Lynn Alvarez Bio
Lynn Alvarez is a consultant to foundations, providing training, program development, planning, evaluation, and grantmaking services. She draws on her over two decades of experience as a program officer at several major California foundations, as faculty of The Grantmaking School, as a public interest lawyer, as a leader in the nonprofit sector, and as a law professor.
In her former role as senior program officer at The California Endowment, Lynn led the development of a new grantmaking program, the implementation of a customer satisfaction survey, and the refinement of grantmaking procedures. She contributed to programmatic and process improvements throughout the foundation, including a comprehensive program officer training program. One of her grantmaking programs involved managing a $30 million grant portfolio that encompassed two strategic initiatives: Native American health and a health grantmaking partnership involving 25 community foundations. The development of these major initiatives, and other projects at the foundation, involved convening key stakeholders, managing evaluation plans, disseminating findings, and developing funding criteria and objectives.
Lynn’s foundation experience also includes working at the California Community Foundation and the Peninsula Community Foundation. As a program officer at those foundations, she worked extensively in the areas of child development, education, human services, affordable housing and the arts. She managed several grantmaking programs and donor advised funds.
For the past eight years, Lynn has been working as a consultant to dozens of foundations in the Los Angeles area and nationally. Through this work she has had the opportunity to work with communities throughout the Los Angeles region on critical issues such as youth violence prevention, foster youth, education reform and building the organizational effectiveness of area nonprofits.
Lynn earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law (Berkeley Law) at the University of California, Berkeley. The focus of her work as an attorney was on immigrant and refugee issues. She was the legal director of a community based organization representing Central American refugees and also worked on a national level in major class-action law suits representing the rights of immigrants. As a professor at UCLA, she taught courses on immigration law and professional ethics. Lynn is fluent in three languages - English, Spanish and French.
She has served on the boards of Para Los Niños, Human Rights Watch and the Central American Refugee Center. She was also appointed to the California State Bar’s Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission, and has chaired the Committee on Legal Services to the Poor for the State Bar. Lynn is currently on the board of the Los Angeles Education Partnership and is active on the parent boards of the LAUSD schools where her children attend.