Board Trustees

Board Trustees

San Francisco Foundation

San Francisco, CA   |   February 25, 2020

Seeking Board Trustees: The San Francisco Foundation

For more than seven decades, the San Francisco Foundation has played a major role in ensuring that the Bay Area is a place where everyone can thrive, no matter the color of your skin nor the neighborhood in which you live. Through its work pushing for racial and economic inclusion, defending the rights of LGBT and differing ability communities, and protecting the environment and community health, the Foundation has been a pillar in the Bay Area for the better part of a century.

Today, the Foundation is explicitly advancing racial equity and economic inclusion to ensure that everyone in the Bay Area can get a good job, live in a safe and affordable home, and have a strong political voice. The organization’s all-in equity strategy includes grantmaking, partnership with donors, policy work, and impact investing.

By the Numbers

  • $2.3 billion in grants distributed to nonprofits since 1948;
  • $155 million in grants to nonprofits last year;
  • 3,000 nonprofits funded last year; and
  • $1.5 billion in assets, made possible by donors.


Fred Blackwell is the CEO of the San Francisco Foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2014, Mr. Blackwell has led the organization’s renewed commitment to social justice through an equity agenda focused on racial and economic inclusion. An Oakland native, Mr. Blackwell is a nationally recognized community leader with a long-standing career in the Bay Area. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served as Interim City Administrator for the City of Oakland, the Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development in San Francisco. Before city government, he worked at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation.

Board of Trustees

The Foundation is fortunate to have a talented, committed, and diverse Board of Trustees. In 2019, people of color made up 70 percent of the organization’s Board and staff, closely mirroring the rich diversity of the region the Foundation serves.

Trustees provide guidance, leadership, and oversight that enable the Foundation to reach its goals. Former and current Trustees have been distinguished residents of the Bay Area who have served the region in a range of different sectors and roles. The Foundation’s Board includes the following individuals:

  • Ophelia B. Basgal, Vice Chair, Visiting Scholar, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, Terner Center for Housing Innovation
  • Robert (Bob) Friedman, Founder and Chair Emeritus of the Board for Prosperity Now
  • David ibnAle, Founding and Managing Partner of Advance Venture Partners
  • Yvette Radford, Regional Vice President for External and Community Affairs, Kaiser Permanente
  • Duncan Robertson, Partner and CFO, Paxion Capital
  • Santiago “Sam” Ruiz, Chief Executive Officer, Mission Neighborhood Center
  • Abdi Soltani, Executive Director, ACLU of Northern California
  • Kimberly Wicoff, Former Executive Director, San Francisco Education Fund
  • Sheryl Wong, Chair, Trustee, UC Berkeley Foundation.
  • Fred Blackwell, CEO, San Francisco Foundation

For more information on the San Francisco Foundation please visit its website.

The Opportunity

The San Francisco Foundation is looking to bring on three new Board members in the following areas:

  • An Engaged Philanthropist: A committed community member with a track record of supporting social causes in the Bay Area;
  • A Senior Corporate Executive: A seasoned executive who can deepen partnerships with the private sector, including the tech sector; and
  • A Leader in Mission-Related Investing: An impact investing expert who can help the Foundation expand its impact in the community.

Terms, Committees, and Time Commitment

  • Trustees are volunteers who can serve up to (2) five-year terms for a total of 10 years;
  • Each Trustee must serve on two or more of the following committees: Governance, Finance & Human Resources, Investment, Programs, Program-Related Investments, Audit, Development, and the Koshland Committee; and
  • There are four board meetings per year, one of which is a full-day retreat.
Trustee Profile

Trustees will have the following responsibilities and these professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

A Collaborative and Engaged Leader

Trustees of the San Francisco Foundation are stewards and advocates for the Bay Area. By contributing to the San Francisco Foundation, Trustees are contributing to the entire social sector of the region. SFF Trustees can be described as thoughtful, courageous, collaborative, and progressive. They take their responsibilities seriously, while maintaining the ability to look at the work from varying perspectives. Trustees have a readiness to commit to the Board, offering engagement and availability to attend and participate; to be prepared and work diligently to be current.

A Commitment to Equity

Trustees of the San Francisco Foundation clearly embody the Foundation’s values and commitment to racial and economic equity. Trustees are not afraid to support courageous and bold work while ensuring responsible governance and stewardship. Staff use innovative strategies and a broad array of tools, beyond just traditional philanthropy, and Trustees lean into this approach. Each Trustee brings an understanding and awareness of systems level change and policies, which is embedded into the culture of the Board.

An Ambassador for the San Francisco Foundation

Trustees understand their work for the Foundation extends beyond the Boardroom. Each Trustee is an ambassador for the Foundation within the broader community, this includes building relationships with key stakeholders and professional networks. Trustees will personally contribute their time and resources to the Foundation. There is no official give/get for Trustees, but it is expected that all Trustees make an annual contribution based on individual means. In addition, each Trustee is expected to assist and support in the identification and cultivation of funds. Trustees help identify and cultivate new donors and offer advice on how best to engage existing donors in the work of the Foundation.

Leadership & Governance

The Board of Trustees provides governance and fiduciary oversight to the San Francisco Foundation. Trustees hold themselves accountable and make themselves available to support good governance and effectively advise executive leadership. Through attendance at Board meetings and active Committee participation, Trustees uphold the policies and practices of the Foundation and are expected to hold themselves, other Trustees, and the organization to the highest ethical standards. Trustees willingly express their views, while remaining open to feedback, advice, and collaboration.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Alexandra Corvin, Alison Ranney, and Tony Leng are leading these searches. To make recommendations or to express your interest please email All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit