Bob’s Blog: In 2024, I’m Out – CEO Transition News

Having just shared with the TCE staff and after some time of conversation with the TCE Board, I am now sharing publicly that in the summer of 2024 I will be retiring from my leadership role as President and CEO of TCE.

I have reflected and noodled on the timing on this for nearly a year, and 2024 feels right for me, and in discussions with our Board, right for The California Endowment.  The rationale for the two-year plus transition window: 1) I’m approaching the 22-year mark as President & CEO, and the time is right for fresh leadership to lead this place; 2) Giving our Board of Directors and staff ample, non-rushed opportunity to absorb and navigate the transition.

Having made this important decision, I want to assure our valued partners that I will neither be a lame-duck nor an organizational babysitter for my remaining 850 days in this job.  I plan on “running through the tape” rather than limping to the finish line, and here is what our Board and I have mutually agreed upon as the top items on the to-do list:

  • We must finish the job of Health for All in California and improve the diversity of our state’s health workforce.
  • We must robustly invest and co-invest in dedicated movement-building infrastructure and leadership support for the “Good Troublemakers” as the iconic John Lewis called them – organizers, advocates, activists who push the envelope for racial and health justice across our state. Especially young people.  This is how structural racism is defeated — by love exercising power.
  • We must push further and harder on alternatives to incarceration: community-based services & supports and not jails. More youth prisons must be closed.

There are, of course, other important fights that merit our investment attention, but these are my prioritized three.

As to the future direction of TCE beyond my tenure, our Board of Directors is firmly grounded in the values and principles that our grantee partners have taught us over the past two decades: agency, full and unapologetic inclusion, civic participation, community, prevention, and the strategic and moral value of having those who are most marginalized and oppressed as the architects of a new state of Belonging in California.  Our nation desperately needs California to model this new narrative in policy and practice.  The next leader at TCE will be a most willing and able partner in taking this work to the next level.

Love y’all.   Still runnin’ with you.

Bob Ross



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