Jim was named president and a trustee of the Barr Foundation in May 2014. Since his arrival, Barr has experienced significant growth. Annual grantmaking has tripled and the staff has more than doubled in size. Prior to Barr, Jim spent over two decades at The James Irvine Foundation, including service as president and CEO from 2003 through 2014. Before working in philanthropy, Jim was a high school English teacher. Jim currently serves as vice chair of the Kaiser Family Foundation and as a trustee of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Public Library, and Eastern Bank Foundation. Jim’s prior board service includes a ten-year term as a Stanford University trustee and as chair of the boards of the College Futures Foundation, KQED Public Broadcasting, Stanford Alumni Association, and Larkin Street Youth Services, and as vice chair of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Jim’s writings on a range of topics have appeared in the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, among other outlets. And he has been a featured speaker, panelist, moderator, or guest at a variety of forums dedicated to a stronger social sector, including the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Communications Network, PEAK Grantmaking, and Inside Philanthropy.
Barr’s president responds to the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action
Barr’s president describes a recent staff trip to Alabama.
President Jim Canales introduces new faces – and familiar faces in new places - at Barr.
The official unveiling of Boston’s newest public memorial – The Embrace – offers inspiration and hope for a New Year.
Barr’s President provides an update on a new racial wealth equity initiative, as the Foundation brings 2022 grantmaking to a close.
Jenny Curtin assumes leadership of Barr’s Education Team and strategies to advance educational equity in high schools across New England.
Jim Canales describes Barr’s initial grantmaking focused on racial wealth equity in Greater Boston.
The murders in Buffalo are, yet again, a call to action.
The realities of white supremacy, systemic racism, and violence against people of color and LGBTQ+ people — always present but rarely challenged by those with power — demand intense reflection and tangible action.
In this year-end blog post, Jim Canales reflects on 2021 and previews Barr’s plans for the year ahead.