BOARD / EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP

Led by our board of directors, President and CEO Robert K. Ross, MD, and the foundation’s executive team, The California Endowment strives to set the standard for accountability, transparency, equity, and impact.

Board of Directors

The California Endowment is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors from California’s leading nonprofits, health organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and industries. Our Board is diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, community-based experience, region, and professional expertise. It is designed to reflect a cross-section of California’s people and places.

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño currently serves as Board chair for The California Endowment. She joined The Endowment’s board of directors in May 2015. She currently serves as the Sacramento-based Bishop for the United Methodist Church (UMC), California-Nevada Conference.

Bishop Carcaño serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Council on Foreign Relations Religious Advisory Committee, the Southwest Industrial Education Fund Advisory Board, the Africa University Board of Trustees, and the General Council on Finance and Administration of the world-wide United Methodist Church. While serving as the bishop of the Los Angeles Area of The United Methodist Church she was an active member of the Los Angeles Council of Religious Leaders.

She is an internationally recognized immigrant rights advocate and an Auburn Senior Fellow. She has published articles on the rights of migrants in the Huffington Post and The Hill and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. Carcaño has also long been an advocate for the full rights and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons joining her efforts to the work of such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign. She also collaborates with the work of the Children’s Defense Fund.

A resident of Sacramento, Bishop Carcaño earned her Masters of Theology from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology who has recognized her with its Distinguished Alumna Award.   Claremont School of Theology granted her an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for her work and teachings on social justice.  She has been honored with the New Mexico Council of Churches Turquoise Award, Order of the Sisters of Loretto’s Mary Rhodes Award, Auburn School of Theology’s Lives of Commitment Award, the Arizona Interfaith Movement’s Golden Rule Religious Award, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles’ Women Leading Change Award, and the Leadership Award of the Los Angeles United Methodist Museum of Social Justice.  A water station in the Sonoran Desert bearing Bishop Carcaño’s name was placed there by the Humane Borders organization in recognition of her efforts to save the lives of immigrants crossing this often treacherous land seeking life and hope.

Kurt Chilcott

Kurt Chilcott

Kurt Chilcott currently serves as the Vice Chair for The California Endowment’s Board of Directors.  A recognized leader in economic development and small business finance, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2019.

For more than 35 years, Chilcott has led innovative successful organizations and programs in the public and non-profit sectors, and for more than 20 years has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego-headquartered CDC Small Business Finance. The non-profit organization has experienced tremendous growth, establishing offices throughout California, Arizona and Nevada, and maintaining its rank as the top-volume CDC in the nation under Chilcott’s leadership.

Chilcott has a long history of leadership in the economic development field. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders and Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council. He is president of California Southern Small Business Development Corporation, a state-funded loan-guarantee program designed to help secure financing for small businesses and create jobs. In addition, he is a director for Neighborhood Bancorp, the holding company of Neighborhood National Bank, which provides capital to underserved communities.

Chilcott was the first co-chair of the International Economic Development Council and in 2013 received IEDCs prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Economic Development. Chilcott was the last chair of the Council for Urban Economic Development (CUED), chair of the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) and president of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). He also has served on the boards of numerous local and state non-profit organizations.

Chilcott’s leadership and accomplishments have been recognized by his peers and industry leaders. He is both a Fellow Member and Honorary Life Member of the International Economic Development Council. Chilcott has received both the Golden Bear Award California’s Highest Accolade for Economic Development Leadership and the Arthur Goodman Memorial Award for commitment to underserved populations and areas. During his tenure, CDC has received the National Lender Award a record three times, most recently in 2007.

dr-ross-president-and-ceo

Robert K. Ross, MD

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. has prior experience as Director of Health and Human Services Agency in San Diego Countyand as Commissioner of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia.

During his tenure as President & CEO at The California Endowment, Dr. Ross has provided leadership in supporting the vision of underserved communities and grassroots leaders for a healthier California and a healthier America. The California Endowment has provided advocacy and funded efforts in support of “Health For All” across the state, expanding health
coverage for undocumented residents, farmworkers, and “Dreamers”, strengthening diversity in the health workforce, advancing wellness-driven school climate reforms, improving health
advocacy for young men and young women of color, and providing leadership for health-oriented criminal justice reform. Through the Endowment’s 10-Year Building Healthy Communities campaign, he has supported the engagement and leadership capacity of young people and community residents to fight for improved health and wellness at the community level. He also served as a founding board member of Covered California, the entity responsible for the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. More recently he served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration, developing a strategic roadmap for the County to reform the criminal justice system in support of health- focused strategies to reduce incarceration. In 2021, Dr. Ross worked in partnership with the Board of Directors to raise $300 million for a first-ever social bond by philanthropy in California, designed to invest in systems-change and movement-building support of grassroots activists in social justice.

