Alumni Changemaker: Seyron Foo
To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Seyron Foo is our fifth Changemaker! He completed the 2008 Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs.
Building Relationships to Accomplish Positive Change
Seyron Foo embodies the values of philanthropy, community building, and advocacy.
Growing up in an underinvested community and as an immigrant from Southeast Asia, Seyron experienced the impact that changemakers can have on a community when he witnessed environmental justice advocates fight for clean water after contamination by heavy industry. Advocates who worked with community to improve health outcomes left a significant impression on him, inspiring his commitment to public service and a belief that people with lived expertise offer the solutions and path toward thriving communities.
Seeking opportunities to drive public policy in service of communities, he sought out PPIA's JSI to connect with a community of practice and strengthen the tools for effective policy making. He went on to earn his Master of Public Affairs at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs to further his potential for impacting change.
“The JSI changed my life. It brought me into a community of dedicated change agents looking to bring together grassroots organizing and public policy analysis.”
He began his work of strengthening communities and advancing policy working as a Legislative Aide to the California State Senate Majority Leader. There his participation led to the advancement of legislation in areas of health, tenant rights, and banking reform.
He went on to work with the City of Long Beach. In this role, he managed citywide infrastructure projects and stood up the Department of Public Works’ efforts to strengthen community relations, centering community voices to drive positive outcomes for the city.
He also furthered his leadership skills as a fellow in Independent Sector’s 2018 American Express NGen Program. Through this experience, he saw the power of an entire ecosystem of changemakers.
"I challenge you to look at the world through its opportunity to be better and do more good, not settle for what is served up for us.”
Appointed by California Governors Edmund G. Brown and Gavin Newsom as a board member on the California Board of Psychology, Seyron Foo continued his commitment to communities by working to protect and ensure that Californias have safe access to psychological services.
Seyron established and expanded the public policy and government relations functions at Southern California Grantmakers, a membership association of more than 325 philanthropies in the region. He advanced effective grantmaking through partnerships between philanthropy and government. His ability to create meaningful and lasting change in these various roles was a result of his ability to provide analysis on policy that supported key issues grantmakers were facing as well as communicate effectively to government officials on behalf of philanthropic efforts.
Now the Senior Advocacy Officer for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a foundation working to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage, Seyron continues his focus on driving systems change solutions through philanthropy. At the Hilton Foundation, he advances and co-develops the advocacy strategies for the Foundation’s investments in education and career pathways for young people and in long-term solutions that make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring in Los Angeles County.
We celebrate you, Seyron, for nurturing relationships and encouraging cooperation which is helping to create equitable and thriving societies. Your ability to successfully manage both communication and project development makes your impact invaluable. Thank you for your devotion to your community and for challenging what has been on behalf of what can be!