Prebys Foundation appoints Pittsburgh philanthropy expert as CEO

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The Conrad Prebys Foundation, one of Greater San Diego’s largest philanthropic donors, has recruited the president of the legendary Heinz Endowments of Pittsburgh to be its next CEO.

Grant Oliphant will start working in March, replacing Ann Hill, who was acting director.

The hiring comes as the Prebys Foundation wraps up its first year of grantmaking, in which it awarded $ 90 million to various organizations, primarily in the arts, health, science, medicine and the well-being of young people.

The foundation is named after Conrad Prebys, a San Diego real estate mogul who donated $ 350 million during his lifetime and left $ 1 billion when he died in 2016. The foundation says his assets now exceed $ 1.4 billion.

Oliphant, 60, has been President of Heinz Endowments since 2014. It is a large, private and independent foundation that has its roots in the late Henry J. Heinz, the American businessman who founded the famous food processing company that bears his name. .

The Heinz Endowments have over $ 2 billion in assets and donate approximately $ 90 million annually.

Oliphant started to work with the Heinz family in 1988 when he became a staff member of Pennsylvania Senator John Heinz. He went on to hold various philanthropic roles and received particular praise for helping the Heinz Endowments deepen their environmental protection work. His job was to help transform a former Pittsburgh steel mill into an innovation hub that serves an area famous for its work in science, medicine and engineering.

It was in Pittsburgh that Jonas Salk largely developed the first effective polio vaccine. He later founded the Salk Institute in La Jolla.

“I am excited about the opportunity (to move to San Diego)”, Oliphant said the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Wednesday.

“I love building things, and this is an opportunity to take what I’ve learned in my career in Pittsburgh and build what will become the biggest foundation in San Diego, and help build the wealthy philanthropic tradition that we have here. “

Tony Cortes, chairman of the board of the Prebys Foundation, said in a statement: “Grant is passionate about the field of local philanthropy and deeply committed to community programming that has real and lasting impact.


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