Dr. Ross has also lent his voice and support to broader philanthropic and nonprofit collaboration to promote equity, racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy, and has chaired or co-chaired collaborative efforts on Boys & Young Men of Color.

Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health administrator, and as a clinician. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; medical director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San
Diego State University’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the local and national level. He served as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on
Educational Excellence for African Americans; Co-Chaired the national Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition;, and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange
Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the San Diego United Way, and the Jackie Robinson
YMCA. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. He was
honored by the Council on Foundations as the Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year for 2008, and received the American Public Health Association’s highest award in 2020. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Most recently he has been invited to serve as Stanford University’s Distinguished Visiting Professor for the 2023 academic calendar.

María Blanco

María Blanco is Executive Director of the UC Immigrant Student Legal Services Center that provides immigration-related legal services for undocumented students and their families at nine University of California campuses. The Center is a joint project of the University of California Office of the President and the UC Davis School of Law.

With a BA and JD from UC Berkeley of Law, Blanco is a long-time civil rights litigator and advocate. She most recently served as Vice President of Civic Engagement at the California Community Foundation. Blanco has also served as Executive Director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law, as Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and as National Senior Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She is a member of the Public Policy Institute of California Board of Directors, Centro Legal de la Raza, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, and formerly served on the California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.

Katherine A. Flores, MD

Katherine A. Flores, MD

Katherine A. Flores, MD, a national leader in primary health care and the development of a diverse health workforce, joined the Board of Directors in May 2020.

Dr. Flores spent her early years as a farm worker until the age of 16, and currently serves as a family physician in private practice in an all‐woman, bilingual medical group in Fresno, CA. Dr. Flores is also an Associate Clinical Professor in Family Medicine at the UCSF School of Medicine and the Director of the UCSF Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research (LaCMER), an organization that works with disadvantaged students to help prepare them to become healthcare professionals who will ultimately return to the Central Valley to provide culturally competent healthcare to the medically underserved.

Dr. Flores has been active over the past 30 years in developing and overseeing programs that recruit and retain Latino and other underrepresented youth into the health professions. She has worked collaboratively with multiple partners to establish a comprehensive health careers pipeline program in the Central Valley of California, targeting disadvantaged youth, particularly from migrant farmworker backgrounds. The goal of the Junior and High School Doctors Academies and the Health Careers Opportunity Program at California State University, Fresno, is to academically enrich, nurture and support disadvantaged youth from 7th‐12th grade through college to assure their academic success and ultimate acceptance into health professional schools. Incorporated within the developed curriculum is a research focus that requires these students to explore health disparity issues in their local communities and provides them the scientific research skills necessary to address them.

Through her work in developing health professions pathway programs for disadvantaged students, Dr. Flores and others jointly formed the California Health Professions Consortium in 2006 to explore the development of a statewide strategy to address increasing the diversity of the healthcare workforce. The Consortium has grown to include members from academic institutions (faculty and administrators from universities and health professions schools), K‐12 educators, direct service providers (hospitals, clinics, health plans, nurses, and physicians), health policy advocates, and others who have similar interests.

Dr. Flores, a resident of Fresno, is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Medical Association and serves on many national and statewide committees and boards.

Britta Guerrero

Britta Guerrero

Britta Guerrero, Chief Executive Officer of the Sacramento Native American Health Center, Inc .,a AAAHC accredited Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and non-profit urban health center, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2019.

SNAHC has emerged as a leader in the provision of quality health care delivered through a culturally competent, family-centered and wrap-around delivery system. To further demonstrate their commitment health leadership and to the patient centered philosophy, SNAHC was the first organization in the state of California to receive recognition as a AAAHC-Patient Centered Health Home.

Guerrero attended Humboldt State University and began her health care career in non-profit clinics. Her passion for health care for the underserved brought her back to service within her own community. Guerrero takes the responsibility of representing an Indian organization very seriously and made it her personal/professional mission to ensure Native Americans have access to health care in urban areas such as Sacramento, a population that is often overlooked, tremendously underserved and still suffers the disproportionate burden of health disparities.

Guerrero is a founding member of the California Consortium of Urban Indian Health (CCUIH); she also serves on the Central Valley Health Network (CVHN) and California Primary Care Associations (CPCA) Board of Directors, Board-Chair Elect.  She is committed to social just and health equity.

 

Kris Hayashi

Kris Hayashi is the Executive Director at the Transgender Law Center.  Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for rights and justice. Kris has been active in social, racial, and economic justice organizing for 25 years.  Kris served as the Executive Director/Co-Director of the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color organizing center based in New York City for ten years.  Previously he served as Executive Director of Youth United for Community Action a youth organizing group in California, led by young people of color organizing for social and environmental justice.

