Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D. is the founding CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. An international thought leader in the field of philanthropy, in 2006 he led the unprecedented merger of two community foundations that created SVCF. With a growth in assets from $1.4 billion to over $6.5 billion, SVCF is the nation’s largest community foundation and among the top 10 of all types of foundations. SVCF’s 1800 family and corporate donor funds support a wide range of causes in the Bay Area, across the nation and around the world.
Before this, Emmett had a distinguished 12-year career as CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation and, prior to that oversaw the Ford Foundation’s U.S. and global grantmaking program on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Emmett has published more than 100 works on philanthropy and is an authority on issues of social justice, public accountability and African American giving. He is consistently recognized as one of the nation’s most influential nonprofit leaders and has 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. Emmett served as the first visiting Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Chair on Community Foundations at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University during the 2014-2015 academic year.