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From the President: Capitalizing on our Leadership Transition Print E-mail
Don Howard

Don Howard
President and CEO

Dear Colleagues:

In my October letter, I mentioned that all of us at Irvine are committed to capitalizing on our recent leadership transition to reflect and to innovate, both in the way we operate and in the work we do, to increase our impact. Now, as we look toward 2015, I want to provide you with an update on some actions we are taking in pursuit of these commitments.

Today, we are announcing staff promotions that will focus greater attention and expertise on the areas in which we want to innovate and grow, while continuing to stay focused on our current work. Although it is perhaps too infrequent that a foundation promotes from within, I’m excited that the strength of our existing staff presents us with several opportunities to do so.

I am announcing four promotions today, including the creation of two new positions, effective January 1.

  • Amy Dominguez-Arms has been named to the new position of vice president for programs. This position will oversee our core grantmaking programs, taking advantage of Amy’s strengths designing and implementing program strategies and developing initiatives that advance program goals.
  • Daniel Silverman has been named to the new position of vice president for strategic services. This new group at the Foundation, composed of three existing areas — communications, information technology, and learning and assessment — reflects our belief that we cannot reach our program goals without a strategic application of all three of these functions, and takes advantage of Daniel’s strength as an integral partner advancing our programs’ impact.
  • Brian Eule has been named our new director of communications, overseeing the Foundation’s strategic communications efforts, which is focused on the use of communications strategies to advance our program goals.
  • Connie Malloy has been named the director of our California Democracy program, overseeing our work to advance effective public policy decision making that is reflective of and responsive to all Californians.

These promotions are in addition to our news of last week that Elizabeth González will begin serving as Irvine’s Youth program director.

I also want to share that I have been fortunate enough to already have met with leaders from the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles in the last few weeks, in what is just the beginning of a tour to listen and gather input across the state during my early tenure as CEO of the Irvine Foundation.

In these early meetings, I’ve heard optimism about a new era for our state as well as concerns about growing divides. I’ve heard how a new generation of Californians will likely innovate and lead, paving a path for the rest of the nation. Leaders have shared their ideas for approaches important for us as a statewide foundation — transparency, accessibility, bridging the public and private sectors, taking calculated risks, catalyzing innovation, and expanding the diversity of thought, among others.

I am only at the beginning of this listening tour, so I hope you will continue to share your ideas for creative and innovative approaches that have the potential to expand opportunity for the people of California, and in return, I will continue to share what I am hearing.


Don Howard
President & CEO