Kai Hong

Kai Hong is a Managing Partner and the Chief Investment Strategist at Bivium Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based asset management firm specializing in portfolio advisory solutions and boutique and emerging investment manager research.  For nearly two decades, Bivium has provided customized asset management solutions, guidance and support to a wide array of investors. Their work ranges from helping public pension plans navigate the increasingly complex global investment landscape, to partnering with private institutions to realize values-aligned portfolios that meet their philanthropic endeavors.

Prior to Bivium, Kai was a Managing Director and the Head of Investment Management Consulting at Thomas Weisel Partners, where he oversaw the investment platform for the firm’s institutional and high- net-worth clients. Kai was formerly a Vice President and Senior Investment Analyst at Northern Trust Global Advisors and started his investment career in Goldman Sachs’ external manager of managers group.  Kai received a SB in Computer Science and Engineering and a Master of Engineering degree from MIT. He is a CFA charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of San Francisco.

Leslie B. Kautz

Leslie B. Kautz

Leslie B. Kautz, principal of Angeles Investment Advisors, a leading investment firm representing many non-profit clients, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2016.

Prior to co-founding Angeles Investment Advisors in 2001, she was a partner at Asset Strategy Consulting which she also co-founded in 1991 and was later acquired in 2000 and operated as InvestorForce.

Prior to joining the investment industry, Leslie spent eight years working as a policy analyst in the legislative and executive branches in Washington, D.C.

Leslie, who is a Los Angeles resident, received her B.A. from Carleton College, and her Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

She is a Chartered Financial Analyst® Charterholder and a member of the CFA Society of Los Angeles.

Leslie is a trustee of a family foundation and member of the board of her alma mater, Carleton College, a Retirement Oversight Committee member for a private Los Angeles-based school, and is a board member of the Spondylitis Association of America.

Marta McKenzie, MPH

Marta McKenzie, MPH

Marta McKenzie, MPH, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2015.

McKenzie, who is the former director of Health and Human Services for Shasta County (2006-2012), is currently an independent consultant working with Kemper Consulting Group and other health-related organizations where she consults on county health and human service and other behavioral health integration efforts.

Most notably, McKenzie served for 25 years with the Shasta County Public Health Department in various capacities, including Public Health Director (2000-2006), Public Health Deputy Director (1998-2000), and Public Health Administrative Services Officer (1995-1998), among other positions.

She has also served as a guest lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles’ Department of Continuing Education, Division of Nursing, and also was an instructor at Shasta College in Redding, California (1979-1984).

McKenzie – who has expertise in public health, mental health, nutrition has served on a number of boards for nonprofit organizations, including County Medical Services Program in Sacramento, California (2005-2011), Mercy Medical Center Redding Advisory Council in Redding, California (2004-2011), Shasta Regional Medical Center, Redding, California (2005-2008) and was the Founding Chair of the California WIC Association in Sacramento, California (1992-1993).

A resident of Redding, California, McKenzie earned her Master’s in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, her Bachelors of Science in Dietetics from California State University, Chico, and her Associates degree in Nutrition Studies and General Education from Shasta College in Redding, California.

William Jahmal Miller, MHA

William Jahmal Miller, MHA

Wm. Jahmal Miller is Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Mercy Medical Group, a service of Dignity Health Medical Foundation. Previously, Miller served as System Vice President with CommonSpirit Health, where he had responsibility for national health equity and inclusion initiatives. Dignity Health and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) merged together as CommonSpirit Health in February 2019, creating a new nonprofit Catholic health system focused on advancing health for all people. Prior to joining CommonSpirit, Miller was Blue Shield of California’s inaugural Director of Corporate Reputation & Thought Leadership. Miller is recognized as a national thought leader and an expert on issues pertaining healthcare strategy, public health, health equity, mental health and public policy. He serves on the boards of directors for The Crocker Art Museum Association (CAMA), Valley Vision, the California Asian Chamber of Commerce, and is an active contributor to Landmark Ventures’ Social Innovation Summit. In addition to serving on the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Health Equity Task Force since January 2021, Miller has been elected to The California Endowment’s board of directors, a not-for-profit foundation with $3.4 billion assets under management.

Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, Miller served as the Deputy Director of the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity (OHE) and the State’s lead advisor on issues related to reducing health and mental health disparities and achieving health equity for all Californians. With the unique distinction of being confirmed by the California State Senate, he was responsible for leading the state’s mission on health equity to promote equitable social, economic and environmental conditions.

Earlier in his career, he served in multiple leadership roles with Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health, respectively. Over the years, his experience and passion have also garnered international exposure, as Miller has traveled twice to Cuba as part of American delegations to study the Cuban health system, culture and history.

