The Center’s 2016 National Leadership Forum examined what happens at the intersection between government and philanthropy to create impact. Leaders from across the philanthropic sector gathered to address a wide range of policy issues from the health reform to revitalizing cities to tackling political polarization to immigrant integration to charter schools. Lessons from efforts working across philanthropy, government and business were examined, with a focus on what philanthropy can do better to build its capacity for public problem solving, including taking bigger risks, supporting movements, forging partnerships, growing the field of impact investing, and communicating for change.

The Forum took place in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, playing host to more than 230 prominent decision-makers and thought leaders from across the country.

Videos, the program and a write-up about the forum can be found below


February 11-12, 2016

OPENING PLENARY: Achieving Greater Impact at the Intersection

What can happen at the intersection between government and philanthropy? This panel examined the range of possibilities where solutions to public problems can benefit from the interactions between philanthropy and government: foundations influencing the public policy process; strategic partnerships between philanthropy and government; enhancing democratic processes; and improving civic performance. Where and when are opportunities likely to arise? What are the likely consequences? What can be done to create more opportunities?

  • Fred Ali, President and CEO, Weingart Foundation (MODERATOR)
  • Larry Kramer, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Rip Rapson, President and CEO, The Kresge Foundation
  • Robert K. Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment

Policy Issues Breakouts

These sessions explored in more depth how philanthropy and government intersect to solve public problems across an array of issue areas, illustrating the myriad ways in which the sectors can do more together than alone.

Building Places/Cities
      • Elwood Hopkins, Founder and Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Inc. (MODERATOR)
      • Dannielle Campos, Vice President and Philanthropy Director, Bank of America Foundation
      • Anthony Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities, The California Endowment
      • Wendy Lewis Jackson, Deputy Director, Community Development, Detroit, The Kresge Foundation

Watch Video

Affordable Care Act
      • Peter Long, President and CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation (MODERATOR)
      • Frederick Isasi, Director, Health Division National Governors Association, Center for Best Practice
      • Faith Mitchell, President and CEO, Grantmakers in Health
      • Darshak Sanghavi, Director, Preventive and Population Health, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

Watch Video

Immigrant Integration
      • Efrain Escobedo, Vice President, Civic Engagement and Public Policy, California Community Foundation (MODERATOR)
      • Taryn Higashi, Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy
      • David Lubell, Executive Director and Founder, Welcoming America
      • Geri Mannion, Program Director, U.S. Democracy and Special Opportunities Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Watch Video

Charter Schools
      • John Deasy, Consultant, The Broad Center (MODERATOR)
      • Ebony Lee, Senior Program Officer, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
      • Julie Maier, Partner, Charter School Growth Fund
      • Carrie Walton Penner, Board Member, Walton Family Foundation
      • Ana Ponce, CEO, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Watch Video

KEYNOTE: Strategic Leadership in an era of Partnerships

Monica Lozano shared insights on leadership, with a focus on collaboration, from her experience in the boardroom of some of the largest media, financial and higher education institutions in the country.

      • Monica Lozano, Chair, US Hispanic Media; Chairman, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
PLENARY: Wicked Opportunities

How can we focus on reframing intractable problems as opportunities that can be addressed? Bill Eggers presented his ideas about leveraging the strengths of philanthropy and nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, businesses and government and through competition and collaboration before engaging in conversation with two “Wave makers.”

      • William Eggers, Global Public Sector Research Director, Deloitte, LLP (Presenter and Moderator)
      • Parag Gupta, Vice President, Stupski Foundation
      • Faizal Karmali, Network Engagement & Bellagio programs, The Rockefeller Foundation
Building Capacity for Greater Impact Breakouts

These sessions will examine how philanthropy, government and business are working to expand the capacity to solve public problems with new frameworks, models, and strategies.

Impact Investing
      • Michael Chodos, Senior Fellow, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation, Georgetown University (MODERATOR)
      • Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO, Nonprofit Finance Fund
      • Andrea Phillips, Vice President, Urban Investment Group, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
      • Robynn Steffen, Senior Manager, Impact Investing, Omidyar Network

Watch Video

Movements for Change
      • Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity, Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California (MODERATOR)
      • Matt Foreman, Senior Program Director, Gay and Immigrant Rights, Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund
      • Cristina Jiménez, Managing Director, United We Dream Network
      • Evan Wolfson, Founder and President, Freedom to Marry

Watch Video

Philanthropic-Government Partnerships
      • Cynthia Kennard, Executive Director, Annenberg Foundation (MODERATOR)
      • Karen Aldridge-Eason, Foundation Liaison, State of Michigan
      • Suzanne Immerman, Former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Education/Director of Strategic Partnerships, U.S. Department of Education
      • James Shelton, Chief Impact Officer, 2U, Inc.

Watch Video

Communications for Change
      • David Morse, Chief Communications Officer, The Atlantic Philanthropies (MODERATOR)
      • Judy Belk, President and CEO, The California Wellness Foundation
      • Kristen Grimm, Founder and President, Spitfire Strategies
      • Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, ColorofChange

Watch Video

CLOSING PLENARY: What Does Philanthropy Need to Do Differently?

A discussion of what is needed to expand the “infrastructure” of philanthropy to work to solving problems in the 21st century.

      • Jim Ferris, Director, The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy (MODERATOR)
      • Carol Larson, President and CEO, The David and Lucile
        Packard Foundation
      • Christopher Oechsli, President and CEO, The Atlantic Philanthropies
      • Hilary Pennington, Vice President of Education, Creativity, and Free Expression, Ford Foundation
      • Dalila Wilson-Scott, President and Head of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase Foundation


Philanthropy & Government



This Forum is made possible by the generous sponsorship of:



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Phone: 213-821-1262