Jennifer Rainin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Jen Rainin has served as CEO of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation since its public launch in 2009. 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, expanding and developing several major initiatives in the arts, education and health. She helped create two award programs for Bay Area performing arts organizations, and established the SFFS/KRF Filmmaker Awards, a successful partnership with the San Francisco Film Society to develop narrative feature films with a social justice theme. She commissioned Stage Left, a regional Emmy-nominated documentary film directed by RAPT Productions that outlines and celebrates the history of Bay Area theater. She also helped create the Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), a nonprofit dedicated to stabilizing arts organizations in San Francisco’s Central Market Street corridor. In education, Jen has focused the Foundation’s efforts on early childhood education, supporting literacy development for children from birth through third grade in Oakland. Her work in health includes establishing the Innovator and Breakthrough Awards for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research and launching the Rainin Foundation’s Innovations Symposium, an annual event that brings together great minds from disparate disciplines to spark novel ideas and approaches to IBD research.
Jen’s deep commitment to philanthropy was instilled early on by her father and she continues to be personally involved in supporting numerous nonprofits and community based organizations. She helped establish and provide ongoing support to the Center for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and has also participated in fundraising for HIV/AIDS, Fragile X, Multiple Sclerosis, Breast Cancer and Cystic Fibrosis. Jen serves as the board president for Court 13 Arts in New Orleans, was a founding member of the San Francisco Ballet’s Encore Group, and has volunteered in the production department of the San Francisco International Film Festival. Her leadership and dedication to philanthropic efforts have been recognized through key awards, including the 2015 Outstanding Foundation award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Golden Gate Chapter, Inside Philanthropy 2014 IPPY award, and being named the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s 2013 Champion of Hope.
Jen actively engages with grantees and experts in the field, bringing people together to create new ideas and collaborations, and listening to ideas outside of philanthropy’s traditional circles.