Miller is a graduate of Columbia University in New York City, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Psychology. He also holds a Master of Health Administration ( MHA ) degree from the University of Southern California. In May 2016, Western University of Health Sciences conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters (DHL) to Miller, recognizing his lifetime achievements in the field of health and human services. He has completed an Executive Fellowship with the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program in conjunction with the American Leadership Forum & CORO. Touro University recognized Miller in April 2017 with the Mosaic Achievement Award, recognizing his efforts to advance the cause of diversity and inclusion. He has also been recognized with other industry honors, including being named a “Top 40 under 40” awardee by the Sacramento Business Journal, “Top 100 under 50” awardee by Diversity MBA, and a Modern Healthcare Up & Comers awardee.

Miller is a native of Sacramento, California and is a proud husband and father. He is an active member of his local church, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. as well as of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Jahmal is the youngest of four boys and his parents have been married for 52 years.

Stacie Olivares

Stacie Olivares

Stacie Olivares is a leading C-suite executive, board director, advisor to founders and funders, and policy expert driving equitable and sustainable economic progress through finance, technology, policy, and media.

Olivares leads innovative companies,investments, and organizationsto optimize theirreturns and advance their impact. Across tech and media platforms, she authentically engages diverse audiences by simplifying the complex, building community, andcultivating collaboration.

At the start of 2022, Olivares joined the board of Core Scientific (NASDAQ: $CORZ), one of the largest (and carbon neutral) bitcoin miners in North America, as its Audit Committee Chair. President Biden nominated her in August 2021to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board that oversees the world’s largest 401(k) program, the $800 B Thrift Savings Plan, a role subject to senate confirmation. Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), the 4th largest credit agency in the world, appointed Olivares to its board in April 2021. In early 2021, Olivares joined the board and became Audit Committee Chair of Mission Advancement Corp. (NYSE: MACC), a special purpose acquisition company focused on social impact. From 2019 until early 2022, she served as California Governor Gavin Newsom’s appointee to the Board of Administration of CalPERS, the largest public pension in the United States with more than $500B AUM and 2 million members.

Olivares is the former Chief Investment Officer of Lendistry, a fintech small business lender and the former senior advisor on blockchain and impact investment to the world’s 4th largest insurance market. She was the Chief Investment Officer of COIN, a $29B ESG investment fund of the insurance industry, from 2011 through 2018, and an ESG-focused portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley from 2008 through 2011. Olivaresentered capital markets after leading the State of California’s economic advisory board from 2002 to 2007 and advancing global licensing and business development for Palm, Inc., from 2000 to 2002.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in Business and Government from Harvard University. Olivares resides in Los Angeles.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, PHD

Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside, and serves as the executive director of California 100, a transformative statewide initiative focused on building a shared vision and strategy for California’s next century that is innovative, sustainable, and equitable.

Ramakrishnan also founded the Center for Social Innovation at UC Riverside, and AAPI Data, a national publisher or demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). He has published many articles and 7 books, including most recently, Citizenship Reimagined (Cambridge, 2020) and Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016), and has written dozens of op-eds and has appeared in nearly 3,000 news stories. Ramakrishnan was  named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently working on projects related to racial equity in philanthropy and regional development. He holds a BA in international relations from Brown University and a PhD in politics from Princeton.

Ramakrishnan serves on the Board of The California Endowment and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, chairs the California Commission on APIA Affairs, and serves on the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee (NAC). Ramakrishnan also founded Census Legacies, which builds on the foundation of census outreach coalitions to build more inclusive and equitable communities, and the Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, an official section journal of the American Political Science Association.

Michele-Siqueiros

Michele Siqueiros

Michele Siqueiros, who joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2020, was the first in her family to graduate from college thanks to many mentors, caring faculty, and critical federal, state and college financial aid. She is passionate about the power of college to change lives, and the ability of policy making to expand college opportunity for others.

As the President for The Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele is an advocate who works to expand college access and success for California students by raising public attention to the critical challenges facing students in our community colleges and universities, mobilizing a broad coalition of supporters, and influencing policymakers.

The Campaign’s mission to increase college going and completion rates is driven by a strong belief that California’s future economic success depends on our ability to produce the best educated workforce in the nation and that our diverse population of young adults deserve the same opportunity provided to previous generations – regardless of race or socio-economic status.

Under her leadership in 2010, the Campaign led the effort for historic transfer reform that makes it easier for students to transfer from any California Community College to the California State University system through the Associate Degree for Transfer. Over 217,000 California students have earned the degree and in 2018 the University of California announced a formal MOU with the California Community College system to provide a UC guarantee for Associate Degree for Transfer earners.

Michele has advocated for millions of additional state dollars to expand student enrollment and student success funding at our community colleges, CSU and UC’s. She also advanced legislative efforts to increase access to Pell Grants, protect Cal Grant funding, support undocumented and DACAmented students, promote college readiness, prioritize community college student success efforts and reform remedial education.

Across all these priorities she shines a bright light to the persistent inequities by race/ethnicity/income and calls on our college leaders and policy makers to address them.

