2007

2008

2011

2012

2013

2014

2014

2015

2015

2015

2015

2016

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2017

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2018

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2019

2019

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2020

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2021

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2022

2007

Liz Simons and Mark Heising create a family foundation and name it The Lemma Foundation, operating from the family home in Palo Alto. The first grant is awarded to the Environmental Defense Fund.

2008

The Lemma Foundation changes its name to the Heising-Simons Foundation. The initial three grantmaking areas are Education, Science, and Climate and Clean Energy.

2011

The Foundation hires its first full-time employee.

2012

Deanna Gomby joins the Foundation as Vice President for Education and later is promoted to Executive Director.

2013

The Foundation hires a director for the Science program.

2014

Caitlin Heising joins the Foundation’s Board, bringing her passion for social justice into the Foundation.

2014

The Foundation’s total awards reach $100 million.

2015

Deanna Gomby is named President and CEO. Liz Simons serves as the Foundation’s Board Chair.

2015

The Foundation’s current office opens in Los Altos, California.

2015

The Foundation hires a director for the Education program.

2016

Liz Simons and Mark Heising join the Giving Pledge, publicly committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

2016

The Foundation unveils its new logo and tagline: “Unlocking knowledge, opportunity, and possibilities.” The logo and tagline are seen and heard across on television and radio stations across the country.

2016

The Foundation hires a director for the Climate and Clean Energy program.

2017

The Foundation’s Los Altos office is awarded an LEED Platinum certification.

2017

The Foundation creates the 51 Pegasi b Fellowship and awards the inaugural fellowship to five postdoctoral scientists to conduct theoretical, observational, and experimental research in planetary astronomy.

2018

The Education program focuses its strategic plan around the creation and strengthening of early childhood systems necessary for children from low-income families and children of color to reach their full potential by the year 2044, the year when the U.S. becomes majority-minority.

2018

The Foundation creates the American Mosaic Journalism Prize and awards the inaugural prize to two freelance journalists for excellence in stories about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the present American landscape.

2018

The Climate and Clean Energy program focuses its strategic plan on protecting people and the planet from the worst impacts of climate change by cutting pollution and accelerating the transition to a clean energy future.

2018

The Foundation reaches a new milestone, having awarded more than $412 million since its inception.

2018

The Foundation hires a director for the Human Rights program.

2019

The Community and Opportunity program focuses its local strategic plan on San Jose’s power-building prowess.

2019

The Foundation opens its San Francisco office.

2019

The Foundation’s total awards reach $500 million.

2019

The Science program renews its strategic plan to support fundamental research primarily in the physical sciences.

2020

The Human Rights focuses its strategic plan on shifting power from punishment systems to BIPOC impacted by mass criminalization; dismantle these systems; and working towards reimagined approaches to justice that invest in communities rather than prisons and surveillance, and that promote practices of healing and community accountability rooted in our common humanity.

2021

The Foundation names a director for the Community and Opportunity program.

2021

The Foundation’s total awards reach $750 million.

2022

Deanna Gomby announces her retirement. The Foundation begins a search for its new CEO.