Judy Belk

The California Wellness Foundation
President and CEO

Judy Belk is president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation, (Cal Wellness), one of
California’s largest public health philanthropic institutions. With nearly $1 billion in assets, Cal
Wellness awards approximately $43 million annually in grants  and program-related
investments that promote health equity, justice and advocacy for communities and individuals
whose lives and wellness are too often determined by their race, income, immigration status or
where they live. Throughout its twenty-seven year history, Cal Wellness has played a leadership
role in promoting violence prevention as a public health issue and is one of the nation’s leading
philanthropic voices in funding gun violence prevention efforts. Belk leads the foundation in
pursuing its mission to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California,
with a core belief that access to quality health care is a human right. Belk is also a board
member and officer on the Cal Wellness board of directors.

Belk uses her vision and her voice to help Cal Wellness fulfill the vision of functioning as a social
justice public health funder. Under her leadership, the foundation invested $13 million in two
new initiatives to address health issues that disproportionately impact women of color and
launched a mission-related investing strategy to leverage more of the foundation’s financial
resources. She strives to integrate Cal Wellness’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
into every aspect of the foundation’s operations.

Prior to joining Cal Wellness in 2014, Belk served as senior vice president of Rockefeller
Philanthropy Advisors, a global nonprofit founded by the Rockefeller Family committed to
helping donors be thoughtful and strategic in their giving; and as vice president of global public
affairs at Levi Strauss & Co. where under her leadership, the company was awarded the first
Ron Brown Award for Outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility for its fight against
institutional racism.

A prolific writer and speaker on organizational ethics, race, and social change, Belk has been
published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Public
Radio (NPR) in addition to other news outlets.

Belk currently serves on the boards of the Surdna Foundation, a national New York-based
family foundation, and Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat on Whidbey Island  in
Washington state that promotes women’s voices and social change. She also is a member of
the Northwestern University Council of One Hundred. She has previously served on the boards
of the ACLU of Northern California, the Ms. Foundation for Women and the Berkeley Repertory
Theater. Belk received a BS in communications from Northwestern University and an MA in
public administration from California State University, East Bay where she was recognized as
the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Belk was inducted
in the Alexandria African American Hall of Fame in recognition of her writing and public service
leadership. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Share this article!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin