Governance + Staff
The Great Communities Collaborative is overseen by a Funders Network, comprised of community, local, and national foundations that provide long-term vision, strategic direction, and priority-setting for GCC. The Funders Network also works to broaden the role of foundations in systems change around transportation, transit-oriented development, housing, and community development funding.
- The California Endowment
- The Grove Foundation
- Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
- JP Morgan Chase
- The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- San Francisco Foundation (Co-Chair)
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation (Co-Chair)
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC)*
*SPARCC is a national three-year, $90 million initiative. GCC’s SPARCC work is a collaborative effort between GCC, the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network (6 Wins), and the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII).
Ricardo G. Huerta Niño, Senior Initiative Officer
As the Senior Initiative Officer, Ricardo leads the GCC in strategy development and partnership to move the region towards a more equitable and sustainable Bay Area where low-income and communities of color can stay in place and thrive. He works together with funders, non-profits, and public sector partners to identify, implement, and leverage policy and financing strategies in the region. In addition, Ricardo leads GCC’s fundraising and development strategy, manages convenings and funder network meetings and works to build greater alignment across partners. Before coming to GCC, Ricardo was working as a consultant to nonprofits, local governments, regional agencies, and philanthropic foundations. His most recent work was as a consultant for city planning and community engagement focused on racial equity, housing, transportation, workforce development, and pandemic response efforts. Ricardo served as Policy Director for Collective Impact in the Mayor’s Office in Oakland, leading multi-sector collaborative projects focused on education and youth development. His earlier experience includes working in philanthropy as a program officer and consultant focused on a range of issues including immigrant and refugee rights, environmental justice, leadership development, and criminal justice reform.
Philip Verma, Associate Initiative Officer
Philip supports GCC’s partners on collaborative projects, including as co-chair of the Public Land Working Group. He also manages GCC’s communications and supports the Initiative Officer with both fundraising and grant management. Philip previously worked as a housing counselor and analyst for the City of Richmond Rent Program, which he helped build into a fully-formed agency. He also worked as a research assistant with the Urban Displacement Project at UC Berkeley and a paralegal tenant advocate in Queens, New York. He holds a Master in City Planning from UC Berkeley. In his spare time, Philip enjoys exploring the Bay Area by bike, playing the clarinet, and plugging into more political work as a volunteer.
Gavrilah Wells, Program Coordinator, Bay Area for All
Gavrilah Wells is the Program Coordinator for GCC. She coordinates the Bay Area for All (BA4A) program, working closely with site partners across the region and SPARCC national team. She also coordinates learning sessions for partners, co-facilitates BA4A monthly meetings, and shares resources and support to partners. She has worked in coordinating roles with many Bay Area nonprofits and academic institutions with special focus on environmental justice, human rights and global health. She is an active human rights volunteer with Amnesty International and is a member of several California-based coalitions focused on refugee/asylum seeker rights, ending the death penalty, life without the possibility of parole (LWOP), and solitary confinement.
To assess the impact of our work, GCC has worked closely with evaluators over the years. We’re currently working with Mesu Strategies and using a learning and assessment approach to support our work and our partners. Review the first summary of results here:
Previously, ICF International helped assess our success in our first ten years. To learn more, please download and read summaries of ICF’s work: