James Canales

President and Trustee, Barr Foundation

Jim Canales was appointed president and trustee of the Barr Foundation in May 2014. Prior to joining Barr, he spent two decades in a variety of roles at The James Irvine Foundation in California, including president and chief executive officer from 2003 through 2014.

Before working in philanthropy, Jim was a high school English teacher in San Francisco after earning a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education from Stanford University. He maintains a broad range of volunteer engagements, serving as a trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative. In 2015–2016, he co-chaired the Leadership Council of Boston Creates, the City’s cultural planning process.

Jim’s prior board involvement includes service as a Stanford University trustee from 2006 through 2015. He has served as chair of the boards of the College Futures Foundation, KQED Public Broadcasting, the Stanford Alumni Association, and Larkin Street Youth Services, and as vice chair of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He is also a co-founder and former board chair of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Jim’s writing on a range of topics has appeared in The Boston Globe, the San Francisco ChronicleThe Chronicle of PhilanthropyStanford Social Innovation Review, and The Huffington Post, among other outlets.

Contributions

Voices from the Field

After a Year Like No Other, Three Foundation Leaders Talk About What Changed and What Comes Next

Posted on May 26, 2021 by David Callahan, James Canales, Crystal Hayling, Carmen Rojas

This article was originally published by Inside Philanthropy and is re-posted here with permission. The transcribed conversation comes from a plenary session at NCFP’s 2021 CEO Retreat.  How well philanthropy responded to the events of the past 14 months—a period of so much trauma and suffering—is a topic sure to be debated for many years to come. And, of course,… Read More

Family Foundation CEO Retreat

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Betsy Erickson, Janine Mason, Michael Smith, Tina Runyan, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bari Katz, Rob Reich, Shaady Salehi, Carmen Rojas, Diana Scearce

The role of a family foundation CEO is unique, often bridging generations of family members, community leaders, staff, advisors, and partners. Expectations can be challenging to meet and boundaries are sometimes vague and ever-changing. Success in this role requires a cadre of specialized leadership skills, particularly in these divisive and dynamic times. This 3-day virtual retreat, designed for both new… Read More

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