Board of Directors

Phyllis K. Friedman President

Phyllis K. Friedman is President and heart of the Friedman Family Foundation. She founded the Foundation with her late husband, Howard A. Friedman in 1964, and after his death in 1988, added her three children. She is a native Californian - born, raised and forever resident of the Bay Area. She received her B.A. and Masters in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She has always been involved in philanthropic giving, has always cared about people and is happiest when she can lend a hand or give support to enrich the life of an individual. She served on the Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, practiced as a school social worker and later as a family counselor for Russian immigrants resettling in the United States in the late 70's. For many years she served on the Board of the Koshland Program for Civic Unity of the San Francisco Foundation.

David A. Friedman Treasurer

David Friedman has a 40+ year career as a consulting structural and earthquake engineer. David has also been active in many Bay Area non-profits, within the earthquake engineering field, Jewish Community and in the social justice and economic development arenas. David is a past trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation, and past chair and trustee of The San Francisco Foundation. He is currently the chair of the Jewish Senior Living Group and San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR) board of directors, as well as a director of Build Change and the US Resiliency Council. David is a resident of San Francisco with his wife Paulette Meyer and three adult children.

Eleanor Friedman Vice-President

Eleanor Friedman is a philanthropist, designer and NGO addict. She is vice president of the Friedman Family Foundation, Chair of New York Live Arts/Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company's PIC program, co-founder of the New Israel Fund, the Lincoln School Foundation, Partners in Creation & the Coalition for the Medical Rights of Women and a member of the Women Donors Network. She's a resident of New York City. Her former life was as a graphic designer.

Robert E. Friedman Secretary

Bob Friedman has served on the Board of the Friedman Family Foundation for 25 years. He is Founder, Chair (soon Chair Emeritus) and General Counsel of the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a 35-year-old national economic development non-profit. In that role, he helped create the U.S. microenterprise, savings and asset-building fields and the international economic development and child savings fields. He serves on the Boards of CFED, Ecotrust, the Rosenberg Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and Child and Youth Finance International. He is a past board member of the Family Independence Initiative, Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, author of The Safety Net as Ladder: Transfer Payments and Economic Development, editor of Expanding the Opportunity to Produce and a contributor to numerous other publications.


Lisa M. Kawahara Grants Administrator

Lisa Kawahara has been managing the Friedman Family Foundation part-time for 25 years. She currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Bay Area Asset Funders Network, Advisory Board of the Bay Area Women's and Children's Center and is Co-Chair of Northern California Grantmakers' (NCG) Mad Hatters Network. Lisa also served on NCG's Emergency Loan Fund for many years. Her other profession is as Special Assistant with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).