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East Bay Community Foundation welcomes President Napolitano

The East Bay Community Foundation (EBCF) extended UC’s new president a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the downtown Oakland community last week, hosting “An Evening with Janet Napolitano” at its headquarters near City Hall on Jan. 30.

The first charitable community foundation to be established in northern California, in 1928, EBCF now administers more than 500 charitable funds for community benefit in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including more than $3.2 million in grants and $38,000 in student scholarships to the University of California in 2013.

EBCF Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Deborah Alvarez-Rodriguez introduced Napolitano by describing the two organizations’ shared legacy as champions of diversity and innovation to empower the community and build a great future for the next generation.

“The cornerstone of our innovation is our ability to bring together people and institutions of diverse backgrounds and interests to learn from each other, to leverage each other’s assets and make great things happen,” Alvarez-Rodriguez said.

Napolitano, in her remarks, explained how UC Office of the President supports UC’s campuses, medical centers, national labs and the division of Agriculture and Natural Resources around the state. UC produces an average of four inventions a day, she said, “amazing” discoveries that have the power to transform the world.

“Our main job at UCOP is to make sure all of UC’s diverse enterprises have what they need to educate our students, to serve the people of California and to advance the hundreds of ideas that come out of our research programs.”

Napolitano also talked about UC’s local role as one of Oakland’s biggest employers, a stakeholder and an active partner in the community. She indicated that she will soon announce an initative focused on how UCOP can enhance its relationship with the local Oakland community. Look for more about that announcement in the coming weeks.

UC Executive Vice President Nathan Brostrom serves on the EBCF board of directors, along with other business, civic and educational leaders. EBCF’s headquarters is located in the historic De Domenico Building next to City Hall in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza.

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