Silicon Valley Community Foundation names Nicole Taylor as president and CEO

Nicole Taylor
Nicole Taylor
Photo credit: Linda Cicero, Stanford University

Today, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Board of Directors proudly announces that after an extensive search process, Nicole Taylor has been named the new President and Chief Executive Officer of SVCF.

SVCF advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, and helps connect donors’ interests to the most pressing needs throughout our community. In Nicole Taylor, the Board Search Committee found a leader who brings together a rich background in Bay Area philanthropy, nonprofit administration and fundraising with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. Nicole embodies SVCF’s values of courage, collaboration, accountability and more. Her eagerness to join SVCF at such an important point in our history speaks to her great enthusiasm for serving the community and her commitment to working with SVCF staff to ensure the organization is both a great place to work and a powerful partner to those working for social change. Nicole will meet with all SVCF staff over the course of the coming days and weeks, and she is eager to meet with our nonprofit and community partners, our donors, and all members of our community.

“I am thrilled to be coming to SVCF and back to Silicon Valley. My roots are in the Bay Area nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and I have lived in this region most of my adult life," said Nicole Taylor. "Silicon Valley is a region of contrasts, one in which deep social challenges are often masked by the high-profile innovation culture. There is important work to be done in partnership with our donors, our community organizations and our civic and business leaders, and I am excited about the issues and challenges the organization is looking to tackle. I’m honored for the opportunity to join SVCF’s dedicated staff and help further its mission."

Nicole will be returning to the Bay Area from Arizona, where she has served as vice president of the ASU Foundation. In that role, she has overseen principal giving, estate and gift planning, corporate and foundation relations, and annual giving. She also previously served as deputy vice president and dean of students at Arizona State University. Prior to ASU, Nicole was the associate vice provost of student affairs and dean of community engagement and diversity at Stanford University, after serving as president and CEO of Thrive Foundation for Youth in Silicon Valley.

Nicole also spent more than 15 years with the East Bay Community Foundation, eventually serving as its president and CEO for six years. Nicole received both her M.A. in Education and A.B. in Human Biology from Stanford University, and she began her career as an educator in Oakland public schools. She served on the board of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco for six years and is currently a board member for Common Sense Media and the T. Gary and Kathleen Rogers Family Foundation.

“Nicole brings a legacy of exceptional leadership and community impact to SVCF,” said Dan’l Lewin, incoming Chair of SVCF’s Board of Directors and member of the Board Search Committee. “She has a genuine connection to improving the lives of those in our local community, and her passion for helping individuals pursue their own philanthropic goals make her an optimal choice to lead our organization.”

After retaining international search firm Spencer Stuart in June, the SVCF board’s CEO search committee received input from SVCF staff, as well as from key community and philanthropic partners. The search process included soliciting guidance about the desired qualifications and characteristics of the new executive. After reviewing all applicants, select candidates went through a multi-round interview and reference process. Following a vote by the SVCF Board of Directors, we feel very fortunate to bring Nicole’s leadership to our staff, donors, nonprofit and community partners and the Silicon Valley community.

Nicole will officially begin in her role at SVCF on December 19. She will be working closely with Greg Avis, SVCF’s Interim President and founding Board Chair, during the transition period. SVCF staff and Nicole will continue to benefit from Greg’s leadership and commitment to the organization during this time.

“It has been an honor and tremendous experience to come back to SVCF and lead the organization over the past six months,” said Greg Avis, Interim President of SVCF. “With Nicole’s leadership experience and commitment to serving local communities, I know SVCF will continue to make a profound impact. I am confident that SVCF’s talented staff will flourish under her guidance. I look forward to working with Nicole over the coming months as she transitions into the role.”

The Board would like to express its deepest gratitude to Greg Avis for his stewardship of SVCF over the past months. Greg came back to SVCF during one of the most difficult moments in our history – a time when there was a need to heal and catalyze change throughout the organization. With Greg’s leadership, SVCF has taken many steps to improve its workplace culture and evaluate ways to enhance its service to the community. Greg will continue in his interim role during this transitional period, and will work closely with Nicole as she begins her work.

Please join the SVCF Board of Directors in welcoming Nicole Taylor to SVCF!