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The California Endowment Appoints James Keddy as Chief Learning Officer

New Position to Boost Staff, Board and Grantee Learning, and Help Gauge Effectiveness of Foundation as Implementation of Building Healthy Communities Plan Rolls Out

Sacramento, Calif. (May 24, 2011) – The California Endowment today announced the appointment of James Keddy, The Endowment’s Director of Healthy Communities – North since August 2009, as Vice President and Chief Learning Officer for the organization. Keddy, a former board member of The Endowment from 2005-2009, will step out of his current position to assume his new role with the foundation on June 6, 2011. In his new senior leadership role as Chief Learning Officer, Keddy will be responsible for the development and oversight of the learning, evaluation, and research functions of the foundation.
“Jim’s impressive record of successfully engaging underserved communities around issues of health and equity clearly demonstrates his impressive leadership qualities,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment. “His keen understanding and appreciation of community change efforts will help us build a culture of learning for impact that is essential to meeting the demands of the Building Healthy Communities plan.”
Prior to joining The Endowment, Keddy served as director of PICO California, the state’s affiliate of the PICO National Network, an association of non-partisan, faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to the issues impacting low-income communities.  Prior to directing PICO California, Keddy served as the executive director of two PICO affiliates, Oakland Community Organizations and Sacramento Area Congregations Acting Together.  He was also a Peace Corps trainer and volunteer in Costa Rica from 1985-1987.
In his 21 years in the field of community organizing, Keddy trained hundreds of volunteers and staff in advocacy and organizing, and helped establish PICO affiliates in Fresno, Stanislaus County, Los Angeles, and Contra Costa County. His numerous accomplishments include leading Californians for Healthy Kids, a statewide coalition in support of universal health coverage for children that was launched with a 4,000 person rally attended by top legislative leaders and state health officials. At the local and state levels, Keddy led grassroots policy campaigns to expand afterschool programs and affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods, to increase parental involvement through teacher home visits, to reduce tobacco use and to increase funding for community health centers.
Keddy has served on the boards of the  California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the California Budget Project, and Cover the Kids.  He currently is involved in supporting youth arts and music, serving on the board of the Sacramento Children's Chorus and the advisory board of a Hmong arts organization. He is also a Senior Fellow for the American Leadership Forum.
About Building Healthy Communities
Building Healthy Communities is a 10-year, $1 billion plan of The California Endowment. In connection with staff-led, statewide policy initiatives, 14 communities are taking action to make where they live healthier. They’re doing this by improving employment opportunities, education, housing, neighborhood safety, unhealthy environmental conditions, access to healthy food and more. The goal: to create places where children are healthy, safe and ready to learn. For more information, please visit
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. From 2010-2020, The Endowment will focus the majority of its resources on its 10-year strategic plan Building Healthy Communities. For more information, visit The Endowment’s Web site at