Avo Makdessian

Vice President and Director, Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships


As vice president and director of Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning, Avo is a member of SVCF’s leadership team and oversees the Center’s efforts in providing up-to-date research, state and local initiatives, and policy advocacy on pressing issues facing young children and their families.

Prior to joining SVCF, he was policy director of First 5 Santa Clara County and served as the director of education and neighborhood services for the City of San Jose Mayor’s office. In his past roles, Avo led policy and advocacy efforts in the areas of early childhood development, community development, education, public health and human services.

Avo attended San Jose State University where he studied toward a bachelor’s degree in political science. Born in Connecticut and raised in the Bay Area, Avo currently lives in San Jose with his wife, son and their rambunctious German boxer “Rocco.”