The Women’s Foundation California (WFC), a leading philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing racial, economic and gender justice in California, announced today that Chief Executive Officer Surina Khan will step down from her position this September as Bia Vieira, currently WFC’s chief strategist, becomes the first Latina CEO to lead the Foundation.
“It has been an honor to lead an exceptional team dedicated to advancing issues at the core of California’s racial, economic and gender justice movements, and I am excited for the future of the Foundation under Bia’s leadership as she takes us to even bigger heights, “said Khan. “During her time at WFC, Bia has established deep and trusted relationships with our community partners, staff and Board, and I have no doubt that she will be a strong voice for our vision to build a feminist future for California.”
WFC has a long history of growing leaders from within and is proud to have Vieira, a proven leader, take the helm as she celebrates five years at the Foundation in September. She has extensive national and global experience in philanthropic grant making, furthering gender, racial, economic and social justice priorities, and managing the efforts of nonprofit organizations in communities around the world. Vieira and the entire WFC team are deeply committed to advancing the Foundation’s mission, keeping its feminist values to invest, train and connect at the forefront as they continue to make California a more dignified and inclusive space for all.
“Leading the Women’s Foundation California into this next phase is a great privilege as our work becomes even more vital to so many communities in our state,” said Vieira. “Thanks to Surina’s fearless leadership, the Foundation is at its healthiest, and I look forward to working with our dedicated team and allies to build on our mission to co-create a more equitable future for all Californians.”
Khan’s tenure at WFC began in 2004 when she served as a volunteer for WFC’s Grants Review Committee. Shortly after, she joined the organization in a full-time position and went on to become CEO in 2014, refocusing the organization’s mission and expanding its work related to racial, economic and gender justice.
During her time as CEO, Khan more than doubled the Foundation’s operating budget allowing the organization to build a larger team than ever before and, in turn, further its grant making and training efforts. Under Khan’s leadership, WFC established the Solis Policy Institute-Local program, the Funders Policy Institute, the HOME Cohort, the Culture Change Fund, California Women Rising, the Youth Leadership Institute, and the California Gender Justice Funders Network – all integral elements of WFC’s work in communities statewide.
Marlene Garcia, chair of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation California, expressed gratitude to Surina for her leadership and dedication to the organization and shares the Board’s confidence as Vieira transitions to CEO.
“Under Surina’s leadership, the Women’s Foundation California has become the leading voice in California in support of communities led by women and non-binary leaders in pursuit of racial, gender and economic justice. Because of her great work and vision, the Foundation has achieved unprecedented fundraising success in support of its mission,” said Garcia. “Surina leaves the Foundation well-positioned for great success in the future. The Board and I have every confidence in Bia’s leadership as the new CEO to take the organization to the next level.”
Vieira will officially become CEO in September 2023 as Khan moves to a strategic advisor role through June 2024 to ensure a smooth transition.
About Women’s Foundation California
Women’s Foundation California is a statewide organization with more than four decades of experience leading the pursuit of racial, economic and gender justice and the advancement of gender expansive, intersectional feminist policies by investing in, training and connecting Californians most impacted by these critical issues. For more information, please visit the Women’s Foundation California website at www.womensfoundca.org.