The Stupski Foundation announces Sterling Speirn as its new President

Speirn joins after similar role at W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Peninsula Community Foundation.
Stupski also announces transition to grantmaking foundation that will spend down endowment over the next decade

San Francisco, CA – To lead the relaunch of its operations, the Stupski Foundation today announced that it has hired Sterling Speirn as its new President to lead its next era in grantmaking. Speirn was selected by a search committee of the Board. He will lead a small staff based in San Francisco, California and work in deep collaboration with Co-Founder Joyce Stupski and the Board of Directors.

The Board of the Stupski Foundation also announced it is transitioning the structure of the foundation. After 15 years as an operating foundation, it has evolved to become a grantmaking foundation and plans to spend down its $260 million endowment over the next decade.

“Sterling is a proven leader in every field and form of philanthropy. This is a moment of great transition for the Foundation and we have found a uniquely talented leader to guide our effort,” said Joyce Stupski, Co-Founder of the Stupski Foundation. “Sterling will bring his skills to help us chart a new strategic course and to have the maximum impact possible in the next decade,” she added.

“Sterling is a proven leader in every field and form of philanthropy. This is a moment of great transition for the Foundation and we have found a uniquely talented leader to guide our effort,”

Sterling Speirn brings with him a lifetime of commitment to innovative philanthropy and advocacy for children living in poverty. His career spans leadership roles in corporate philanthropy with Apple Computer, community philanthropy with the Peninsula Community Foundation, and most recently, eight years serving as the President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—one of America’s largest private philanthropies with assets of $7.5 billion.

Joyce Stupski added, “At nearly every step in his impressive career, Sterling has worked at the intersection of impact and innovation to fight childhood poverty. This is a goal that is clearly aligned with where we have been and where we are headed as a foundation. The Board is excited to consider and evaluate our strategic options going forward and to set our direction for the next ten years of philanthropic investments,” she added.

Sterling’s career is filled with important accomplishments that have helped transform lives and communities. These include leading the effort to create a new strategic framework for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to focus on creating the conditions for success for vulnerable children and bridging racial disparities. In his role as the leader of the Peninsula Community Foundation, he led efforts to grow its asset base, bring innovation to its grantmaking and donor services and shepherded early efforts for the merger that would ultimately form the Silicon Valley Community Foundation—a national model. Speirn will bring this belief in innovation and impact along with a sense of urgency to his work at Stupski.

“I am looking forward to working closely with Joyce and the Board of Directors as we craft our strategic portfolio of programs and projects that improve the life options of poor and minority children and also to consider additional social causes where we can add value,” said Sterling Speirn, President of the Stupski Foundation. “I relish the sense of urgency that characterizes a foundation with a fixed term,” he added.

Sterling’s commitment to children also extends to his earlier roles as a middle school educator, a legal-aid attorney working for low-income children and families, and serving as the director of a community health center in Northern California.

Sterling was born and raised in the metro region of Detroit, Michigan. He graduated with an A.B. from Stanford University and earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan. He has two sons who were born in Silicon Valley and raised in west Marin County. He is married to Diana Aviv, the President and CEO of the Independent Sector.

A New Direction:

Established by Joyce and Larry Stupski in 1996, for its first 15 years, the Stupski Foundation ran as an operating foundation. It used its resources to work in more than 30 large urban school districts where it supported fresh and bold thinking focusing on K-12 school reform in order to have a positive impact on the lives of poor children.

Looking ahead, the foundation leadership has decided to transition the organization to a grantmaking foundation. It will retain its goal of improving the life options of poor and minority children while also considering additional compelling social causes including the important area of end of life issues. It will also engage in an active spend down of endowed assets totaling $260 million over the next decade. The Foundation is currently engaged in a deep strategic planning process and is therefore unable to accept applications or inquiries regarding funding until their relaunch in 2015.

Dan Cohen, Full Court Press Communications
O: 510.465.8294; C: 510.282.7621
April Thomas, Full Court Press Communications
O: 510.550.8176; C: 206.321.3850

About the Stupski Foundation
The Stupski Foundation is a $260 million grantmaking foundation located in San Francisco, California. Formed by the late Larry Stupski and Joyce Stupski, the foundation will focus on improving the lives of children living in poverty among other compelling social causes including the important area of end of life issues.