the organization’s mission, vision, and direction. Fernandez Smith has worked for the City and County of San Francisco as a Senior Community Development Specialist in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Community Development and in the city’s Department of Children, Youth & Their Families. He worked closely with city agencies, local community leaders, and small business owners on promising neighborhood economic strategies and a citywide youth development system.
Fernandez Smith graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Illinois, and was a graduate fellow at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund in Washington D.C. In 2011, he was named to The Root 100 national list of African-American leaders under 45 years old. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife, Kay Fernandez Smith, Program Manager for the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative at Apple Inc, and their children, Malcolm and Malaya.
President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation
Oversees the overall management and direction of the Central Valley Community Foundation, ensuring that CVCF makes progress every day towards accomplishing our mission: to cultivate smart philanthropy, lead, and invest in solutions that build stronger communities.
Ashley Swearengin is president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $100 million in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations over the last decade. Prior to joining CVCF, she served as Mayor of the City of Fresno from 2009 through 2016. As mayor, she implemented substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, address chronic homelessness, and stabilize the city’s financial position. Before becoming mayor, Ashley led a number of economic development initiatives in the Fresno region, including the Central Valley Business Incubator, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Regional Jobs Initiative. She holds MBA and BS degrees from California State University, Fresno.