FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Itzel Diaz-Romo
East Bay Community Foundation
(510) 302-7646

East Bay Community Foundation Announces Brandi Howard as New President & CEO

Third-generation Oakland native with a deep commitment to equity and justice joining East Bay Community Foundation on November 14

OAKLAND, Calif., September 21, 2022 – Today, East Bay Community Foundation announced that Brandi Howard has been selected as its new president & CEO. Howard will begin on November 14, 2022. Howard joins EBCF from San Francisco Foundation, where she has held positions of progressive and expanding responsibility, including chief of staff and interim vice president of programs, over the past five years. 

“We are elated to have Brandi on board to shepherd the growth and next phase of the Foundation,” said Mark Friedman, EBCF’s board chair. “Brandi’s deep experience with equity- and justice-based change and collaboration is a great fit to implement our collective vision of A Just East Bay. As we approach 100 years of EBCF’s philanthropic leadership, we are excited to have Brandi at the helm leading us with creativity that is steeped in deep East Bay roots.”

“This is a critical moment of opportunity for the East Bay community. As an Oakland native, my lived experience is the impetus for my drive for equity and justice,” said Howard. “I left the private sector and entered the public sector to align my commitment to equity and justice in the work I do every day. With 10+ years of launching equity initiatives in New York and at home in the East Bay, I could not be more excited to join EBCF as we continue to advance a more just East Bay.”

At the San Francisco Foundation, Howard was responsible for executing the strategic and operational goals for the organization including equity-centered grantmaking for policy and systems change in the region. She also focused on partnerships to better connect donors’ giving to the Foundation’s equity agenda. Her leadership over the organization’s first three-year equity impact planning process led to better alignment of operations, grantmaking, and investment plans to their budget and capacity. She supervised a division of 25 grantmakers and strategic leadership of $20 million in grantmaking.

“Brandi has been a trusted advisor to me and a respected leader at San Francisco Foundation,” said Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation. “She is that rare person who combines a 360-degree view of society from the private sector, public sector, nonprofit, academic, and community with a passion and commitment to racial and social justice. I will miss her sage wisdom and am confident that as EBCF’s new leader, she will continue and deepen their commitment to equity and justice. I look forward to the new directions our partnership will take as our community foundations work together toward a more just and equitable Bay Area.”

Howard has championed local communities, advocating for residents’ rights around fair housing, community leadership, and education for all. She has partnered with community organizations, state policy task forces, local and national foundations, and funder collaboratives like the Racial Equity in Philanthropy Group.  Howard’s commitment to equity and service extends beyond positions she has held: She has literally brought life to her community, serving as a doula (childbirth coach) for over 15 years. 

“It is Brandi’s love for and commitment to community that is most impressive,” said Carla Keener, director of programs at First 5 Alameda County. “She is unapologetic in addressing the root causes of the conditions that have resulted in too many of our neighbors living in untenable conditions for far too long. Brandi is a consummate organizer and leader. She will get the job done!”

“Brandi Howard is an amazing partner within the philanthropic sector!” said Jasmine Jones, former executive director at West Contra Costa Public Education Fund. “When I was a new executive director, Brandi supported me with navigating the cultural shifts I had to make within the organization that allowed us to be relevant and in deep relationship with the community we serve. She believed in my leadership and vision from day one and helped me to see my own power and value. Brandi embodies what nonprofit leaders seek from philanthropy, going beyond the dollars to being in true partnership in order to actualize the visions we have.

Howard brings extensive experience providing strategic leadership and supervision to large teams in multiple sectors, strengthening and developing community organizations, and increasing funds to maximize the impact for communities. 

“My service to EBCF as a Board member for several years, and more recently as interim president and CEO has provided unique insight into the skill and experience needed for success in this role,” said Pamela Calloway, Esq., interim president & CEO at EBCF. “There’s no doubt Brandi’s education and experience make her a great fit for this role, and her interpersonal skills and organizational development experience will be invaluable for the future of this essential community institution. Her enthusiasm, integrity and tenacity to the realization of justice and equity in all aspects of life excites me the most.” 

The executive search was completed by Walker and Associates Consulting.

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About East Bay Community Foundation

Founded in 1928, East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) connects donors with community-led movements to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity, and create an inclusive, fair, and just East Bay. Recognized as 2019’s “Boldest Community Foundation” by Inside Philanthropy, EBCF is committed to ensuring that all members of our community are treated fairly, with equitable opportunity and outcomes. EBCF is supported by 600 local donors and has charitable assets under management of over $764 million.