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Cindy Downing

Program Officer

Cindy Downing joined the Irvine Foundation in 2016 and was named Program Officer in January 2019, where she oversees The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. Cindy has over a decade of experience in government, non-profit, and philanthropy work, with a background in various aspects of public health and health care.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Cindy worked at the International Antiviral Society–USA, a nonprofit provider of continuing medical education for physicians providing care to those with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and other viral infections. During her time with the organization, she helped organize the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, the preeminent HIV research meeting in the world, which attracts more than 4,000 HIV/AIDS research leaders from nearly 90 countries. She also provided project coordination to a panel of top researchers to create the first state-of-the-art medical guideline for the treatment of Hepatitis C.

Previously, Cindy worked for the Contra Costa County Health Division’s Public Health and Mental Health departments, where she supervised staff, provided oversight of program budgets, conducted data analysis, and coordinated several public stakeholder advisory groups. In her most recent position at the Contra Costa Mental Health Administration, she helped to design and implement new programs for Contra Costa residents under the initiatives outlined in California’s Mental Health Services Act. In all of her roles, she pursues promoting individual and community wellness.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Cindy holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in dance, from San Francisco State University, and has earned a certificate in nonprofit management/grantwriting from National University.