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, an engaged 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.


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


Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez
Nancy Kirshner-RodriguezChair
Nancy Kirshner-Rodriguez, Partner and co-founder of Synergy Public Affairs has been a leader in intergovernmental and community relations for more than 25 years.
Curtiss Sarikey
Curtiss Sarikey Vice-Chair
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.
Dr. Susan Salcido
Dr. Susan SalcidoTreasurer
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 SolomonSecretary
Gerald Solomon is the retired Executive Director for the Samueli Foundation.
Benito Delgado-Olson
Benito Delgado-OlsonBoard Member
Benito Delgado-Olson is the Executive Director of SupplyBank. 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.
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.
Janet Auer
Janet AuerBoard Member
Janet Auer is the retired senior adviser for Global Investment at Chevron Corporation. She was responsible for overseeing Chevron’s education investment initiatives.
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.
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.
Socorro Shiels
Socorro ShielsBoard Member
Ms. Shiels is an educational advocate, previously serving as the Superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD). Currently, she is Principal at Equity First Consulting.
Terri Gomez
Terri GomezBoard Member
Terri Gomez, Ph.D., serves as the Associate Provost for Student Success, Equity & Innovation at Cal Poly Pomona. In her 20+ year careers in the California State University system, Gomez has held several positions prior to her current role.

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

Nelson Mandela


Ed Honowitz
Ed HonowitzInterim CEO & Senior 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]
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]
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 Associate Program Director
Gustavo joined the CDE Foundation in September 2019 and is excited to launch into work with the Labor Management Institute! [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 Associate Program Director
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]
Gibran Mims
Gibran MimsProgram Coordinator
Gibran joined our team in late 2021. He is a recent graduate of San Diego State University, and has a passion for education, equity and amplifing the voices of his generation, especially people of color. [email protected]
Karina Gigliotti
Karina GigliottiProgram Manager
Karina joined our team in late 2021. Prior to working at CDEF, Karina supported federal, state, and private foundation funding in higher education, working with a wide array of funders and partners across California. [email protected]


THANK YOU to our funders for your continued investment in the California Department of Education’s (CDE) capacity and impact! We are grateful for your support that has funded key equity-centered CDE-driven initiatives, as well as associated partnership efforts with CDE such as the California STEAM Symposium, the Labor Management Initiative, the California Teacher Residency Lab, District Innovation and Leadership in Early Education (DIAL EE), the Alliance for Continuous Improvement, and the California Alliance for Next Generation Science Standards (CA4NGSS).

As the fiscal manager for CDE initiatives, the CDE Foundation is proud to support state-level, agency-led innovation in myriad areas of educational impact and equity. These include Education to End Hate and ongoing implicit bias and anti-racist training resources, a new Family Engagement unit, an Early Learning partnership with national and state experts, Youth Mental Health First Aid training infrastructure, the California Distinguished Schools Program, California Partnership Academies, Arts, Media and Entertainment (AME), general CDE capacity enhancements, and others in development. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have supported the launch and administration of the California Bridging the Digital Divide Fund, a joint effort of the California Department of Education, Governor’s Office, State Board of Education, and CDE Foundation. Together 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. Please visit CDE’s regularly-updated Closing the Digital Divide resource page, which provides comprehensive tools, sourcing, and funding information.

Funders for Fiscal Sponsor Programs for California Department of Education

  • AVID

  • Arnold Ventures

  • Association of California School Administrators

  • AT&T Foundation

  • Brandman University

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Blue Shield of California

  • California Association of School Business Officials

  • California Casualty

  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

  • KQED

  • California Film Commission

  • California School Employees Association

  • California Teachers Association

  • Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning

  • Comcast

  • Council of Chief State School Officers

  • Heising-Simons Foundation

  • Council of Chief State School Officers

  • Franklin Covey

  • General Motors

  • The Longview Foundation

  • National Center for Civic Innovation

  • The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

  • The Stuart Foundation

  • Schools First Federal Credit Union

  • Silver Giving Foundation

  • The Sobrato Family Foundation

  • University of La Verne

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

  • 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