CFLeads: Community Foundations Leading Change



Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker

CEO Visits by CFLeads

Emmett D. Carson, PhD.

Chief Executive Officer
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Emmett Carson is an internationally recognized leader in the field of philanthropy. As founding CEO, in 2007 he led the unprecedented merger that created Silicon Valley Community Foundation. With over $2 billion under management, the community foundation is one of the largest in the world and actively engages individuals and corporations in achieving their charitable interests locally and globally. Annually, the community foundation distributes nearly 11,000 grants to 24 countries totaling approximately $200 million.

Emmett has devoted his career to being a catalyst for positive social change. At Silicon Valley, discretionary grantmaking is rooted in a strong point of view on social equality and focuses on education, economic security, immigrant integration, regional planning and support for basic needs such as food and shelter. Emmett previously served as CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, which more than tripled its assets and received national recognition for its grantmaking initiatives during his 12 year tenure. He was the first manager of the Ford Foundation’s worldwide grantmaking program on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.

The author of more than 100 published works on philanthropy, Emmett is widely viewed as an authority on social justice grantmaking, public accountability by nonprofits and African American philanthropy. He has received numerous nonprofit leadership awards, including recognition as one of the most influential nonprofit leaders in the U.S. and honorary degrees from Indiana University, Morehouse College and The National Hispanic University.

Emmett received both his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in public and international affairs from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree in economics, Phi Beta Kappa, from Morehouse College.