2016 Commencement Speaker
Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D.
Founding CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., is the founding CEO of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). An international thought leader in the field of philanthropy, he led the unprecedented merger of two community foundations, creating SVCF in 2006. With a growth in assets from $1.4 billion to over $7.3 billion, SVCF is the nation’s largest community foundation and among the top 10 across all types of foundations. SVCF’s 2,000 family and corporate donor funds support a wide range of causes in the Bay Area, across the nation and around the world.
Prior to founding SVCF, Mr. Carson had a distinguished 12-year career as CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, and he oversaw the Ford Foundation’s U.S. and global grantmaking program on 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.
Mr. Carson is consistently recognized as one of the most influential nonprofit leaders in the U.S. and was awarded honorary degrees from Indiana University, Morehouse College, The National Hispanic University, and now Becker College. He earned 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.