Brenda Solorzano

Brenda Solorzano

CEO, Headwaters Foundation

Brenda has spent her career working for good in the philanthropic world on issues related to health policy, the health care safety net and community health issues affecting vulnerable populations. She is a strategy, evaluation, program and grant making guru with an eye toward local collaboration and a keen sense that change happens when communities come together to engage in good work. She is invested in the work of the Headwaters Foundation because she believes every child deserves a healthy start to life. She left her beloved San Francisco to move to Montana to re-invent philanthropic practices at Headwaters and live in Big Sky Country with its slower pace of life and stunning beauty. Brenda holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science, a juris doctorate, is a member of the California state bar association and is a Terrance Keenan Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Fellow. Living in Montana, Brenda is learning to be an avid lover of nature and the great outdoors, along with her husband and two children.

Aspiration Gap: Nonprofits, Diversity, and the Role of Philanthropy


Nonprofit leaders know it’s crucial for their effectiveness to be diverse at the staff, leadership, and board levels. But, in many areas, CEP research reveals that their sense of how diverse they actually are is a long way from where they believe it needs to be. How can this be changed? What is the role of foundations in  supporting nonprofit efforts to become more diverse, as well as to foster inclusivity and equity? How are foundations themselves doing on these dimensions, and how might they get better?

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