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Climate nonprofit funded by Laurene Powell Jobs hires high-powered state official

Waverley Street Foundation will grant more than $3B toward carbon-reduction solutions in communities through 2035

The Lexington Reservoir in Los Gatos shows the extent of the drought on June 28, 2021. Photo by Kevin Legnon.

Putting power behind her pledge to fund more than $3 billion to address climate change and communities, philanthropist and investor Laurene Powell Jobs has hired California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld as the inaugural president of the Waverley Street Foundation, according to a press release on Friday, Aug. 12.

The Palo Alto-based foundation, a climate action group started by Powell Jobs, supports grantees working closely with farmers, students, investors, Indigenous peoples, advocates and others on housing, transportation, health and food security.

Jobs Powell announced in 2021 that the nonprofit foundation would grant more than $3 billion — the entirety of its endowment — by 2035.

Jared Blumenfeld is stepping down as California's secretary for environmental protection to serve as president of the Waverley Street Foundation. Courtesy California Environmental Protection Agency.

"Our planet, and all of us who inhabit it, face no greater threat than our climate crisis. The Waverley Street Foundation was formed to address this crisis with the kind of bold, innovative ideas that are urgently needed," said Powell Jobs, who is the foundation's vice chair, said in the statement. "In Jared, the Waverley Street Foundation will have a proven leader with the vision and experience that this complex global challenge demands. His leadership at the city, state, and regional levels will prove invaluable as we seek to translate local action into worldwide impact."

Blumenfeld was also a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency senior leader during the Obama Administration and has a track record of working with underserved communities, according to the press release. At Waverley Street Foundation, he will focus on actions that support groundbreaking work being done in communities across the globe to reduce carbon pollution.

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"We have 10 years to drastically cut climate pollution, which is already causing extreme heat, mega-wildfires, destructive droughts and sea-level rise. Our best solutions and climate heroes are in local communities that are struggling for survival," Blumenfeld said in the statement. "Waverley Street will place community voices at the center of our work. Together with Lisa Jackson, Laurene Powell Jobs and the Waverley board, we will supercharge efforts that result in an equitable and livable planet for all humankind."

Blumenfeld will start in his new role in September.

"Jared has spent his career engaging with the people on the ground, working in urban neighborhoods, in rural areas, in tribal communities and beyond to directly address the challenges that climate change brings," Waverley Street Foundation Board Chair Lisa P. Jackson said in the press release.

"He knows progress and innovation are possible when we put the voices and work of local communities at the forefront of climate action, and we're thrilled that he's going to be guiding Waverley Street's mission going forward."

Jackson is the vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, Inc. and is a former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to his leadership at CalEPA, Blumenfeld served as regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest, which covers Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations. He has hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, hosted an environmental podcast Podship Earth and has worked in China, India, Europe, Africa and the Americas to protect more than 8 million acres of wildlife habitat. He served as director of San Francisco's Department of Environment, during which San Francisco was named "the most sustainable city in the nation."

Leaving his position with Gov. Gavin Newsom's office, Blumenfeld said, "I'm deeply grateful to Governor Newsom for the opportunity to serve the people of California and proud of everything we accomplished at CalEPA. Governor Newsom has set the global standard for bold climate leadership. He has stood up against polluters and provided billions of dollars to help Californians tackle the climate emergency."

The Waverley Street Foundation will soon launch its website to provide more details on its mission, grantees and the impact of its work, the press release noted.

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Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Climate nonprofit funded by Laurene Powell Jobs hires high-powered state official

Waverley Street Foundation will grant more than $3B toward carbon-reduction solutions in communities through 2035

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Aug 12, 2022, 6:18 pm

Putting power behind her pledge to fund more than $3 billion to address climate change and communities, philanthropist and investor Laurene Powell Jobs has hired California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld as the inaugural president of the Waverley Street Foundation, according to a press release on Friday, Aug. 12.

The Palo Alto-based foundation, a climate action group started by Powell Jobs, supports grantees working closely with farmers, students, investors, Indigenous peoples, advocates and others on housing, transportation, health and food security.

Jobs Powell announced in 2021 that the nonprofit foundation would grant more than $3 billion — the entirety of its endowment — by 2035.

"Our planet, and all of us who inhabit it, face no greater threat than our climate crisis. The Waverley Street Foundation was formed to address this crisis with the kind of bold, innovative ideas that are urgently needed," said Powell Jobs, who is the foundation's vice chair, said in the statement. "In Jared, the Waverley Street Foundation will have a proven leader with the vision and experience that this complex global challenge demands. His leadership at the city, state, and regional levels will prove invaluable as we seek to translate local action into worldwide impact."

