The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has announced that Carol S. Larson will step down as president and CEO at the end of 2019.
Larson joined the foundation in 1989 and was appointed director of programs in 1995, vice president in 2000, and president and CEO in 2004. In the decade and a half since, the foundation has experienced significant growth, awarding an average of $300 million in grants annually and a total of $500 million in mission-related investments while expanding its global engagement, with a focus on climate change, marine conservation, and women's and girls' access to quality reproductive health care and rights. In the U.S., the foundation has worked with its nonprofit partners to provide children in California with access to health insurance and quality preschool and has helped protect and restore more than two million acres of open land in the West, while maintaining the Packard family's commitment to the region through its support for hundreds of community-based nonprofits and prominent regional institutions.
As president, Larson has used her platform to encourage more philanthropists in Silicon Valley to support local organizations, and in 2012 she presided over the move of the foundation's headquarters to a net-zero-energy building in Los Altos that underscores its commitment to sustainability. Her support for the philanthropic sector includes past service on the boards of the Council on Foundations, Northern California Grantmakers, the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley, and Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families, and she currently serves on the boards of the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Sobrato Family Foundation. In 2016, Larson was honored with the Council on Foundation's Distinguished Service Award, and this year she received the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley's John W. Gardner Award.
The foundation's board is expected to announce a search for her successor in the near future, with Larson remaining in her role through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.
"It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the Packard Foundation board of trustees, to support the transformative work of hundreds of grantees and partners around the world, and to lead one of the most exceptional staffs in all of philanthropy," said Larson. "Because of our work together, I leave this role after fifteen years with optimism about philanthropy's potential to support leaders who are tackling the world's most complex challenge, and a belief that we can all make a difference."