Marissa Tirona (she/her/hers) joined GCIR in November 2020, bringing more than 15 years of senior leadership experience at social justice and philanthropic institutions. As President, Marissa leads the organization’s efforts to galvanize philanthropy to build a society in which everyone thrives, no matter where they were born. Previously, she was a program officer at the Ford Foundation, where she managed a $225 million portfolio as part of the Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD) initiative, Ford’s flagship program designed to strengthen organizations and networks core to the global social justice infrastructure. Before joining Ford in 2017, Marissa led the Blue Shield of California Foundation’s programmatic, policy, and grantmaking efforts to address, prevent, and ultimately end domestic violence and promote health equity throughout the state. Prior to that, she was senior project director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, where she designed and led comprehensive, multiyear leadership initiatives that developed network capacity, facilitated movement-level work, and centered communities of color. Earlier in her career, Marissa served as program director of the National Employment Lawyers Association and, before that, as an employment attorney at two national law firms.
Marissa has deep experience in organizational and movement capacity building. She frequently speaks on and writes about issues related to transformative philanthropic practice, social justice movement leadership development, and organizational and network strengthening in the United States and around the world. As a certified coach, she has a keen understanding of what is needed to lead and manage thriving, adaptive, and impactful teams, organizations, and networks.
Marissa currently serves on the boards of Change Elemental and Sadie Nash Leadership Project and previously served on the boards of numerous other organizations, including Oakland Kids First, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Social Policy Research Associates, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. She holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law, is a member of the California State Bar, and has a B.A. in English literature with a concentration in women’s studies from Swarthmore College. Based in Brooklyn with her family since 2017, Marissa is always from the Town (Oakland).