September 20, 2002

Mariano Diaz Selected as the San Diego Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Community Partnerships

Mariano Diaz has recently been selected to lead The San Diego Foundation’s Community Partnerships Department as Senior Vice President.

Mariano’s leadership will drive The San Diego Foundation’s Community Partnerships Department in achieving its strategic objectives and serving critical community needs. This department provides a broad range of services to the San Diego community. Not only is it responsible for providing grants to local organizations to support a variety of community needs, but it houses The Foundation’s Community Knowledge program. By cultivating extensive knowledge of community issues and introducing its donors to important grantmaking opportunities, The San Diego Foundation is making a great social investment in San Diego County. The Community Knowledge program seeks to engage everyone who is eager to learn and understand how to address pressing problems and make an impact on the community.

Mariano will oversee The San Diego Foundation’ Community Knowledge Working Groups, which problem-solve to address critical needs in San Diego: Science & Technology, Environment, Health & Human Services, Civil Society, Organizational Success, and its newest group, Arts & Culture. Mariano’s leadership will ensure that all of San Diego’s communities are represented and can benefit from the philanthropy of individuals and foundations.

Mariano has extensive experience with nonprofit organizations, including serving as Director of The California Endowment’s Community Health Investment Program and as Executive Director of California HealthCare Partnerships for Blue Cross of California. He was the owner and Principal Consultant of Esme & Associates, which provided capacity building strategies for non-profit organizations and public agencies. His most recent position was as Global Director of the Nike Foundation, Global Community Affairs in Beaverton, Oregon, where he oversaw execution of US and global employee community involvement programs, Foundation grant-making, corporate contributions and product donations totaling $29 million annually.

Mariano received his B.A. in Combined Social Sciences at UC Santa Barbara and a Masters of Education - Administration, Planning & Social Policy at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. A native of Los Angeles, he has been very involved in serving the various communities of Southern California. His community involvement has included serving on the Boards of the California Association of Non-Profits, the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, the East Los Angeles YMCA, New Economics for Women, Southern California Association of Philanthropy, and Association of Mexican American Educators.

Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation is San Diego’s largest foundation and leading philanthropic organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of life in all of San Diego’s communities by promoting and increasing responsible and effective philanthropy. The Foundation manages over $400 million in assets and houses more than 760 funds. In its 27 years, The San Diego Foundation has granted more than $213 million to various programs and organizations. Learn more about The San Diego Foundation’s Community Knowledge Program by visiting

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