Sandra currently serves as Interim Executive Director of Philanthropy Southwest, the oldest philanthropy serving organization in the country, with member foundations from over six states. Sandra has provided transitional and strategic leadership that has enabled the organization to successfully position itself for new leadership and growth.
Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Philanthropic Services and Community Investment for the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona in Tucson, where she was the chief strategist for foundation’s grantmaking, community investment opportunities and led in the use of diverse capital streams including equity and debt. She also oversaw the work of CFSA’s affiliated partner organizations, including the African American Initiative, the Alliance (LGBTQ) Fund, the Latino Giving Circle, and the Santa Cruz Community Foundation.
Sandra served in a similar role as Vice President of Grants and Loans at the Marin Community Foundation, where she oversaw grantmaking for the Buck Trust, an endowment of over $900 million. She oversaw grantamking in excess of $20 million annually, all in support of MCF’s strategic initiatives, community grants, and loans.
Sandra’s earlier experience in philanthropy included her role as Chief Executive Officer for the Richmond Children’s Foundation, which she led through a process of conversion to a community Foundation.
Sandra’s background also includes executive leadership in nonprofits at the national and local levels. She served as Executive Vice President for the National Council on Aging in Washington, DC; Regional Director for AARP in Dallas, Texas, and Washington Director for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Most recently, she served as Interim Executive Director of the AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund in San Francisco, where she led both organizations through a strategic restructuring.
Highlights of Sandra’s public sector career include Department head for the City of Oakland, and City and County of San Francisco. She also served as Deputy County Executive for Santa Clara County where she oversaw criminal justice, public safety and social services functions for the county.
Sandra has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of San Diego, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from National University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Theology and Christian Education. She serves on the Board of Directors of Northern California Grantmakers, UC Berkeley Pacific School of Religion, and the Tohono Chul Park Foundation.