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 as chair of the board of The Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S criminal justice system. She also serves on the boards of The Foundation for a Just Society, Math for America, and the Learning Policy Institute. She is a founding pledger of One for Justice, and an advisory board member of Smart Justice California. Additionally, she volunteers at The Beat Within, a magazine by and for incarcerated youth.

In 2023, President Biden appointed Liz to serve as a member of the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, an independent organization in the executive branch of the federal government that examines how federal programs serving systems-impacted youth and other federal programs and activities can be coordinated among federal, state, and local governments to better serve vulnerable children and youth.

Liz earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in education from Stanford University. Liz Simons and Mark Heising founded the Foundation in 2007 and joined the Giving Pledge in 2016, publicly committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. You can read the letter they wrote about why they joined here.