In her 16 years at the Campaign for College Opportunity (12 as President), she has built a strong, independent, and influential organization by raising over $21 million dollars, assembling a team of experts and leaders in the field, championing major budget appropriations, securing historic higher education legislation and establishing a broad and influential network of over 12,000 coalition supporters.

Under her direction the Campaign has released powerful higher education research including prominent reports on college access and success rates, the lack of diversity amongst college leaders and faculty, the powerful return on investment for spending by the state in our colleges and universities, and the need for major improvements to close racial/ethnic gaps, fix transfer and reform remedial education at our colleges. Every day she is motivated by the many students who are working hard to reach their college dreams.

Michele, a resident of Los Angeles, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies with Honors in Chicano/a Studies from Pitzer College and a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She serves on the Boards of the Alliance for a Better Community, the Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Pitzer College Board of Trustees, PPIC Strategic Leadership Council and in 2019 was appointed by Senate Pro Tem Leader Toni Atkins to the Student-Centered Funding Formula Oversight Committee. She previously served on the California Student Aid Commission.

Vernita Todd

Vernita Todd, MBA, FACHE

Vernita Todd, a native of Tennessee, joined San Ysidro Health in February 2019 as Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. In this role, she leads SYH in identifying, aligning and executing strategic opportunities for growth and development – including mergers and acquisitions, market development, organizational development, and external relations; along with formalizing the company’s strategic planning process and translating across departments, clinics and functions. Prior to joining SYHealth, Vernita was the Chief Experience Officer for Health Center Partners of Southern California, a consortium of 17 federally qualified health centers. Her priorities included ensuring members had a seat and a voice at the table for emerging policy discussions and issues impacting primary care, developing actionable relationships among both elected officials and their staffs at all levels of government and working in partnership with National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and the California Primary Care Association (CPCA).

Todd is a lifetime member of the National Association of Community Health Centers, and has been honored twice by the national association: In 2014, she was presented with the Elizabeth K. Cooke Advocacy MVP Award; and in 2017 Vernita was inducted into NACHC’s Grassroots Hall of Fame for her advocacy work. Previously, Todd served 10 years as CEO of the Heart City Health Center in Elkhart, Indiana; and is the President/Founder of the Human Capital Group, which works with nonprofit organizations in strategic planning and change management. She is a frequently requested keynote and motivational speaker.

Over the course of her career, Todd has volunteered on numerous boards: Chair of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Governance Chair and Board Member for Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, and board member for Goshen Hospital. She is currently the Chair of Health Outreach Partners (located in Oakland, CA) and a member of the Health Policy & Legislative Committees for NACHC.

Todd holds a master’s degree of business administration from Davenport University, a master’s degree in organizational communication and behavior, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Murray State University, KY. Vernita is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Vien Truong, Esq.

Vien Truong, Esq.

Vien Truong, Esq., President of the Dream Corps, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2019.

The Dream Corps brings people together to solve America’s toughest problems by supporting initiatives that close prison doors and open doors of opportunity for all. The Dream Corps includes Green For All, which works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, #Cut50, which works to reduce crime and incarceration in all 50 states, and #YesWeCode, which works to help 100,000 young women and men of diverse backgrounds find success in the tech sector.

Vien is a policy expert and movement builder who has been a key architect in building an equitable and sustainable economy in underserved communities.

Vien has developed numerous energy, environmental, and economic policies and programs at the state, federal, and local levels. She has formed collaborations with celebrities, artists, clergy, elected officials, businesses, and civil rights leaders to advance policies and programs for underserved communities. She has advised on billions of dollars in public investments for energy and community development programs. In California, Vien co-led a coalition to pass and implement the state’s landmark Senate Bill 535 (de Leon), a law that created the biggest fund in history for the poorest and most polluted communities. She also co-led Charge Ahead California to transform the transportation sector and ensure that communities most impacted by pollution will benefit from zero tailpipe emissions.

Vien has received recognition from the President of the United States, U.S. Senate, and Congress, state, regional, and local awards for her work advocating on behalf of those most vulnerable to climate change. She was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as one of San Francisco’s “Top Women Leaders,” received the California League of Conservation Voters’ “Environmental Leadership Award”; and Transform’s “Leadership, Innovation, Vision, Equity” award. She also received YBCA 100 which recognizes the creative minds who are making the provocations that will shape the future of culture, and was recognized as a “Power Shifter” on the Grist 50.

Vien is a first-generation resident of Oakland, where she continues to live and invest. She holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Dr. Daniel E. Walker

Dr. Daniel E. Walker is a storyteller and social change agent. A proud alum of Head Start, he is writer and director of the films When Roosters Crow, Sol Brothers, The Ten (post-production) and The Path (post-production). He also served as the executive producer of How Sweet the Sound: Gospel in Los Angeles for KCET’s Artbound. That production won a Golden Mike Award from the Radio, Television, and News Association of Southern California and a Southern California Journalism Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, both for Best Entertainment Reporting. The Founding Director of the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival, his next major television production is a 10-part series on the impact of Gospel on Popular Music.

