October 06, 2021

After a Decade of Leadership, Max Williams Will Depart from Oregon Community Foundation

OCF Board of Directors Launches National Search for the Next Leader of Oregon’s Largest Community Foundation

OCF announced today that Max Williams will transition out of his role as President and CEO of Oregon’s largest community foundation after a decade of leadership. Williams will continue to lead OCF until a new CEO is selected. The OCF Board of Directors will begin a national search process this month, anticipating a 9–12-month selection and transition process.

“Max Williams’ contributions to the growth and impact of Oregon Community Foundation over the past 10 years have been extraordinary,” said Kimberly Cooper, Board Chair, Oregon Community Foundation. “His shared commitment to improving lives for all Oregonians, and his leadership across non-profit, public and private sectors has helped inspire a greater sense of community, and community-led solutions that have rippled out in so many positive ways. We deeply appreciate all that Max has done to advance OCF’s mission and work over the last decade and are especially grateful for his steady leadership throughout the pandemic during one of the most complex and challenging periods in Oregon’s history.”

A Decade of Service, a Legacy of Positive Impact

Max Williams joined Oregon Community Foundation in 2012 following a distinguished career as a lawyer, state legislator and leader of the Oregon Department of Corrections. “My career has always been fueled by a passion to make a difference,” said Max Williams, outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer, Oregon Community Foundation.

After ten years of leadership and service, Williams’ leaves a legacy of positive impact including:

  • Expanding OCF’s reach and impact by granting more than a billion dollars to benefit every community in Oregon;
  • Growing OCF’s endowment to $3.2B;
  • Proactively addressing overlapping crises of a pandemic, a resurgent racial justice movement and Labor Day fires–facilitating a record-setting $227M in grants to communities, in record time;
  • Creating a $30M Oregon Impact Fund, providing catalytic growth capital to Oregon-based nonprofit and for-profit ventures, funds and intermediaries;
  • Stewarding some of the largest charitable gifts in Oregon’s history
  • Creating one of the largest community foundation research teams in the country to respond to community needs more effectively with accurate data.

“I hold a deep love for Oregon and Oregonians, so serving at the helm of Oregon’s largest community foundation has been the honor of a lifetime for me,” said Williams. “As OCF embarks upon its next strategic planning process and approaches its 50th Anniversary, we reach a natural inflection point and perfect time to invite new leadership in to help chart the next chapter of OCF’s work around impactful giving.”

Williams is the third chief executive in Oregon Community Foundation’s nearly 50-year history, following the 24-year tenure of Greg Chaille.

“OCF is more than just one person. It is a network of thousands of passionate and dedicated people - volunteers, donors, community organizations, staff – working across the state, in communities large and small, urban and rural,” said Williams. “The impact of our collaboration in communities throughout Oregon continues as we move toward new leadership.”

Finding OCF’s Next Leader

The cascading crises of the past 18 months, especially, have amplified inequities across the state, disproportionately impacting women and children, communities of color, individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, and low-income and other under-represented populations— in response, OCF and its donors dramatically increased support for strategic solutions in these areas. OCF will continue to expand its commitment in addressing such longstanding disparities in the months and years ahead.

“The last year-and-a-half has also amplified Oregonians’ interconnectedness and OCF’s vital role in bringing people together to invite and share support where it’s needed most. While there is so much important work yet to accomplish together, it has been heartwarming to see Oregonians rise to meet the challenges of our time. That community spirit is essential for the work ahead.”

OCF’s current strategic plan leans into the foundation’s convening and community-building role, helping to create pathways to success for Oregon’s children and families, emphasizing those who have been historically and systematically excluded, and amplifying the tremendous talents and generosity of a statewide network of everyday Oregonians. The next strategic plan process will begin in 2022 to be activated in 2023 coinciding with OCF’s 50th Anniversary.

OCF’s Board of Directors is committed to finding the right leader to steward the organization into the next decades and advance its mission to improve lives through the power of philanthropy. The Board will engage an executive search firm to help conduct a comprehensive search for the foundation’s next chief executive. Community partners and donors are invited to share their thoughts about potential candidates and capabilities by emailing the search team at: