In his role at the Foundation, Kenji oversees strategy formulation and execution, grants and program activities, organizational learning and assessment, and communications. Inspired by his grandparents, who were born on sugar cane plantations in Hawai’i and in Irish working-class neighborhoods in Boston, and by his parents, who completed college via nontraditional paths and worked in public interest fields, Kenji is committed to building a more inclusive and just society now and for generations to come. He was drawn to the Stuart Foundation because of its long history in supporting the holistic development of young people, as well as its vision for creating an equitable education system that elevates students’ assets and supports them to realize their fullest aspirations for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Kenji had the privilege of previously partnering with nonprofit and education leaders through his roles at the Sobrato Philanthropies and The James Irvine Foundation, where his experience as a grantmaker spanned early education, K12, and postsecondary education at the local, regional, and state levels – and included efforts focused on policy, practice, and public engagement. Kenji currently serves as a board member of Californians for Justice, Northern California Grantmakers, and SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language). He earned a B.A. in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz during the late ’90s when multiple protest movements forever shaped his belief in activism to ensure fairness in public institutions, and he later completed a Master of Public Administration degree as part of a night/weekend cohort at the University of San Francisco.

When not at work, he loves listening to music and learning to play musical instruments, spending time with family and friends eating and talking about food, and caring for and cruising around in vintage American muscle cars.