BETSY BIERN, Vice Chair
Betsy Biern is a nonprofit executive with over 20 years of organizational leadership experience. She brings to the Advisory Committee an extensive background in strategic, managerial, and fundraising leadership and most recently appointed as the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area.
Prior, Betsy was Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She also served as the Executive Director of the Asthma Foundation, Vice President for Development at The Brookings Institution, and Regional Vice President with Community Counseling Service Co., LLC (CCS). While at CCS, her client work included conducting planning studies and assessments, and designing and managing campaigns for clients in the healthcare, higher education, association, cultural, and global health arenas.
Betsy serves on the Board of the East Bay Business Leadership Council and the Jobs and Housing Coalition. She also serves on the development committees of Park Day School in Oakland, CA and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in Baltimore, Maryland. Betsy has also previously served as a Trustee of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Betsy holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
LEWIS H. BUTLER
Lew Butler has dedicated his life to public service across a broad array of fields, including public health, environmental conservation, multicultural civic engagement, and the eradication of nuclear weapons. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended public schools and St. Ignatius High School here. Before going into the US Navy in World War II he went to MIT on a scholarship, and after the war with help from the GI Bill he graduated from Princeton and Stanford Law School. He married Sheana Wohlford from a San Diego County citrus farming family and for ten years was a corporate lawyer in San Francisco. They have three children – Lucy Butler, Lewis Wohlford Butler and Serra Butler Simbeck, all now married with families and living in California.
In 1961 Lew and his family went to Malaysia where he helped establish the Peace Corps program there and served as its director until 1964. They then returned to San Francisco where he and Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey, later a Congressman from the Palo Alto area, created the law firm of Butler and McCloskey, representing citizen groups concerned with the environment. In 1969 he and his family moved to the Washington DC area where he served as Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW). During that time he participated in the creation of the Environmental Protection Administration and prepared President Nixon’s proposal for national health insurance. In part because of the President’s conduct of the Vietnam War he resigned from his HEW job in 1971 and returned with his family to San Francisco. The next year at University of California San Francisco he co-founded with Dr. Philip R. Lee, then the Chancellor, the Institute of Health Policy Studies that is now named for Dr. Lee. They worked there together until the mid-1980s when Lew retired to devote his time to California’s future as a multicultural state through the nonprofit organization California Tomorrow, whose board he chaired for twenty-five years. During that time he also helped Sally Lilienthal found the Ploughshares Fund to campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons and chaired its board until 2004.
As part of the celebration of his 75th birthday in 2002, a large group of Lew’s friends created the Butler Koshland Fund for him at the San Francisco Foundation, the Koshland in the name being in honor of Lew’s great friend and mentor Dan Koshland, the founder of the Foundation. For the past ten years that fund has supported the Butler Koshland Fellowships to encourage the development of future civic leaders for the Bay Area, California, and the nation.
Bob Friedman is a recognized leader in economic development innovation and an active participant in numerous efforts to create asset-building strategies to bring excluded communities into the economic mainstream as entrepreneurs, savers, investors, and skilled employees.
In 1979 Bob founded the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) and continues as its Chair of the Board and General Counsel. His work at CFED has contributed to the development of the U.S. microenterprise field, flexible business networks, state and federal entrepreneurial policy, and innovative benchmarking tools. Bob’s most recent initiatives with CFED are the 1:1 Fund college savings match program, the Initiative to Balance America’s Asset Budget, and the New Entrepreneur Tax Credit Initiative. In the recent past, Bob was an instrumental leader in the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) program, an initiative to create an inclusive system of children’s saving accounts in the United States.
Based in San Francisco, Bob also serves on the Boards of D2D Fund, Ecotrust, the Rosenberg Foundation, the Friedman Family Foundation, Family Independence Initiative, the Koshland Committee of the San Francisco Foundation, Butler Koshland Fellowships, and CFED’s CDFI subsidiary, the National Fund for Enterprise Development (NFED) and is a former board member of Levi Strauss & Co. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. He is author of The Safety Net as Ladder: Transfer Payments and Economic Development and a contributor to numerous other publications.
