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Press Release

Irvine Foundation Names Charles Fields as Chief of Staff and Planning

SAN FRANCISCO — With a career-long commitment to innovation and social change, Charles Fields joins the Irvine Foundation as its Chief of Staff and Planning. In his new role, Fields will oversee implementation of the Foundation’s strategy and planning of its initiatives.

Fields previously served as a senior program manager for The California Endowment, California’s largest private health foundation. He has more than a decade of leadership experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector, funding and supporting social sector organizations so that they can achieve greater impact on issues, including criminal justice reform, economic development, educational equity, health, and civic engagement.

“We are thrilled that Charles is joining our team,” said Irvine CEO and President Don Howard. “His passion, expertise, and commitment to solving California’s toughest problems will be invaluable as Irvine embarks on a new path.”

In January 2016, the Irvine Foundation announced that its future grantmaking will focus on expanding economic and political opportunity for Californians that are working but struggling with poverty. As part of this shift, the Foundation will launch a series of grantmaking initiatives. Fields will play an instrumental role in coordinating these efforts.

“The Irvine Foundation’s new direction combined with its long history of expanding opportunity in California positions the organization to do vital work at a vital time for our state,” Fields said. “I am honored to help advance its critical mission,” Fields said.

Learn more about Fields here.


The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on expanding economic and political opportunity for families and young adults who are working but struggling with poverty. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.5 billion in grants to more than 3,600 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $2 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $74 million in 2015 for the people of California. For more information about the Irvine Foundation, please visit our website: