Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D.

CEO and President

Emmett Carson

Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., is the founding CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation and led the unprecedented merger of the two community foundations that created it. In the process, he has pioneered a new, 21st century community foundation model in which individuals and corporations can pursue their philanthropic dreams in Silicon Valley, across the nation and around the world. This new approach to giving explains SVCF’s remarkable growth in assets under management from $1.7 billion in 2007 to over $13.5 billion by the end of 2017. It also accounts for the inspiring generosity of SVCF’s donors, who have provided $5.6 billion in philanthropic capital to nonprofit organizations since 2007.

Before SVCF, Emmett had a distinguished 12-year career as CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation and, prior to that, was the first leader of the Ford Foundation’s U.S. and global grantmaking program on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. An international thought leader in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, he has published more than 100 works on philanthropy and is an authority on issues of social justice, public accountability and African American giving. He has been recognized by the Nonprofit Times as one of the most influential nonprofit leaders in the U.S. more times than any other person, and is the recipient of honorary degrees from Indiana University, Morehouse College, Becker 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.