DANIEL W. GEBALLE
Dan Geballe is a social entrepreneur who combines his grounding in finance and passion for entrepreneurship with a commitment to public service. He has three primary interests: social finance; clean-tech investing; and asset-building programs for low-income Americans. He is currently an Associate at the California office of SJF Ventures. His experience is broad; he has worked with wealth management firm Fisher Investments, socially responsible venture capital firm DBL Investors, and Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)—a nonprofit organization that expands economic opportunity for low-income Americans through policy advocacy and social enterprise development. While with CFED, Dan helped launch two social ventures: the American Dream Match Funds, a fundraising platform for micro-savings programs focused on education, home ownership, and small business development, and the 1:1 Fund, a matched-savings platform for education. He also developed a new social venture—Gaining Access to Investments for the Nonprofit Sector (GAINS)—to serve the unique investment needs of small to mid-sized nonprofit organizations. Through his work, Dan has gained experience in investment diligence, product development, fundraising, team-building, and organizational strategy.
An enthusiastic world-traveler, Dan has traveled to more than thirty-five countries on six continents, with extended stays in Australia, Bhutan, and Mali. He has presented his work in Mexico at the Opportunity Collaboration and was selected to be an Innovation Exhibitor at the 2010 Assets Learning Conference in Washington D.C. In 2008, he was awarded a Butler Koshland Fellowship in support of his innovative asset-building work with the Founder and Chairman of CFED, Bob Friedman.
Dan serves on boards of the Levi Strauss Foundation and The San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Committee, and is also Strategic Advisor to 1:1 Fund and on the Advisory Board of Butler Koshland Fellowships. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Yale University; a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; and is currently an MBA candidate at Stanford University where he has focused his studies on finance, entrepreneurship, and clean-tech.
Irma Herrera is a Bay Area social justice activist, and a burgeoning playwright and solo performer of her one-woman show, Tell Me Your Name.
She previously served as the Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) for almost 15 years. ERA is one of the nation’s premier legal organizations that advocates for fair and equal treatment of women and girls. In her 30+ year career as a public interest lawyer, Irma has also worked with the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, and Evergreen Legal Service. Beyond her work as a lawyer, Irma has written on issues of race, class, gender, and all manner of social justice issues for New America Media (NAM), and for Pacific News Service, as NAM was previously known. Her writing and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Lawyer, and The Huffington Post.
Irma serves on the boards of two other non-profit organizations, PILP, the Public Interest Law Project, and Prospera (formerly known as WAGES, Women’s Action to Gain Economic Security). She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and received her undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.
SUSAN MAYER HIRSCH
Susan Hirsch is the founder and CEO of Hirsch & Associates, a philanthropy consulting firm. For over three decades, Susan has been instrumental in helping individuals, families, and foundations leverage their giving to generate major social impact. Susan is a visionary leader in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, with particular expertise in forging innovative partnerships to address underfunded community needs.
Prior to launching Hirsch & Associates in 1999, Susan was the founding Executive Director of the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund. Previously, she served as the Bay Area Executive Director of Strive for Five, a national campaign to promote community volunteerism and charitable giving. She started her career as the Manager of Public Affairs for McKesson Corporation.
Susan is a founding board member of The Bay Citizen and the San Francisco School Alliance, and she also currently serves as a member of the Council on Foundations Philanthropic Advisors Network, the Family Foundation Network, and the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers. Susan currently serves on the boards of Education Outside and the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), and on the Advisory Committee of the UCSF Memory & Aging Center. Her prior board service includes: San Francisco Day School, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, California Common Cause, San Francisco Education Fund, Trauma Center at San Francisco General Hospital, UCSF Langley Porter, Breakthrough Collaborative National Board, Northern California Grantmakers, Nollenberger Capital Partners Inc., Mayor Newsom’s Children’s Policy Council and Open Space Task Force. Susan holds her B.A. in International Economics from George Washington University.
MARY V. HUGHES
Mary Hughes is President of Hughes & Company, a strategic communications and political consulting firm in Palo Alto, California, and is currently leading close the gap CA, a statewide recruiting campaign to find talented, progressive women to run and win seats in the California legislature in 2016.
She is the founder and director of The 2012 Project, a national, non-partisan campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University to increase the number of women in Congress and state legislatures.
Mary has advised candidates for President, Congress, state and legislative office contributing to a number of groundbreaking “firsts:” first woman in US history to lead her Party in the Congress; the first woman Superintendent of Schools in California; and the first open lesbian judge elected in the nation.
