Back to top

Reimagining Philanthropy’s Role in Building Resilient Communities: Addressing Extreme Natural Events Head On

Thursday, August 8, 2019
1:30pm - 3:30pm PDT
LA84 Foundation
2141 W Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $100.00
Add to Calendar

Regardless of their identified grantmaking priorities, many funders find themselves in the position of supporting disaster relief when wildfires, extreme heat, earthquakes, and other natural disasters happen in their own backyards. As former Governor Jerry Brown declared, these events are becoming “the new abnormal,” and funders can expect to continue grappling with related funding needs in greater frequency in the months and years to come. With that in mind, how can philanthropy adapt to be more strategic in grantmaking to support disaster resilience? Where can limited philanthropic dollars be invested for maximum impact? And, where are there opportunities to leverage public sector partnerships to ensure a comprehensive response for communities facing disasters in both the short and the long-term?

Join Philanthropy California and the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science & Society to learn the science behind California disasters and resilience investments, the role philanthropy can play, and provide input on how Philanthropy California can be most useful to members interested in engaging on this issue now and in the future. This program will be facilitated by Philanthropy California Director of Disaster Resilience, Alan Kwok, and will include briefings from Dr. Lucy Jones and CaliforniaVolunteers Chief Service Officer Karen Baker, along with Kathleen Kellly Janus, the newly appointed senior advisor on social innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom.


Karen Baker
California’s Chief Service Officer for Governor Gavin Newsom

Karen Baker leads CaliforniaVolunteers, the State Service Commission that serves as the lead agency for disaster volunteering and donations management, along with administering the state AmeriCorps portfolio and promoting volunteering and service across California. Initially appointed by the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in January 2006, Karen was named the Secretary of Service and Volunteering and has forged vibrant public-private partnerships resulting in the creation of successful innovations, including the California Disaster Corps, Business Partners Program, and the CaliforniaVolunteers Service Enterprise Initiative. Currently, CaliforniaVolunteers and the Govenor’s Office of Emergency Services jointly administers Governor Newsom’s California For All Emergency Preparedness Campaign, a new $50 million effort to boost disaster preparedness by connecting over one million of the most vulnerable Californians to culturally and linguistically competent support.

Kathleen Kelly Janus
Senior Advisor on Social Innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the newly appointed senior advisor on social innovation in the Office of Governor Newsom. This new position elevates the role of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations as innovators. Janus was a lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship from 2013 to 2019 and was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School from 2007 to 2012. She worked as pro bono counsel at Covington & Burling from 2009 to 2013 and was an associate at Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP from 2003 to 2007. She co-founded Spark in 2005. Janus earned a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

Dr. Lucy Jones
Founder, Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society

Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is the author of the book, The Big Ones (Doubleday, April 2018) and is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984. Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risk that are the most cost-effective. With a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT, Dr. Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios.


John Bwarie
Founder & CEO, Stratiscope

John Bwarie works to build and engage communities across the country. He has worked for four Los Angeles City elected officials, primary focused on economic and community development. He co-created the Great ShakeOut and CA Clean Air Day, both currently community engagement campaigns with millions of participants and impressions. He has created the City Impact Lab in Los Angeles and serves as executive Director of the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments, working on transportation planning and regional coordination. John works with every media outlet in SoCal to advance messages of science and resilience as the co-founder and deputy director of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society.

Alan Kwok
Director, Disaster Resilience for Northern California Grantmakers

Alan seeks to strengthen and galvanize the philanthropy sector in California around investments in community-based disaster resilience. He brings to his role a wealth of experiences in community health, youth and workforce development, and disaster management. He managed a FEMA award-winning community resilience initiative in the Bay Area American Red Cross and continues to research on community disaster resilience. He earned his PhD in emergency management at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR) at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. His research is published in World Bank and government publications, as well as in peer-reviewed journals.



Current SCG, NCG, and SDG Members: $0
Eligible Non-members: $100

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and SDG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & SDG members: contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Funding Area