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Four Minutes With... Don Howard

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Oct 15, 2013 1
Four Minutes With… provides a chance to get to know Irvine board and staff members, as well as partners in our work to expand opportunity for the people of California.

In this episode of Four Minutes With…we profile Don Howard, Executive Vice President at Irvine. Don joined the Foundation in November 2012 after serving as a partner and head of the San Francisco office for The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm helping other nonprofits and philanthropists achieve breakthrough results. We’ve asked him to talk a little bit about this transition to philanthropy over the past year and his role at Irvine.


 

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Irvine Board Approves $6.89 Million in Grants

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Oct 11, 2013

Our Board of Directors approved $6.89 million in grants at its quarterly meeting this week. Of the 11 approved grants, five were within California Democracy five in our Youth program and one in Special Initiatives. The meeting was held in Riverside where Irvine staff and board engaged with a number of leaders from both Riverside and San Bernardino counties and visited a Linked Learning school site in San Bernardino.

Here are some highlights of the new grants:

Future of California Elections — Our California Democracy program made grants to organizations engaged in the Future of California Elections (FOCE) project. Center for Civic Design is receiving $230,000 to improve voter participation in California by conducting and disseminating research on how voters obtain information about elections. Together, these grants are designed to modernize California’s election system and increase voter participation.

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In the News: September 2013

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Oct 01, 2013

Four Minutes With… Kenji Treanor

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Sep 20, 2013
We are inaugurating a new feature on our website in order to bring to life the people who animate the Irvine Foundation's work. Four Minutes With… provides a chance to get to know Irvine board and staff members, as well as partners in our work to expand opportunity for the people of California. These short videos are intended to humanize the work that we do and that we support across the state. We welcome your feedback and suggestions about future profiles.

In this first episode of Four Minutes With… we profile Kenji Treanor, who recently left Irvine having served in three different roles during his nine-year tenure with the Foundation. One of my many joys of leading the Irvine Foundation is working with these talented and dedicated colleagues. Inevitably, they will develop skills and experience at Irvine which position them well for their next professional opportunity beyond the Foundation. Kenji has been a wonderful colleague to all of us, and we will miss him very much. At the same time, we are excited about his new opportunity with the Sobrato Family Foundation. We’ve asked him to talk a little bit about his experience with us and his future.


 

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Transforming High Schools: Linking Academics and Real Life

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Sep 18, 2013
Editor’s Note: The following post by Irvine Foundation President and CEO Jim Canales originally ran in the Huffington Post on September 16, 2013, and is reprinted here.

My first job out of college was as a high school English teacher in San Francisco. As a result, every fall brings with it hope and excitement, a combination of anticipation and aspiration. Sadly, today, for far too many high schools students in my state of California, such hope is not to be found. Too many of our young people's dreams go unrealized, and that has enormous consequences.

Put simply, our education system is not working for many students. Across California, nearly a quarter of students don't graduate from high school on time or at all. Graduation rates for Latinos and African Americans are even lower. And barely a third of the state's students who do graduate high school actually complete all of the courses needed for admission to a University of California or Cal State school. We're failing our students by not giving them the education they need.

The implications are clear: the economy suffers when our workers are not prepared. Unemployment among these youth is at a level not seen since the 1950s. Tens of billions of dollars are lost in wages and productivity as a result of dropouts, and our state's workers are not prepared for the jobs we do have and need filled.

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Guest Post: Election Recommendations for a Presidential Commission

BY Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin
Doug Chapin directs the Future of California Elections project. Chapin has been
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| Sep 12, 2013

By Doug Chapin – Director, Future of California Elections

For nearly two years, a collection of election officials, civil rights advocates and reform groups have come together as part of an initiative known as the Future of California Elections (FOCE) to work on making the state’s voting process more effective and expand voter participation across all of California’s communities. The collaboration has helped lead to numerous legal and procedural reforms, including greater opportunities for voter registration and improvements to the state voter guide.

Last month, FOCE members shared their experiences with members of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan body appointed by President Barack Obama to study election practices across the nation and make recommendations on how election administration could improve. The day-long “listening session” in San Francisco was an opportunity for FOCE members to describe their work in California and to help the Commissioners put that work into a national context.

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In the News: August 2013

BY Daniel Silverman
Daniel Silverman
A native Californian, Daniel Silverman leads the Foundation’s communications wor
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| Sep 06, 2013

In August 2013, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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California Voters and the Media: A Matter of Trust

BY Catherine Hazelton
Catherine Hazelton
As a Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program, Catherine is e
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| Aug 12, 2013 1

California voters have many opportunities, in fact, responsibilities, to participate in our democracy — from choosing candidates and considering ballot measures to sharing views with policymakers and holding them accountable. To do so effectively requires access to trustworthy, educational and culturally relevant information about public policy and civic issues. Yet, vast changes to the media landscape threaten to undermine access to the information voters need to make effective decisions. Further, the often negative, hyper-partisan tone of political discourse raises concerns about maintaining voter interest in policy issues.



In commissioning a survey of 3,500 California voters, the James Irvine Foundation set out to learn how, in the current media landscape, voters are learning about government and politics, as well as the extent of their interest in these topics. The study, conducted by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates (FM3), and its accompanying infographic, provide useful insights into the consumption of public policy news by California voters, especially among our state’s diverse communities of color.

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From the President: Building A Field

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Aug 07, 2013

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago, we shared an interactive infographic on the progress of Linked Learning in California, an initiative in which Irvine has invested significantly over the past several years. Linked Learning seeks to prepare young people for success in college, career and life through an education reform that integrates work experience and professions with relevant and rigorous academics. Through the infographic, we shared voices from many of the players involved in Linked Learning, as well as preliminary data from an evaluation that shows promising and successful results.

As we released the report, I reflected upon what it takes to get to this level of coordinated work, with a diverse set of partners working together toward one goal. Obviously, clarity of strategy helps. So does a commitment to collaboration. But, in considering our work with Linked Learning, I’m reminded of an important tool that foundations can employ to create and sustain change: building a field. It has been our commitment to a field-building approach that, we believe, has been critical to the progress thus far.

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A Look at 2012 From Irvine’s CIO

BY John Jenks
John Jenks
As Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer, John directs the Foundation’s $1.6 bi
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| Aug 05, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following letter from Irvine Foundation Chief Investment Officer John Jenks appeared in Irvine’s 2012 Annual Report.

The calendar year of 2012 was a very good year for the Foundation’s investment portfolio. In the long-term, Irvine’s investment portfolio is a claim on increased global economic activity and the business profits that can come from that activity. But the year demonstrated that in the short-term anything can happen. While the 2012 experience was one where market returns were much better than economic activity might suggest, it was a good reminder of the possibility that things can go in either direction. Irvine has a fairly aggressive payout target (5.5 percent of average asset) and therefore an aggressive earnings target to support that payout. The big challenge for the investment program is to maintain a large long-term exposure to global economic activity to earn more than 5.5 percent plus the rate of inflation, while also reducing risk so that Irvine can tolerate years when global economic activity declines or when the opposite scenario arises — when market returns deviate negatively from economic activity.
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Aaron Pick
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Alex Barnum
57 post(s)
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Amy Dominguez-Arms
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