Mary is a contributor to the Governors Guidebook series “Keys to the Governors Office” and “Win the Right Way,” collected essays on political strategy. Hughes, a former Executive Director of the California Democratic Party, has published op-eds and book reviews related to American politics in the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Huffington Post, among others. She was the EMERGE CA “Woman of the Year” in 2007 and in 2012 was named one of “21 leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews.
Mary is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Mt. Holyoke College. She lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.
Marty Krasney, an educator and organizational executive, was named as the first Executive Director of Dalai Lama Fellows in May 2010. His prior work in the not-for-profit sector includes having served as the first director of the Aspen Institute Seminars, the founding president of American Leadership Forum, executive director of The Coalition for the Presidio Pacific Center and program director of the National Humanities Series. His corporate employment includes directing public affairs for Levi Strauss & Co. and managing executive development at ARCO.
Over the past twenty-five years, he has consulted on strategic planning, organizational design, program development and external affairs for an eclectic mix of corporate, philanthropic and citizen sector clients, working in the arts and humanities, community development, education, the environment, health, international affairs and social welfare. Much of his work has been involved with innovative adult education and communications across differences.
Marty has served on numerous not-for-profit boards in a diversity of fields. He is currently Vice President of Commonweal, a member of the boards at Heyday, and serves on the Executive Committee of Human Rights Watch’s California Committee North, and the advisory committee of Butler Koshland Fellowships. Past board service includes, Cutting Ball Theater, the Chez Panisse Foundation, the Compton Foundation, Marin Country Day School, and the Urban School of San Francisco.
Marty graduated with honors from Princeton University, pursued graduate work in English Literature at the University of Michigan and in Communications at Stanford, and earned an MBA from Harvard.
THOMAS C. LAYTON
Tom is the president emeritus of the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation which he led for more than 35 years. The foundation’s wide interests included broad civic engagement and inclusion (including youth engagement and participation), civil rights and liberties, conservation and the environment, population and reproductive rights and the arts.
Tom is currently serving as a trustee/ director of the van Loben Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, the Stewart R. Mott Foundation and Cow Hollow Foundation. He is also a member of the board at the Stupski Foundation. In recent years, he has served as a trustee or director of a variety of organizations including the Ploughshares Fund, The Council on Foundations, Northern California Grantmakers (founding Chair), Interaction associates, Inc., the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Rights and Health, Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Non Profit Policy Council of California, Women and Philanthropy, Tides Foundation, the Center for Citizen Initiatives and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
Tom has been active in a number of “philanthropic infrastructure” organizations such as Environmental Grantmakers Association, Grantmakers in the Arts, Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, and the Council on Foundations Associates. He serves as an advisor to a fund at the San Francisco Foundation.
Tom has received numerous awards including the Council on Foundations’ Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, the National Society of Fundraising Executives’ Outstanding Grantmaker’s Award, The California Women’s Foundation Ground Breaker-Dream Maker Award, Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy Banyan Tree Award and SPUR’s Silver Spur Award. He has published occasional articles dealing with the philanthropic process and the nonprofit sector.
Tom was born in San Francisco and raised in Carmel. He holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in Urban Studies, both from Occidental College.
SERRA BUTLER SIMBECK, Chair
Serra Butler Simbeck works at the crossroads of investment strategy and the nonprofit sector, utilizing her business acumen to the benefit of local communities both in the San Francisco Bay Area and Latin America.
While living in Mexico City, Mexico, Serra promoted international investment in Mexico’s post-NAFTA manufacturing sector, holding executive positions at both the Mexican Investment Board and Morelos Investment Boards. After returning to the United States, she led the founding of the Corporate Partners Program at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and served as its first Director.
Although she has a global outlook, Serra is a Bay Area native and an active member of its vibrant philanthropic community. She is a current member of the Menlo School’s Board of Directors and a Trustee of the Latino Community Foundation, serving as Chair of their Development Committee for almost a decade. She is also a past President of the Portola Valley Schools Foundation and Endowment.
The daughter of a Peace Corps Director and life long public servant, Serra is proud to have been raised in a tradition of public service and is honoring this legacy by working with her family to create Butler Koshland Fellowships. Serra holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard University and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. She lives in Portola Valley, CA with her husband and three sons.