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Member Spotlight: Hannah Kahn, Director of Grants Management at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hannah Kahn is the Director of Grants Management at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). As a part of our Member Spotlight series, Hannah told us what helps her recharge and what it's like to help build the grantmaking systems at CZI. 

How’d you get started in this work? 

My mom worked as Nurse Practitioner for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. She really wanted me to become a nurse; she thought I was caring and would be good at it. However, I am not one for bodily fluids.

That led me to health care. I started in Public Affairs at Kaiser's Northern California headquarters which led to grantmaking. I was inspired by the Community Benefit work.

From Kaiser, I got into the tech start-up space and eventually found my way back to philanthropy. Along the way, I did corporate philanthropy at Adobe Systems and institutional giving at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in their grants management group.

I’ve now joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and couldn't be more thrilled to make an impact helping create and improve grantmaking systems at CZI.

Are you new in your role?

I am new to CZI and new to my role, but not new to grants management. CZI is a new philanthropic organization itself. It is an exciting time to be at CZI as it grows and works towards advancing human potential and promoting equal opportunity. 

What’s next on your agenda (workwise)?

CZI is formalizing our grantmaking systems and processes. I am leading the charge along with many others at CZI to build out our grantmaking database, knowledge management and workflows in Salesforce. This project is super exciting. We are just getting ready to roll out our first set of user trainings next week.

We have been preparing our grant agreement letters, refining those into templates and creating logic to automate those from Salesforce. It's like we are building the foundation of our house, so that we can apply what we learn from this data to the exciting things to come!

What’s your favorite on-screen guilty pleasure?

Law and Order SVU. I can spend a whole day watching episodes on repeat. I love to understand how the detectives think about breaking down the clues to the horrible crimes they are solving while highlighting and promoting attention towards important social issues.

Give me the fifth-grader version of what you do in your work.

I give my time, other people's money and my talents to help people and the planet be a better place to live in. 

When and where are you happiest? 

I am happiest when I am in water. I love oceans, pools, rivers or hot tubs. I love to be near water but I most love to be in it, floating quietly on my back or swimming laps. 

Where are you on the introvert/extrovert scale? 

I am gregarious introvert. Some would swear I am an extrovert, but I am not! I love people and being around people makes me sooooo happy. However, to really recharge I need to go inward.


Do you have questions for Hannah or ideas for collaboration? You can contact her at: 


LinkedIn: Hannah Kahn 

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