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What are the James Irvine Foundation leadership awards?

The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize Californians who are implementing effective solutions to critical state issues. The awards advance innovative, proven and replicable solutions, and contribute to better public policies and practices in the field.

The Foundation provides each award recipient’s organization with $200,000 to support his or her work, and assists in sharing their promising approaches with policymakers and practitioners. 

Meet the Grantees:

Lenore Anderson

californians for safety and justice

Lenore Anderson has had a tremendous impact on California's approach to criminal justice and community safety in recent years. Her creation of the Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice Network, with more than 6,000 members statewide, has elevated the voices of crime survivors into the discussion of community safety, bringing front and center the need for greater emphasis on crime prevention and rehabilitation.

elizabeth martin


Elizabeth "Izzy" Martin is successfully partnering with scientists, regulators, government, and tribal leaders to begin to clean up defunct gold mines posing a threat to the Sierra Nevada region and one of our most precious resources: water. Izzy is demonstrating that with a combination of technical know–how, investment, and public will, we can protect the Sierra Nevada as a region that is vital to every Californian.


San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Dean-Schillinger is a national leader on health literacy and prevention of Type 2 diabetes, an epidemic that afflicts an estimated 3 million Californians — and fast growing among youth in our state. He co-founded "The Bigger Picture Campaign" with the nonprofit Youth Speaks, which is enabling California's youth to share their stories and help change the conversation about diabetes.

Kate Sofis & todd rufo

SFMade and San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Kate Sofis and Todd Rufo have formed a public-private partnership in San Francisco that is invigorating urban manufacturing, a sector that includes more than 600 local businesses providing more than 5,000 jobs. Their work highlights California's potential to make even greater strides in leveraging manufacturing to strengthen our economy and create high-paying jobs.

Peter Weber

Fresno Bridge Academy

Peter Weber is taking aim at a challenge that afflicts communities in Fresno and throughout California: concentrated poverty. The Fresno Bridge Academy, which he founded, is directing public assistance dollars to move individuals past poverty toward meaningful employment — with four out of five participants who graduate from the Academy obtaining a job or increasing their wages.