James C. Morgan is often referred to as a “bridge builder” between business and the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. He is respected for his transformational management style that inspires and empowers people to achieve excellence and become outstanding managers and leaders.
Jim is one of the most influential nonprofit and philanthropic leaders in Silicon Valley. Possessing a rare blend of technological aptitude, business acumen, and leadership skills, he advanced the semiconductor industry worldwide. Jim led the semiconductor equipment giant, Applied Materials, for nearly three decades — one of the longest tenures of any Fortune 500 CEO.
Under his leadership, Applied Materials received numerous awards for its commitment to achieving sustainability and for its socially responsible practices. Industry Week named Applied Materials one of America’s Best Managed Companies and Fortune magazine selected it as one of America’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, and among the Best Companies for Minorities.
Nonprofit and Philanthropic Contributions
As co-founder of The Northern Sierra Partnership, Jim spurred the formation of a pioneering collaboration by bringing five conservation nonprofits together to do what none could do alone. The partnership has successfully preserved over 90,000 acres in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains. Jim also volunteers as a fundraising campaign chair and has helped raise more than $200 million for conservation efforts in Northern California.
Jim served as both a California and global trustee, as well as co-chair of the Asia Pacific Council of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a worldwide nonprofit that focuses on programs that “Protect Nature and Preserve Life.” He was honored with The Nature Conservancy’s prestigious Oak Leaf Award.
In 1993, Jim co-founded, along with his wife Becky Morgan, a former California State Senator, the Morgan Family Foundation. Their shared goal is to change lives and transform communities. They like to “give forward,” to help individuals and organizations reach their full potential.
Jim also served as an advisory board member for Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the largest and most successful university-based social enterprise accelerator in the world.
Recognition and Awards
Jim has served as a technology adviser to three U.S. presidents, including George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. In 1996, he was presented with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Bill Clinton.
He was instrumental in creating The Tech Interactive’s Tech for Global Good awards and inspired the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, honoring individuals whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combating critical global problems. Past recipients have included Bill Gates, Gordon Moore, Al Gore, and Julie Packard.
Among Jim’s many honors are the Global Semiconductor Association Dr. Morris Chang Award; SIA and IEEE Robert N. Noyce Awards; the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Lifetime Achievement Award; The Tech Interactive Global Humanitarian Award; and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Award.
Jim and Becky have been married for more than 50 years. They reside in Northern California near their two children and five grandchildren.
Diane Parnes is an inspirational consultant and trusted social impact advisor empowering mission-driven CEOs, staff, and board leaders to create positive change and transformation. Based in Silicon Valley, she advises and coaches nonprofits and foundations nationwide.
Diane has spent her entire 30-year career starting up and scaling nonprofits and advising ultra-high net worth philanthropists. Her career started as a certified fundraising executive and evolved into executive director roles at two Bay Area nonprofits. Ultimately recruited to the philanthropic world, she became a high-tech global grantmaker followed by 20 years of service as chief executive of several major Silicon Valley foundations. During her leadership of the Sobrato Family Foundation, she and the foundation were recognized by the National Association of Fundraising Professionals with the Outstanding Foundation Award, both nationally and by the Silicon Valley Chapter.
For the last two decades, Diane has been a sector leader and champion of unrestricted, multi-year general operating support and organizational capacity-building initiatives with an emphasis on strengthening staff leaders and board governance. All of her individual and foundation clients have adopted that strategic giving approach based on her recommendation. She’s directed hundreds of millions of dollars for community benefit through cash giving, rent-free office and meeting space grants, and technology equipment grants, affordable housing loans and other special initiatives.
Diane has been recognized as a Silicon Valley “Woman of Influence” and honored for her volunteer service by the Association of Fundraising Professionals–Silicon Valley chapter. She is a past board chair of Northern California Grantmakers, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Association of Fundraising Professionals– Silicon Valley. Her twelve other board roles include a nonprofit public policy and advocacy group, venture philanthropy fund, community foundation, and numerous philanthropy field-building associations. She is an active presenter/moderator at sector conferences and convenings and has been cited in regional and national philanthropy publications.