Skip to content

A Letter From Outgoing President and CEO Deanna Gomby

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing today to let you know that I’ve decided to retire at the end of this year.

July 2022 marks the 10-year anniversary of my tenure at the Heising-Simons Foundation. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to work at the Foundation. It’s been a whirlwind of a decade, with the Foundation expanding its grantmaking areas and growing its staff from 2 to 56 and its annual grantmaking from $22 million to more than $150 million. Along the way, the family created a sister organization — the Heising-Simons Action Fund — as a way to magnify the impact of our dollars on the issues that we care about. We have been a Silicon Valley start-up, with all the exhilaration and excitement that comes along with growth and tackling new challenges.

Throughout those 10 years, we have been privileged to work with extraordinary grantee partners who have undertaken and achieved great things. Our efforts – and theirs – have been driven by an unflinching belief in humanity’s promise, an unwavering determination that we can and always should work to expand access to opportunity, and a commitment to tackling the big thorny issues over the long-term. We have also striven to remember that our wisdom is not as wide or deep as we might wish, that our ideas are not as earthshaking as we might hope, and that we are always better off when we listen more.

The Foundation is in very good hands. The Board – Liz Simons, Mark Heising, and Caitlin Heising – are wonderful leaders whose vision has lit the way for the work that we have done.  That vision remains and will continue to guide the way for the leader to follow. And our very skilled staff is committed to that vision and to continuing the work with curiosity and courage.

I will continue to work here through the end of 2022, and I hope to connect with many of you before then, but, if we do not connect, I hope that our paths will cross again in the future.

Deanna Gomby
President & CEO

Note: To read the Foundation’s main announcement, click here.