TITLE: Director, San Francisco Bay Area
FUNDING AREAS: Bay Area land conservation and science learning
CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)
IP TAKE: As the son of foundation's cofounders, the younger Moore has been a trustee at the organization since its inception, but has also pursued his own career. As a family member, his role at the foundation is protected for life, and his influence is most definitely solidified for years to come.
PROFILE: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Bay Area portfolio is focused on two areas: land conservation and funding for science and technology museums. Since its inception in 2000, the foundation has donated heavily in these areas. For instance, its work with local land conservation has preserved an area twice the size of the city of San Francisco and has made numerous grants to local science and technology museums, including the California Academy of Sciences, The Exploratorium (where Ken Moore sits on the board) and the East Bay's Chabot Space & Science Center.
For those seeking grants, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is a bit difficult to navigate, as it doesn't accept unsolicited proposals. Instead, the foundation finds and researches organizations that have had an impact in their focus areas and requests that they submit detailed proposals.
Although Ken Moore has been an integral part of the foundation for awhile, and sits on the board, he's only more recently joined the day-to-day staff in the role of Program Director for the San Francisco Bay Area after 24 years of experience in the semiconductor industry where he held various positions in operations planning and control, computer systems development, and supply chain and logistics management at Signetics Corporation and Phillips Semiconductors. His education includes a degree in business administration.
It remains to be seen long-term if different things will catch Moore's eye as a staff member rather than just as a board member (which he also remains). In terms of science and technology funding, the foundation is directed toward projects that help create "a scientifically literate public, instilling appreciation and understanding of science in children and their families." Recent grants for science museums have reflected this educational direction.
For instance, the foundation has contributed to several engagement projects at The Exploratorium (where Moore sits on the board), helping to expand the museum's reach with children. The foundation recently provided a $300,000 grant for the museum to create social media applications that let users explore and discover science remotely. The first app, Color Uncovered, allowed users to experiment with optics. It was a huge success, being downloaded more than a million times. The museum recently released a second app, Sound Uncovered, which encourages users to explore the science of sound. The foundation also contributed a grant of almost $500,000 to The Exploratorium to help establish the Tinkering Studio, which allows museum patrons to conduct their own experiences and construct their own robots and do other science-related projects when they visit. The Studio is one of the newest features in the new building.
The Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park received a grant supporting the museum's teen internship program, and the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose received support to expand its youth discovery program. The foundation also was instrumental in funding Bill Nye's ClimateLab at the Chabot Center.
In the land conservation area, the foundation leans toward projects of conservation and preservation, tracking the number of acres conserved, and protecting a variety of habitat types to provide connectivity throughout the region. Another important point is that the foundation looks for projects that employ science-based conservation planning. There are several planning frameworks that receive priority in the selection process, including the Upland Habitat Goals and the Bay Lands Goals. Much of its funding in the past few years has been funneled into two projects: the Resources Legacy Fund and the Living Landscape Initiative. The Resources Legacy Fund is a grantmaking entity, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation have both provided a great deal of resources to it. The Living Landscape Initiative is another project the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has been involved with, providing $15 million to help five area conservation groups bolster fundraising and secure properties. The ultimate key for grant seekers is that their plan provide a clear picture of how it will contribute to long-term conservation.