2012 API Representation on the Top 100 Foundation Boards


LEAP’s 2012 API Representation on the Top 100 Foundation Boards marks the seventh report in the Leadership Research Series and the second edition of research focusing on foundations.  Our report shows that despite the burgeoning population and the growing need of segments of our community for greater access to services supported by large grant making foundations, APIs continue to remain largely absent from foundation boards.

The top 100 foundations controlled almost one-quarter of a trillion dollars in assets, which was leveraged to support specific programs in the U.S. and abroad. Interesting to note is that 59 of the top 100 foundations are located in 9 out of the 10 states with the largest API population concentrations in the U.S.: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, Florida, Virginia and Massachusetts. Hawaii does not have any foundations in the top 100.


  • There are 36 APIs holding 37 board seats at 24 of the top 100 foundations.
  • The ethnic breakdown of these API board members is as follows: Chinese (13), Japanese (8), Asian Indian (6), Korean (3), Filipino (2) Vietnamese (2), Singaporean (1) and Thai (1).
  • The 37 board seats represent 4.95% of the total 748 board seats in the top 100 foundations.
  • Twelve (33.33%) out of the 36 API directors are women.
  • One board member sits on more than one foundation board: Irene Hirano Inouye.
  • No APIs head a foundation in the role of executive director, president and/or CEO.
  • Two API directors serve as chair of a foundation board: Tessie Guillermo and Irene Hirano Inouye.
  • Seven of the top 100 foundations have two or more API directors on their boards: The Ford Foundation (3), The California Endowment (3), The Rockefeller Foundation (4), Silicon Valley Community Foundation (4), The James Irvine Foundation (2), The San Francisco Foundation (2) and The Commonwealth Fund (2).
  • The Rockefeller Foundation has 25% API representation on its board of trustees, the highest percentage of any other foundation in the top 100.


LEAP made every effort to achieve a high degree of accuracy. Information on race, ethnicity and gender composition of board members is not always publicly available. If errors or omissions are discovered, LEAP will make necessary adjustments. Please contact Grace Toy, Sr. Vice President of Administration and CFO, at gtoy@leap.org.

Click here to download the full report.