Santa Barbara Foundation Names New President & CEO

The Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to announce that Jackie Carrera has been named its new President & CEO. Carrera took over as Interim CEO of the 92-year-old community foundation in January, succeeding Ronald V. Gallo, who led the Foundation for 11 years and continues to serve as CEO Emeritus. 

“With strong execution, organizational management and community engagement skills, Jackie will be a transformational leader, just what the board of trustees was looking for in our next President & CEO,” said Pamela Gann, Chair of the Board of Trustees. 

Carrera’s appointment concludes a national search during which the team interviewed over 50 local stakeholders to help identify the characteristics of the ideal candidate to address the diverse needs of Santa Barbara County. “We reached out for input in order to fully embrace and recognize the value of our many community partners,” said Steve Hicks, Search Committee Chair. The Committee considered a range of more than 90 strong, accomplished candidates and ultimately decided the Interim CEO, who has already proven to be an exceptional leader, was their unanimous choice. Carrera will be the first female President & CEO in the organization’s long history. 

“The confidence that has been placed in me to lead this iconic institution and extremely talented team is profoundly gratifying,” said Carrera. “SBF will not only maintain our high standards in philanthropic services, grantmaking and nonprofit support, we will continue to evolve and expand our impact in Santa Barbara County.” 

Jackie Carrera, President & CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. 

Carrera, who has 30 years’ experience in nonprofit leadership, has been with the Santa Barbara Foundation for almost two years as its Chief Revenue & Business Development Officer. During that time, she helped marshal community resources to achieve the organization’s strategic priorities and to recover from the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows. 

“We have so much respect for what she’s accomplished already. With Jackie at the helm the nonprofit community knows that the Santa Barbara Foundation is not only a place to be funded but a place to be heard,” said Ernesto Parades, Executive Director of Easy Lift and SBF Trustee. 

Carrera assumes the role at a critical time as the organization deals with the crippling fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic. As the crisis has unfolded, Carrera has played a pivotal role in mobilizing the emergency effort to bring together a funder’s collaborative of 26 members, and raising $2.3 million to address the needs of individuals, families and nonprofits through an emergency grant program. 

About Santa Barbara Foundation 

The Santa Barbara Foundation, the largest community foundation in the region and the county’s go-to resource for investment and capacity-building, strives to mobilize and elevate all residents to thrive. Nearly every Santa Barbara County nonprofit organization and essential community project has been supported by the Foundation during its 92-year history. 

The Foundation is working to improve areas that affect quality of life in Santa Barbara County including childcare, workforce development, and workforce housing. The Foundation connects those who give with those in need – and all who dream of stronger communities. To learn more, please visit 


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