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Blue Shield of California Foundation Names New Chief Program Director

Thursday, March 21, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 20, 2019)  Blue Shield of California Foundation announced today that Carolyn Wang Kong has been promoted to the position of chief program director to oversee the overall strategy, design, and management of the Foundation’s programs as well as strategic planning.

“Carolyn’s ability to build strong relationships and to clearly communicate a compelling vision for a healthy California make her a natural fit for this role,” said Peter Long, PhD, President and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. “Her connections within the philanthropic world and with the communities we serve are pivotal to expanding the Foundation’s reach and impact on the factors that influence health and well-being.”  

Wang Kong joined the Foundation four years ago as a program officer, quickly rising to the position of senior program officer, and earlier this year she was named interim chief program director. The chief program director is a key leadership position that reports to the CEO. 

During her time at the Foundation, Wang Kong has taken on some of the highest profile work, including managing our relationship with the Center for Care Innovations and the Foundation’s involvement with the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. In these roles, she has supported the Foundation’s grantmaking and program efforts to advance multi-sector collaboration as an approach to addressing the complex drivers of poor health and domestic violence in California communities. She also launched and continues to lead the Foundation’s Act Now work, protecting policies, and programs to support vulnerable populations in California.

“I believe deeply in our Foundation’s mission, and I am honored to lead our program team and collaborate with communities to develop programs that spark new ideas and inspire approaches to make California healthy and safe for all its residents,” Wang Kong said. 

Prior to joining the Foundation, Carolyn was the project director for Medi-Cal strategy and operations at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. She has also served as practice leader for language access for Kaiser Permanente and was responsible for developing and operationalizing a strategy to meet the needs of more than 350,000 limited-English-speaking members and their families in Northern California. Prior to her time at Kaiser Permanente, Carolyn held roles focused on advancing health equity at the Alameda Alliance for Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

Carolyn holds a master’s in public health and public policy from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science from UCLA.  She is also an alumna of the Coro Fellows program in Public Affairs. 

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