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.
Jim Canales reflects on Barr’s longstanding commitment to Boston at this watershed moment.
Jim Canales reflects on recent staffing additions and changes in support of Barr’s mission of service
Barr’s president introduces refreshed core values, recent grant investments, and new website section focused on Barr’s commitment to racial equity.
Awaiting a verdict in the Chauvin trial.
Denouncing rising anti-Asian hate crimes and the recent murders in Atlanta.
The Foundation joins local funders in supporting equitable access to the vaccine.
On a sobering anniversary, Barr’s president reflects on lessons from a challenging year and new opportunities as we look to the future.
Full recording of a recent discussion between Darren Walker and Jim Canales on the role of philanthropy in creating a just future and much more.
A Barr veteran and field leader, Mariella will oversee continued growth of the Foundation’s Clean Energy, Mobility, and Resilience focus areas.
Reflections from Barr's board chair and president amidst the Foundation's continuing equity journey.