Board of Directors

Phyllis K. Friedman Founder & President Emeritus

Phyllis K. Friedman was 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 was 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 was always involved in philanthropic giving, always cared about people and was happiest when she could 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.

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Eleanor Friedman 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.

David A. Friedman Vice President & 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, 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.

Robert E. Friedman Vice President & Secretary

Bob Friedman is Founder, and Chair Emeritus of Prosperity Now, a national economic development non-profit founded in 1979. 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 Prosperity Now, Ecotrust, the Rosenberg Foundation, and the San Francisco Foundation. 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 A Few Thousand Dollars: Sparking Prosperity for Everyone (released October 2018), 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 directed the Friedman Family Foundation for 32 years. She currently serves on the Bay Area Asset Funders Network Steering Committee and on the Advisory Board of the Bay Area Women's and Children's Center. She previously worked with Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap and Prosperity Now. Lisa is currently a consultant with philanthropic and nonprofit organizations.