Dana K. Bezerra Named President of Heron Foundation

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Transition to take place on December 31, 2017

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Dana K. Bezerra will assume the role of President at Heron as of December 31, 2017, the Heron Foundation announced today.

Bezerra offers a breadth of experience that spans the philanthropic and for-profit sectors. She joined Heron in 2006 and has been responsible for deal-sourcing, identifying and developing relationships across a spectrum of investors, syndicating capital when possible, and cultivating opportunities to deploy the full range of Heron’s “toolbox” (including grants, program related investments, and market-rate mission related investments). Prior to joining Heron, Bezerra was with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith.

Bezerra has been active in the leadership of several national and local philanthropic organizations over the last two decades, including the Board of Capital Impact Partners, the steering committee for Mission Investors’ Exchange, and as a reviewer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of its Grand Challenge Exploration Program. Bezerra is a native Californian and earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and Public Policy from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Arthur “Buzz” Schmidt, chair of Heron’s board, said, “Heron's board is thrilled that Dana will be taking the helm. Her selection is not only a tribute to her, it also reflects the board's regard for Clara Miller's leadership over the past several years and Heron's strategic direction. Under Dana's leadership, Heron will lever the lessons it has learned over the past 25 years — both on the ground in communities and within the capital markets.”

Heron President Clara Miller echoed that sentiment, adding, “I’ve had the joy and privilege of working with Dana both before I came to Heron and during my tenure. Her exceptional ability to connect people and ideas, her diverse experience, and her inclusive working style make her uniquely well-equipped to lead the next phase of Heron’s evolution.” Miller will assume the role of President Emerita starting on December 31, 2017.


About Heron: Established in 1992, Heron’s mission is to help people and communities help themselves out of poverty. The foundation works with a diverse set of investment strategies focused on fostering economic innovations and practices that lead to long-term economic opportunity and prosperity for all. Our operating model aims to ensure that every dollar, staff member, and resource at our disposal is dedicated to helping people help themselves out of poverty.

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Christen Graham
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