Emmett Carson, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

TITLE: CEO and President

FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts, and the environment

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

IP TAKE: Carson challenges philanthropic leaders to do more and to be better—and it seems that he can sniff out any malfeasance, misbehavior, misguidance, or otherwise mistruths like a bloodhound.

PROFILE: Emmett D. Carson, PhD, founded the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) in 2006, merging two of the largest community foundations in the world to do so. SVCF has $3 billion in assets, and Carson now oversees its work with donors and corporations while managing funds well. He continues to be the Bay Area's largest grantmaker—and the largest international grantmaker among community foundations in the United States.

Carson previously served for 12 years as CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation, and he also oversaw the Ford Foundation's U.S. and global grantmaking program. He has published more than 100 works on philanthropy and is a national authority on social justice issues, public accountability, and African American giving. Carson received both his master's and PhD degrees in public and international affairs from Princeton University and his bachelor's degree in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from Morehouse College.

To really get to know what makes this enormously influential man tick, read this thoughtful and persuasive editorial he penned in Huffington Post, entitled "Rethinking Collective Impact." Carson is clearly all about collaboration—between funders, between communities, between people in general — so if you're seeking money from SVCF, you better be able to work your own collaboration angles.