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Director, Science

Person: Cyndi Atherton

Cyndi Atherton is the director of the Science program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2013, Cyndi was a science program director at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where she oversaw portfolios that included astronomy, condensed matter physics, seismology, and other physical sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in atmospheric science… Continue Reading

Person: Caitlin Heising

Caitlin Heising is vice chair of the Heising‐Simons Foundation, a family foundation based in Los Altos and San Francisco, California. She received a Master of Public Administration at the London School of Economics (LSE) with a focus on social impact, graduating with distinction in 2020. Previously, she worked with Article 3 Advisors, a human rights and… Continue Reading

Person: Liz Simons

Liz Simons is chair of the board of the Heising-Simons Foundation. A former teacher, Liz worked in Spanish-bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms, and subsequently founded Stretch to Kindergarten, a spring-summer early childhood education program. She currently serves on the advisory council for Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, and on the… Continue Reading

Person: Mark Heising

Mark Heising founded Medley Partners, a private market investment firm, in 2004. Previously he was the Founder of VLSI Cores, which designed and licensed cryptographic integrated circuits. He holds six U.S. Patents in cryptography, compression and data communications. Mark serves on the board of directors for Sion Power. He is Chair of the Environmental Defense… Continue Reading

Grant Highlight: Los Altos Community Foundation

The Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF) works to strengthen the community by stimulating local philanthropy and civic engagement in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Mountain View. This grant supports LACF’s Community Grants Program, which strengthens local arts and culture, community building, the environment, health, seniors, and youth and education organizations. This grant also provides… Continue Reading

Grant Highlight: Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) works to ensure that the creators of technology mirror the people and societies who use it. ABI connects, inspires, and guides women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative. This grant provides general support to the Palo Alto-based organization, helping women… Continue Reading

Grant Highlight: Natural Resources Defense Council (2016)

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works to safeguard the earth— its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. This grant supports clean energy policies and programs in over half the United States, and promotes the adoption of mandatory and voluntary efficiency standards at both federal and state… Continue Reading

Grant Highlight: National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors, which shares best practices and develops innovative solutions to improve state policy. This grant supports a state learning network on new utility business models to support policy officials with knowledge and materials that will enable them to transform the power sector. As… Continue Reading

Grant Highlight: Great Plains Institute

The Great Plains Institute (GPI) is a non-partisan organization committed to making the way we produce, distribute, and consume energy both environmentally and economically sustainable. GPI accomplishes this mission via research and analysis, consensus policy development, technology acceleration, and local action. This grant supports efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the Midcontinent Independent System… Continue Reading