Ira Hirschfield

Ira Hirschfield

Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund

President Emeritus

Ira served as president and a trustee of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund from 1992 to 2016. As president emeritus, he oversees the Fund’s investments and continues to play a leadership role in three of the Fund’s key community partnerships: Crissy Field, the Presidio, and the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund.

Among the Fund’s signature achievements under Ira’s tenure was its leadership in the successful drive for marriage equality in California and across the country. Ira also played a key role in an array of major local and national initiatives that express the values of the Fund including the transformation of Crissy Field in the Presidio of San Francisco; the creation of U.C. Berkeley’s Initiative for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity; co-founding the San Francisco Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund; and helping create Coaching Corps, a nonprofit that uses the power of sports to level the playing field for children in underserved communities.

Prior to joining the Fund, Ira was director of philanthropy with Rockefeller Family and Associates and founder and president of The Philanthropic Collaborative. He has also held leadership positions at Levi Strauss & Co.  Additionally, Ira co-founded and served as President and chairman of the F.B. Heron Foundation.

During his career, Ira has been the recipient of many honors, including the 2016 Council on Foundations Distinguished Service Award, philanthropy’s highest honor, recognizing his visionary leadership and significant contributions to the field. Other awards include AFP Golden Gate’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award; SPUR’s 2016 Silver SPUR Award; and UC Berkeley’s 2017 Founders Award. In addition, Ira has served on numerous local and national boards and in other areas of community activism. 

A Chicago native, Ira graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University and received a master’s degree in urban affairs from Occidental College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in public administration and gerontology from the University of Southern California.