Alexa Cortes Culwell

Alexa Cortés Culwell

Open Impact


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Alexa is the co-founder of Open Impact, a strategic advisory firm partnering with exceptional social change leaders to envision, design and accelerate their impact. Her work focuses on strategic advising and planning, leadership development, and speaking/teaching. She is a co-author of the groundbreaking report, The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy, which has been featured in nearly 30 media stories since its release in Fall 2016.

From 2010-2015 Alexa served as a visiting practitioner at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

For nearly two decades, Alexa built and managed foundations, philanthropic initiatives and strategic grants for successful entrepreneurs. From 1992-2005, Alexa served as the founding CEO of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation and from 2006-2010 as CEO of the Stupski Foundation.

In her role guiding philanthropic investments, Alexa has created initiatives for more than 175 human service and education-reform nonprofits and incubated and scaled several social change start-ups in the areas of education and youth development. Her work has been cited in Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review and by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

Alexa is an active partner of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley, and a two-term trustee and advisory board member of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. For the past 20 years, she has also played an active role developing New Door Ventures, a nationally recognized nonprofit in San Francisco that creates economic opportunity for marginalized youth through job training and internships.

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