The president and CEO of the Weingart Foundation, which works with organizations on social justice and racial equity issues throughout Southern California, announced Tuesday he will step down from his post Jan. 25.

Fred Ali has served as president and CEO of the Weingart Foundation since 1999 and will be replaced by Miguel Santana, the recent president and CEO of Fairplex and a former Los Angeles City Administrative Officer.

“I will be forever grateful to our nonprofit and community partners as well as our board and staff for their unwavering commitment to making Southern California more equitable,” Ali said. “Working together for justice, we have helped build a more inclusive region and touched many lives.”

The Foundation said that during Ali’s 22-year tenure, policy changes were made to focus the institution’s support for social justice and racial equity.

“Fred is a one-of-a-kind leader who devotes himself to supporting the nonprofit community and has immeasurably enhanced both the field of philanthropy and the Weingart Foundation,” Weingart Foundation Board Chair Aileen Adams said. “While we will miss him dearly, our board is full of gratitude that Fred’s vision and commitment helped transform us into an organization laser-focused on racial equity and justice with a diverse board and staff.”

During the 2008 recession, Ali led a plan to provide nonprofits with unrestricted operating funds, and over the last two decades Weingart has granted more than $745 million to nonprofits, most of which have been community-based organizations that provide services in low-income communities with high populations of people of color.

Under Ali, the foundation also established the John W. Mack Fellowship program that, according to the foundation’s website, aims “to strengthen and develop the pipeline of next-generation movement leaders” to work on social justice and racial equity issues in Southern California.

“It is hard to imagine what Southern California would be like without Fred Ali,” Santana said. “Fred is not only a national philanthropic leader, he is a civic leader building consensus to advance equity, as well as a mentor and confidant to dozens of nonprofit leaders and community advocates.

“I am proud to follow in his footsteps and continue the work and vision of the Weingart Foundation for a more just and inclusive region.”

More information about the Weingart Foundation can be found at www.weingartfnd.org.

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