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President’s Biography

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Gary L. Yates, President and CEO

Gary L. Yates is president and chief executive officer of The California Wellness Foundation and serves as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He is also assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Yates joined the Foundation staff in 1992 after more than 20 years of experience in education, public health and health care. His primary area of interest and expertise is adolescent health, about which he has written and spoken extensively.

Immediately prior to his association with The California Wellness Foundation, he was associate director of the division of adolescent medicine at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. Yates received his undergraduate degree in government from American University in Washington, D.C., and his master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. Yates served in the United States Army from 1968-1970.

Yates is actively involved in the leadership of numerous philanthropic, civic and community organizations. He currently serves as a member of the board of Independent Sector and is co-chair of Voices for Philanthropy, a project of the Philanthropy Roundtable. He previously served as treasurer of Hispanics in Philanthropy, vice chair of the boards of the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector, and chair of the boards of Grantmakers In Health, the Foundation Consortium and Southern California Grantmakers.

In recognition of his civic leadership and work in the field of health and human services, Yates has received numerous awards and official commendations.




Our Work

  • We use our resources to advance our mission through grantmaking, investments, sharing our learning and lifting our voice.
  • We fund direct services that address the urgent needs people are facing in their communities, particularly the needs of low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas.
  • We recognize, encourage and strengthen leaders to be powerful agents of change.
  • We support advocacy and civic engagement so that communities can build power and create public policies that reflect their vision, will and needs.
  • We trust and invest in nonprofit organizations so that they can operate at full capacity.
  • We partner with community-led organizations, philanthropic organizations, businesses, government and individuals who want to improve health and wellness for Californians.

Our Mission

To protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.

The California Wellness Foundation • City National Plaza, 515 S. Flower Street, Suite 1100 • Los Angeles, CA, 90071 • Tel: (818)­ 702–1900

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