Lisa Van Dusen

The Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) has hired longtime Silicon Valley social impact leader Lisa Van Dusen to be its new Executive Director.

Lisa joins PACF as we help meet the unprecedented needs laid bare by the global pandemic, surging economic inequality and increasing focus on systemic racial injustice. She is uniquely suited to lead our organization and help us navigate the extraordinary challenges in our community, seizing promising opportunities as our organization continues to evolve.

Following the outbreak of the pandemic this spring, PACF established a COVID-19 Relief Fund to support those most in need in our own backyard. This year alone, with you, our donors and nonprofit partners, PACF has raised and invested more than $1.7 million in our community.

Lisa has dedicated her career to helping build thriving communities through philanthropy, advocacy, entrepreneurship and media, bringing more than 30 years of cross sector experience to her new role.

Most recently, Lisa was Chief Relationship Officer at Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2) where she led innovation and learning initiatives that deepened awareness, engagement and giving to address social and environmental challenges in Silicon Valley and globally.  Her accomplishments include expanding and diversifying SV2’s donor community, introducing field-leading impact investing and spearheading advocacy program offerings.

Lisa, who has lived in Palo Alto for 35 years, has held a variety of professional and civic leadership positions, including launching two groundbreaking local media ventures—Cable Communications Cooperative of Palo Alto (Cable Co-op) and Palo Alto Online. She revived and co-led Leadership Palo Alto and created and hosted First Person, a video interview series featuring Silicon Valley trailblazers.

In addition to her experience as a social entrepreneur, Van Dusen brings expertise in sales, marketing and communications with the Palo Alto Weekly and other organizations. She has served on a variety of nonprofit boards including, Palo Alto Art Center, Planned Parenthood (Golden Gate), WINGS Guatemala and in numerous civic leadership roles. She has been recognized extensively, including as a Silicon Valley Women of Influence, TEDx speaker, Leadership Midpeninsula Senior Fellow and California College of the Arts Leading by Design Fellow.

“The Palo Alto Community Fund has been a hidden gem and much-needed hyperlocal bridge connecting the unparalleled resources in our community with our equally staggering and growing needs,” Lisa shared. “I am honored to join PACF’s exceptional Board, dedicated nonprofit partners, generous donors and compassionate neighbors to collectively envision and create a community where everyone can thrive.”

Lisa’s combination of integrity, energy, creativity and commitment to our community makes her the perfect leader for PACF going forward. Her ability to listen, cultivate relationships and collaborate strategically with all members of our community will help us bring our shared vision to life.

Please join us in giving Lisa a warm welcome. You can reach her at