Blumenfeld was also a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency senior leader during the Obama Administration and has a track record of working with underserved communities, according to the press release. At Waverley Street Foundation, he will focus on actions that support groundbreaking work being done in communities across the globe to reduce carbon pollution.

"We have 10 years to drastically cut climate pollution, which is already causing extreme heat, mega-wildfires, destructive droughts and sea-level rise. Our best solutions and climate heroes are in local communities that are struggling for survival," Blumenfeld said in the statement. "Waverley Street will place community voices at the center of our work. Together with Lisa Jackson, Laurene Powell Jobs and the Waverley board, we will supercharge efforts that result in an equitable and livable planet for all humankind."

Blumenfeld will start in his new role in September.

"Jared has spent his career engaging with the people on the ground, working in urban neighborhoods, in rural areas, in tribal communities and beyond to directly address the challenges that climate change brings," Waverley Street Foundation Board Chair Lisa P. Jackson said in the press release.

"He knows progress and innovation are possible when we put the voices and work of local communities at the forefront of climate action, and we're thrilled that he's going to be guiding Waverley Street's mission going forward."

Jackson is the vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, Inc. and is a former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Prior to his leadership at CalEPA, Blumenfeld served as regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest, which covers Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations. He has hiked from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail, hosted an environmental podcast Podship Earth and has worked in China, India, Europe, Africa and the Americas to protect more than 8 million acres of wildlife habitat. He served as director of San Francisco's Department of Environment, during which San Francisco was named "the most sustainable city in the nation."

Leaving his position with Gov. Gavin Newsom's office, Blumenfeld said, "I'm deeply grateful to Governor Newsom for the opportunity to serve the people of California and proud of everything we accomplished at CalEPA. Governor Newsom has set the global standard for bold climate leadership. He has stood up against polluters and provided billions of dollars to help Californians tackle the climate emergency."

The Waverley Street Foundation will soon launch its website to provide more details on its mission, grantees and the impact of its work, the press release noted.

Comments

Citizen
Registered user
College Terrace
on Aug 13, 2022 at 6:40 pm
Citizen , College Terrace
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2022 at 6:40 pm

Is he planning to work in China and/or India? B/c that's where the emissions are.

Is Lauren Powell Jobs the next George Soros?


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Aug 13, 2022 at 8:27 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2022 at 8:27 pm

I very much hope the foundation's work involves improving people's lives and livelihoods rather than just taking things away as seems to so often be the proposal these days. I look forward to reading the details of the foundation's work when published online.


felix
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2022 at 9:12 am
felix, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2022 at 9:12 am

Citizen - As to which country is now the biggest carbon emitter worldwide, it depends whether you are looking at over all emissions (China) or per capita emissions (United States - which is also #2 in overall emissions).

I look forward to seeing what becomes of the Foundations work and wish it well.


Native to the BAY
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 14, 2022 at 1:09 pm
Native to the BAY, Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Does any of the $3Billion help locals - like any of the 10,000 unhoused in this valley of virtual creation. How about local famines? What about campaign contribution to help elect local city progressive climate advocates and those who support housing for all.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Aug 14, 2022 at 2:01 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2022 at 2:01 pm

@felix

It's a common if plausible misconception that the US is the top per capita emitter. We've actually gotten a lot better over the past decade or more to the point where we are now number 11. (from the New York Times: "According to the World Bank, the United States falls in 11th place worldwide, not first place. (The top emitter per capita is Qatar.)

Among the peer countries with higher per capita emissions than ours are Canada and Australia.

China emits more than double the annual greenhouse gases than we do. If it continues to increase emissions as it has said it will do, by 2030 it will not only be the largest cumulative emitter over all history, but also match the US in per capita emissions. They've got less than 10 years to start reducing their emissions before they have no excuses left.


Spectator at Large
Registered user
Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm
Spectator at Large, Leland Manor/Garland Drive
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm

Thank you for contributing to a cause worth supporting.

Glad to see such a highly qualified leader at the helm.

Steve would be proud of where these dollars are going.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:51 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2022 at 1:51 pm

[Portion removed.]

Ed Begley, Jr. is one of the very, very few celebrities (in his case, from Hollywood) who took actual personal action to help the environment.
He rode his bike to the Academy Awards in 2015, among other actions.
He had a pleasant, informative tv show.

I do not follow self-proclaimed “leaders” who are hypocrites.

I do respect educated scientists, professors, high quality nonprofits concerned with the environment, energy, etc.
Meanwhile, numerous celebrities from government, social media, entertainment are hypocrites and have multiple huge homes, luxury vehicles/vessels/aircraft and live a very large - consuming lifestyle, quite heedless, sometimes while pontificating via media to “the masses.”
I will not be lectured to by these random entitled narcissists.


John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 15, 2022 at 2:53 pm
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2022 at 2:53 pm

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