Jennifer Rainin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer

Jen Rainin launched the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in 2009, and has served as CEO since that time. She previously worked as a teacher and literacy specialist, earning her doctorate in education from the University of Illinois, Chicago along the way.

Under Jen’s leadership, the Foundation has adopted a targeted approach to grantmaking, developing several major initiatives in the arts, education and health. In the arts, she established the SFFILM/Rainin Filmmaking Grants, a successful partnership that has become the largest granting body for independent narrative feature films in the US.  She also helped create the Community Arts Stabilization Trust, a groundbreaking real estate holding company, which has gained international recognition for its approach to mitigating the displacement of arts and cultural organizations throughout the Bay Area. In education, Jen has focused the Foundation’s work on early childhood education in Oakland, supporting literacy development for children from birth through third grade, and professional development for teachers and coaches working with these students. Jen‘s efforts in health led to grantmaking programs to support high risk, high reward ideas that advance Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research and the launch of Rainin Foundation’s Innovations Symposium, an annual event that brings together international and US researchers from disparate disciplines, to inspire novel ideas and collaborations that benefit IBD research.

Jen’s deep commitment to philanthropy was instilled early on by her father, Kenneth Rainin, and she continues to be involved in supporting numerous nonprofits and community based organizations, including the Center for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, which she established with her father. She is currently a board member of the Exploratorium in San Francisco and is board president of Court 13 Arts in New Orleans. She also serves on the Northern California Grantmakers’ Policy Committee, which helps shape policy strategy on behalf of Northern California Grantmakers. Her philanthropic efforts have garnered several awards, including 2015 Outstanding Foundation from the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Inside Philanthropy’s 2014 IPPY award, and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s 2013 Champion of Hope.

Jen actively engages with grantees and experts in the Foundation’s program areas, bringing people together to create new ideas and collaborations, and listening to ideas outside of philanthropy’s traditional circles.