Dr. Walker is the founder and curator of the Gospel Music History Archive and was the U.S. lead for the development of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Archive, both housed at the University of Southern California Libraries. A member of the board of the Heritage Music Foundation, he is also the author of the acclaimed book No More, No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and the seminal study “Black Church Next: Challenges and Opportunities Facing African American Congregations in 21st Century Los Angeles.”  His major exhibitions include Sunshine and Central (with Matt Gainer), commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion for the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles (with Tyree Boyd-Pates) at the California African American Museum, and It’s Been Said All Along: Rage, Hope and Empowerment (with Nwaka Onwusa) currently running at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Board Chair of the BLU Educational Foundation, Walker was formerly a New York City Urban Fellow and W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellow. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University, where he was also elected president of the Student Government Association, an M.A. in Latin American History (with distinction) from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in Latin American and African American History from the University of Houston. In 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Claremont Graduate University for his global contributions to arts, design, and innovation.

Torie Weiston-Serdan

Torie Weiston-Serdan, a scholar and practitioner with over 17 years of teaching and youth programming experience. A leader in the youth mentoring field, she wrote Critical Mentoring: A Practical Guide, which has become the handbook for culturally relevant mentoring and youth work. Outside of teaching and research, Weiston-Serdan runs the Youth Mentoring Action Network, a non-profit dedicated to leveraging mentoring in the fight for justice and equity. Through her community-based work, she is focused on resourcing youth as they do the work of re-making and re-imagining systems.

She established the Center for Critical Mentoring and Youth Work in 2019 and through the center works extensively with community-based organizations in support of their youth advocacy efforts, specializing in training mentors to work with diverse youth populations: i.e. Black, Latinx, LGBTQQ, first-generation college students, youth with disabilities and low-income youth.

Torie serves as the director of the Community Engaged Education and Social Change MA program in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

 

Kiah Williams

Kiah Williams

Kiah Williams, co-founder of SIRUM, a 501(c)3 social venture solving America’s high drug cost problem, joined The California Endowment’s Board of Directors in May 2020.

SIRUM takes unused, surplus drugs and seamlessly delivers them to working poor families, using technology to democratize access. SIRUM has helped redistribute over 750,000 prescriptions worth over $66M of medicine to people across 5 states.

Kiah has been recognized for her work at SIRUM as both a Forbes 30-Under-30 Social Entrepreneur standout and Outstanding Alumni, Silicon Valley Business Journal 40-Under-40, Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, and inaugural Westly Foundation Social Innovator.

Kiah previously led negotiations for the Clinton Foundation to create the Alliance Healthcare Initiative, an industry collaboration to reduce childhood obesity. In addition, she developed partnerships with Fortune 100 companies to expand health benefits to 2 million children.

Williams earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, where she was also the president of the NAACP. Kiah proudly hails from West Philadelphia and is passionate about health equity in underserved communities.

Executive Staff

dr-ross-president-and-ceo

Robert K. Ross, MD

President and
Chief Executive Officer

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. has prior experience as Director of Health and Human Services Agency in San Diego Countyand as Commissioner of Public Health in the City of Philadelphia.

During his tenure as President & CEO at The California Endowment, Dr. Ross has provided leadership in supporting the vision of underserved communities and grassroots leaders for a healthier California and a healthier America. The California Endowment has provided advocacy and funded efforts in support of “Health For All” across the state, expanding health
coverage for undocumented residents, farmworkers, and “Dreamers”, strengthening diversity in the health workforce, advancing wellness-driven school climate reforms, improving health
advocacy for young men and young women of color, and providing leadership for health-oriented criminal justice reform. Through the Endowment’s 10-Year Building Healthy Communities campaign, he has supported the engagement and leadership capacity of young people and community residents to fight for improved health and wellness at the community level. He also served as a founding board member of Covered California, the entity responsible for the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act in California. More recently he served as Chair of the Los Angeles County Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration, developing a strategic roadmap for the County to reform the criminal justice system in support of health- focused strategies to reduce incarceration. In 2021, Dr. Ross worked in partnership with the Board of Directors to raise $300 million for a first-ever social bond by philanthropy in California, designed to invest in systems-change and movement-building support of grassroots activists in social justice.

Dr. Ross has also lent his voice and support to broader philanthropic and nonprofit collaboration to promote equity, racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy, and has chaired or co-chaired collaborative efforts on Boys & Young Men of Color.

Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health administrator, and as a clinician. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; medical director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San
Diego State University’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the local and national level. He served as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on
Educational Excellence for African Americans; Co-Chaired the national Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition;, and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange
Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the San Diego United Way, and the Jackie Robinson
YMCA. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative. He was
honored by the Council on Foundations as the Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year for 2008, and received the American Public Health Association’s highest award in 2020. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Most recently he has been invited to serve as Stanford University’s Distinguished Visiting Professor for the 2023 academic calendar.

Kate Kendell

For 22 years, Kate Kendell led the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Kate stepped down from this role at the end on 2018. From August 2019 to May 2021 Kate was the Interim Chief Legal Officer at the Southern Poverty Law Center. In June 2021 Kate became the first ever Chief of Staff at The California Endowment.

Growing up Mormon in Utah, Kate learned about the complexities of religion and politics from an early age. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law in 1988 and a few years practicing corporate law, she pursued her real love—civil rights advocacy—and became the first staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. There she directly litigated many high-profile cases focusing on all aspects of civil liberties, including reproductive rights, prisoners’ rights, free speech, the rights of LGBTQ people, and the intersection of church and state. In 1994 she joined NCLR as legal director, and was named executive director two years later.

Under her leadership, NCLR’s programs, budget, and impact grew exponentially, and the issues facing the LGBTQ community—the safety of LGBTQ youth, violence facing transgender women of color, draconian immigration policy, criminal justice reform and the freedom to marry—have taken center stage in our nation’s discussion of civil rights and justice for the LGBTQ community. Kate is a nationally recognized spokesperson and has an active voice in major media. Kate’s most rewarding responsibilities include fostering alliances and building inclusive cultures on the community and organizational levels and advocating from an intersectional perspective in pursuit of racial and social justice and an end to oppressive structures.

Dan DeLeon

Chief Financial Officer

Dan DeLeon joined The California Endowment in May 2008 as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of The Endowment’s financial information and technology operations, including accounting, tax compliance, planning and analysis, audit, information systems and infrastructures.

Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, DeLeon was the Los Angeles regional vice president of Finance for Time Warner Cable, where he was responsible for the financial operations of the largest corporate division serving 2 million customers in Southern California with voice, video and data. While there, he integrated the financial and information technology functions of Time Warner, Comcast and Adelphia. In 2009, DeLeon was named CFO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Among his other positions of note, DeLeon served as the vice president of Finance, Western Division, for Charter Communications, a $900 million multiple system operator of cable television and internet services; vice president and chief financial officer for Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. (formerly AT&T Broadband); controller for Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc.; and controller for Merisel, Inc., a $5 billion international computer hardware and software distributor. DeLeon, a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, earned his B.S. in Accounting from the University of Southern California (USC).

Ribka Fox

Chief Human Resources Officer

Ribka Fox joined The California Endowment in June 2020 and serves as the Chief Human Resources Officer. In this role, Ms. Fox oversees organizational initiatives and has full accountability for the human resources function at the foundation.

The CHRO oversees the development and implementation of strategic approaches for all HR functions, including recruitment, training, benefits, compensation, employee relations, organizational development, HRIS, legal compliance and HR best practices. In addition, Ms. Fox serves as a coach and thought partner, with responsibility for creating a safe, collaborative, supportive, racially equitable and accessible work environment that sets the tone for employee morale, health and well-being.

Ms. Fox is a global HR Executive with 20+ years of experience in a variety of industries, including ecommerce, entertainment and healthcare. Fox led Human Resources for Quest Diagnostics’ $1.2 billion West Region business for a decade, leading a major enterprise-wide restructure. She was also responsible for transforming the organizational culture for the region’s 5200 employees, resulting in enhanced employee engagement and the business exceeding its performance and customer satisfaction goals for consecutive years. Prior to Quest, Ms. Fox held HR leadership roles at Honeywell International and Merck & Co., as well as engineering positions at General Motors and Raytheon. Fox also serves on the board for a Los Angeles-based nonprofit focused on supporting at-risk girls in underprivileged communities.

Ms. Fox holds an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where she now serves on the Women in Business Board. A Michigan native, she also earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She resides in the Los Angeles area with her husband and two children.

David Greenberg

David Greenberg was appointed Chief Investment Officer of The California Endowment in May 2021. He is responsible for managing the $3.9 billion endowment and overseeing a staff of six.

Prior to being appointed CIO, David served as Deputy Chief Investment Officer and as Director of Public Markets for The California Endowment. He joined the Endowment’s staff in 2010.

Before joining the Endowment, David worked at the University of Southern California as a senior leader overseeing the university endowment’s hedge fund investments. David’s experience also includes serving as a Vice President at JP Morgan, where he was responsible for hedge fund investment manager research and portfolio management, and as a financial services strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. David is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has an MBA in finance from Indiana University and a BBA in accounting from the University of Iowa.

