Kristi Kimball

Kristi served as executive director of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation from 2012 through 2021. After wrapping up at the Foundation and consulting with Camelback Ventures in 2022, Kristi decided to take a sabbatical year and shift her career to address climate change. Previously, Kristi worked in environmental policy advocacy at the local level in the SF Bay Area and the state level in California as Deputy Director of the Surface Transportation Policy Project.

At the Schwab Foundation, Kristi oversaw all foundation operations and a grantmaking budget ranging from $20mm to $50mm annually. The grants focused primarily on K-12 education reform, including high-quality charter schools, teacher and principal preparation, and parent information and empowerment. They also funded a wide variety of human services organizations working on homelessness, job training, youth development, child mental health, basic needs, disaster relief and Alzheimer’s research. Kristi also worked as program officer at the Hewlett Foundation for eight years and consulted to numerous local and national funders and non-profits.

Kristi also served in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration, in the Education Policy Research Center at the Urban Institute, and in the Education Office of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Kristi has partnered with education leaders at all levels of the system and has used a wide range of approaches – from tool development, curriculum and pilot programs to whole-school reform, district-wide initiatives, policy advocacy, community organizing, research, and communications.

She has served on non-profit boards including: Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, Boys & Girls Club of Bend Oregon, Grantmakers for Education, Envision Education, Ross Valley Charter School and California Charter Schools Association, among others. She was a Camelback Ventures Capital Collaborative Fellow, a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, a Donella Meadows Sustainability Institute Fellow, and a member of the California Collaborative on District Reform. Kristi holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s degree in public administration from Princeton University.

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 July 2022