A Letter From Executive Director Jean Ross

Dear Friends:

I am writing with both excitement and sadness. I will be leaving the California Budget Project (CBP) to accept a position at the Ford Foundation as the US Program Officer for Transparent, Effective, and Accountable Government at the end of March.

My 17 years with the CBP have been incredibly rewarding. From day one, my goal has been to build a lasting organizational capacity to engage in timely, credible, and accessible analysis of fiscal and economic policies and their impact on California that is much greater than any one individual. I leave my position confident in the ability of the CBP’s staff, with the strong support of the organization’s board, to continue to produce the insightful analyses that policymakers, advocates, members of the media, and thousands of other Californians have come to depend on.

If you read the “author” box of our recent policy reports on how the state spends its money, income inequality, or school funding, you will appreciate the breadth and depth of the staff of the CBP. They are tremendously talented and mission driven. I hope that you will give them the same trust and support that I have always enjoyed. The CBP’s board of directors will conduct a broad search to identify a leader who will continue the organization’s essential work.

I want to thank my coworkers for their outstanding work; the CBP’s board for its commitment and support; our funders – large and small – for investing in our collective goals; and all of the dedicated Californians who I have had the opportunity to work with over nearly two decades. All of you are truly the best California has to offer. You inspire me, and you are our state’s future.

In accepting my position with the Ford Foundation, I hope to take the lessons I’ve learned at the CBP and from my friends and colleagues throughout California and the country to, in the words of the job description for my new position, “ensure that federal and state governments effectively address the needs of the American people, especially the most vulnerable; that the public sector has adequate resources and revenue to accomplish this; and that government decision-making is open and accessible and encourages broad participation by the general public.” In other words, to advance the same goals and values that are at the core of the mission and daily work of the CBP.

Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. While I will be relocating across the country, professionally, I am not moving far. I hope that our paths continue to cross.

With much admiration and respect,

Jean Ross

P.S. I hope to personally thank as many of you as possible for making my time here at the CBP so rewarding. One way to ensure that I have the opportunity to do so is for you to attend our March 15 annual policy conference – yes this is a shameless promotion. Let me assure you that I am committed to making this year’s conference our best ever!