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Peeps to Step Down as Head of Children’s Health Foundation

PALO ALTO – After nine years as president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Stephen Peeps will step down from the role, he announced last Friday.

“With a potential tenth year coming up, I had already been wondering what next,” said Peeps, who was on a planned sabbatical leave. “My plan was to think this through while I was away, but just a few days into my sabbatical, my decision was already clear. I haven’t committed to anything yet, but I’m inclined to remain in philanthropy and service.”

Peeps, 53, was the first employee of the Foundation, which was launched in 1997 with an endowment of $65 million. Currently there are 50 employees and the endowment stands at $94 million.

“I am grateful to the founding board of directors for providing me such an unimaginable professional and personal opportunity,” he said. “It has been a magnificent privilege to build the Foundation, but now it is someone else’s turn. I also appreciate that the current board has approved the timing of my decision.”

“Stephen has overseen the development of an extraordinary and unique organization, comprising a dedicated and highly talented team,” said George Pavlov, the new chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “We are grateful for all he has done to advance children’s health and well being, and we wish him well in his next venture.”

The mission of the Foundation is to fund efforts that promote, protect, and sustain the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral health of children.

An independent public charity, the Foundation is the sole fundraiser for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Before the Foundation was established, fundraising had averaged $3 million to $4 million a year; since then, it has averaged $38 million, and the Foundation has raised a total of $330 million to date for the Hospital and School.

Since 2000, the Foundation also has been a community grantmaker, awarding $3 million to $4 million annually to nonprofit organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, for prevention of injuries to children ages 0 to 5, and promotion of resiliency in preteens, ages 9 to 13. Altogether, since its inception in 1997, the Foundation has awarded 295 grants totaling $30 million, with approximately half going to the Children’s Hospital. The Foundation was named 2004 Grantmaker of the Year by the Silicon Valley Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Additionally, the Foundation serves as a primary source of data and information to bring attention to key children’s health issues in the region. Through its Information Program, the Foundation sponsors research, conferences, media projects, and the website, which was named a Webby finalist in 2005.

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no other foundation in the U.S. that focuses exclusively on children’s health and defines it so broadly,” Peeps said, “and certainly none trying to advance it through these complementary strategies.”

Prior to joining the Foundation, Peeps spent nearly 25 years at Stanford University in a variety of senior positions in fundraising and public affairs.

A search for a successor will begin immediately, Pavlov said. James Mitchell, the Foundation’s vice president for administration, will serve as acting president and CEO.