Fellows Network




Kristi Kimball

Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Executive Director

Fairfax, California

After 8 years with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as Program Officer, Kristi is now the Executive Director at the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation.

In her previous role, Kristi made about $10 million in grants annually to improve k-12 education in California, mainly through changes in state policy to redesign school finance, build education data systems and increase college readiness. At the Foundation, she helped design special initiatives to increase arts education in schools, to improve the quality of education in developing countries, to reform California’s dysfunctional budget process and political governance system, and to pilot a new business model for the withering media sector. Kristi also did federal education policy work in Congress and at the USA Department of Education, and environmental advocacy work in California focused on smart growth, transit, walking, and biking infrastructure.

With the help of the Fellows Network, Kristi brought systems thinking and other skills to the Hewlett Foundation and to other colleagues in the philanthropy sector to inform new investment strategies.

Selected Publications
Kristi Kimball, along with colleague Malka Kopell, published Letting Go, an article in the Spring 2011 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review that focuses on how “Foundations often undermine their own efforts by micromanaging how social problems are solved.” The article goes on to “…explore why foundations have developed this way and what grant makers can do to foster high impact strategies.”

Updated November 2012.