Anthony Iton

Senior Vice President – Programs & Partnerships

Anthony B. Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, Senior Vice President of Programs & Partnerships, joined The Endowment in October 2009.  The Programs & Partnerships Department is responsible for the development and execution of The California Endowment’s strategic plan, with input and guidance from the Board of Directors and Executive Team, to help achieve racial equity in health in California. They achieve this through team-based learning, visioning, strategic planning, and strategic grant making.

Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served since 2003 as both the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. In that role, he oversaw the creation of an innovative public health practice designed to eliminate health disparities by tackling the root causes of poor health that limit quality of life and lifespan in many of California’s low-income communities.

Iton also served for three years as director of Health and Human Services and School Medical Advisor for the City of Stamford, Connecticut. Concurrent to that, he also served as a physician in internal medicine for Stamford Hospital’s HIV Clinic. In addition, Iton served for five years as a primary care physician for the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Iton’s varied career also includes past service as a staff attorney and Health Policy analyst for the West Coast regional office of Consumer’s Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.

Iton, who has been published in numerous public health and medical publications, is a regular public health lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the nation. He earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Law, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Martha Jimenez

Executive Vice President/General Counsel

Martha I. Jimenez joined The California Endowment as Executive Vice President/General Counsel in October 2014. Her responsibilities include serving as chief advisor to The Endowment’s President and CEO, the Board of Directors and staff on legal and governance matters. Additionally, Ms. Jimenez chairs the President and CEO’s Executive Team and leads the foundation’s organizational and operational effectiveness and strategy efforts, including the Office for Planning and Integration, Facilities, Center for Healthy Communities Conference Centers, and Administrative Grant-Making functions.

Prior to joining The Endowment, Ms. Jimenez served as Senior Counsel for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, having also served in that office as the Director of Legal and Health Programs. As Senior Counsel, she was responsible for providing guidance and recommendations to the Supervisor and her staff on legal strategy, policy development, and risk management issues. The First Supervisorial District is responsible for representing the interests of over two million Los Angeles County residents living in 24 cities, 26 unincorporated areas and 16 areas of the City of Los Angeles.

Additionally, Ms. Jimenez served as Vice President for Policy and Development for Fair Trade USA where she advocated for “fair trade” practices that support farmers in developing countries by working with U.S.-based businesses; as a Program Officer with the Rockefeller Foundation and The California Endowment; as a Managing Attorney with Public Advocates and an Executive Director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California; and as a civil rights attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) based in Washington, D.C. and Regional Counsel based in San Francisco. Ms. Jimenez received her J.D. from the University California, Berkeley School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Sarah Reyes

Managing Director - Communications

Sarah Reyes is Managing Director of Communications for The California Endowment. In that role, she is responsible for developing and managing the communications effort to put health at the forefront of every issue in California.

Since joining the Foundation in 2009, Sarah has served as regional program manager for the Central San Joaquin Valley, and Director of Communications for the Healthy Communities team. She was appointed Managing Director of Communications for The Endowment in 2018.

Prior to joining the Endowment, Sarah served in the California State Legislator for six years as the Assembly member representing the 31st District in Fresno and Tulare Counties. Upon her election in 1998, Sarah became the first Latina and only the second women to be elected to State office from the Central Valley.

Sarah’s background also includes serving as Executive Director of the Community Food Bank, where during her leadership the non-profit flourished and today continues to assist tens of thousands of hungry families with food assistance. Sarah has also served as Assistant to the Chancellor at State Center Community College District. She was a news reporter/anchor for KSEE Channel 24 and a news reporter for KCRA TV in Sacramento.

Sarah is a strong leader who believes in her community and works hard on a daily basis to be a positive representative and role model.

Dr. Hanh Cao Yu

Dr. Hanh Cao Yu

Chief Learning Officer

Dr. Hanh Cao Yu joined The California Endowment as its Chief Learning Officer in July 2016. In this executive position, Yu is responsible for leading The Endowment’s learning and evaluation activities.

The Chief Learning Officer is responsible for learning, evaluation, and impact activities, and ensures that local communities, local and state grantees, board and staff understand the results and lessons of the Foundation’s investments. A nationally-recognized researcher and evaluator, Yu has more than 20 years of leading projects, providing oversight of multi-million dollar budgets and leading cross disciplinary teams.

She has partnered with over 40 philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to bring intellectual rigor and strategic recommendations to transform organizations, systems, policies, and communities. Prior to her appointment at The California Endowment, Yu served as Vice President at Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland where her responsibilities included setting strategic and budget priorities, developing an organizational learning agenda, providing oversight of external strategic digital communications, staff development and diversity action plan. During her 20-year tenure at Social Policy Research Associates she also served as the Division Director of Philanthropy, Equity and Youth.

Yu earned her doctorate at Stanford University in Education Administration and Policy Analysis. She is headquartered at The California Endowment’s Oakland office.