Our Vision is every public school in California has engaged students, effective teachers and leaders, enriching environments that allow every student to reach his or her full potential, and supportive communities that believe in the value and quality of public education.

The organization is anchored by a small professional staff, a highly engaged 11-member Board of Directors, a complement of highly skilled and effective consultants, strong partnerships with the California Department of Education (CDE) and other education coalition members, foundations and corporations, and a network of individuals, educational institutions, and nonprofits across the state who share our commitment to public education and California’s students.

To read about the CEO transition, view the letter from our Board Chair.

Since CDE Foundation’s Inception:

  • CDE Foundation has raised over $6 million to support innovative programs at the California Department of Education (CDE) and across the state

  • Increased access to professional development in STEAM

  • Supported districts in implementing new state standards and developing collaborative relationships

  • Garnered resources to develop further recommendations for California on its new accountability system, teacher support, STEAM, and education technology


Jennifer Peck
Jennifer PeckChair
Jennifer Peck is the Partnership for Children and Youth’s first Executive Director, developing and implementing initiatives to build high quality after school and summer learning programs for students in low-income communities.
Benito Delgado-Olson
Benito Delgado-OlsonVice Chair
Benito Delgado-Olson is the founder and Executive Director of K to College. A native of the East Bay and graduate of several East Bay public schools, Benito has a lifelong interest in the nonprofit sector and education.
Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez
Nancy Kirshner-RodriguezSecretary/Treasurer
Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Principal and co-founder of Synergy Public Affairs has been a leader in intergovernmental and community relations for more than 25 years.
David Rattray
David RattrayBoard Member
David Rattray oversees the Education and Workforce Development department at the LA Chamber and UNITE-LA, the School-to-Career Partnership of Los Angeles.
Ken Maxey
Ken MaxeyBoard Member
Ken Maxey works as a Public Affairs Manager for Comcast. In this role Ken coordinates with local government representatives throughout the Bay Area to advocate on behalf of progressive telecommunications policies at the state and local level.
Dr. Susan Salcido
Dr. Susan SalcidoBoard Member
Susan Salcido, Ed.D. serves as the Superintendent for the Santa Barbara County Education Office. In this capacity, she oversees all divisions and operations within the organization and provides leadership and support to districts throughout the county.
Gerald Solomon
Gerald SolomonBoard Member
Gerald Solomon serves as the Executive Director for the Samueli Foundation, overseeing Samueli Philanthropy.
Paul Granillo
Paul GranilloBoard Member
A native of the Inland Empire, Paul was born and raised in Redlands. In 2010, Paul became President & CEO of Inland Empire Economic Partnership.
Janet Auer
Janet AuerBoard Member
Janet Auer is a senior advisor in education and corporate programs for Global Investment at Chevron Corporation. She is responsible for overseeing Chevron’s education investment initiatives.
Curtiss Sarikey
Curtiss Sarikey Board Member
Curtiss Sarikey is currently Chief of Staff with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and brings over thirty years of experience in social work and education.
Socorro Shiels
Socorro ShielsBoard Member
Ms. Shiels proudly serves as the Superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). SVUSD serves the city of Sonoma and the unincorporated Valley area between Glen Ellen and the Napa County border.

Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.

Nelson Mandela


Jessica Howard
Jessica Howard CEO
Previously serving as Director of STEAM Initiatives, Jessica stepped into the role of CEO in July 2019. She joined CDE Foundation as an Education Pioneers fellow in 2014 and has been instrumental in the organization’s growth and partnership development ever since. [email protected]
Wendy Dougherty
Wendy DoughertyCOO
Wendy joined the CDE Foundation as Senior Project Director for Family Engagement in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Process in October 2016. She brings to the CDE Foundation significant experience managing and evaluating domestic and international PreK-12 education programs.
[email protected]
Ed Honowitz
Ed HonowitzSenior Director of California Labor Management Initiative
Ed joined CDE Foundation in October 2016. He comes to us with a background in education policy. Ed served as education policy adviser for State Senator Carol Liu, who chaired the California Senate Education Committee.
[email protected]
Jacquelyn Ollison
Jacquelyn OllisonCA TRL Program Director
Jacquelyn joined the CDE Foundation in January 2020 and is excited to launch, lead and train teachers across the state through the residency lab! [email protected]
Gustavo Morales
Gustavo MoralesLMI Program Manager
Gustavo joined the CDE Foundation in September 2019 and is excited to launch into work with the Labor Management Institute! [email protected]
Jessica Seybert
Jessica SeybertEvents Coordinator
She brings her extensive experience in catering and events management into her first nonprofit role, joining our team in the spring of 2018. [email protected]
Glennon Stratton
Glennon StrattonSTEAM Program Director
Glennon joined the CDE Foundation in the summer of 2019. His experience as a leader, strategic thinker and program manager in large school districts and nonprofits focused on youth development will help advance our mission.
[email protected]
Karyn Warner
Karyn WarnerSTEAM Program Manager
Karyn joined our team in the summer of 2019. Prior to working at CDEF, Karyn worked in the Redwood City School District and is the co-founder of the Bright Futures: Equitable Access to Learning in the Digital Age Conference which brought together Bay Area educators, researchers and ed-tech developers to share best practices. [email protected]


THANK YOU to our funders for your continued investment in our mission! We are grateful for your support that has funded our key initiatives including the California STEAM Symposium, the Labor Management Initiative, the Alliance for Continuous Improvement, California Alliance for Next Generation Science Standards, and the California Teacher Residency Lab. 

CDE Foundation also serves as a fiscal sponsor for the California Department of Education for initiatives such as the California Distinguished Schools Program, California Partnership Academies, and Arts, Media and Entertainment. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have supported the launch of the California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund, a joint effort of the Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, California Department of Education, and CDE Foundation. We have an unprecedented opportunity to serve California students and educators in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic by ensuring equity of access to distance learning. We are incredibly grateful to the companies, private foundations and individuals that have responded to state leaders’ requests to support the urgent need to bridge the digital divide for students in California.

CDE Foundation Program Funders

  • Anaheim Ducks Hockey Club

  • Biomimicry Institute

  • Bioneers

  • Chevron

  • California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls

  • First 5 California

  • Heising-Simons Foundation

  • KQED

  • LEGO Education

  • Seek Common Ground

  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation

  • Silver Giving Foundation

  • Ten Strands

  • The California State University

  • The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation

  • The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

  • The Sobrato Family Foundation

  • The Stuart Foundation

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

  • Thompson Family Foundation

  • WestEd

Funders for Fiscal Sponsor Programs for California Department of Education

  • AVID

  • Arnold Ventures

  • Association of California School Administrators

  • Brandman University

  • Blue Shield of California

  • California Association of School Business Officials

  • California Casualty

  • KQED

  • California Film Commission

  • California School Employees Association

  • California Teachers Association

  • Comcast

  • Council of Chief State School Officers

  • Franklin Covey

  • The Longview Foundation

  • National Center for Civic Innovation

  • The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

  • Schools First Federal Credit Union

  • The Sobrato Family Foundation

  • University of La Verne