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Robin M. Kramer

Robin Kramer is managing director of the Smidt Foundation. A private foundation founded by Harbor Freight Tools co-founder and owner, Eric Smidt, its broad aim is to advance opportunity, justice, equality, and safety for all. She previously led Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, which remains the foundation’s flagship initiative, borne out of the conviction that access to quality education in the skilled trades gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs, and a workforce our country needs. Previously, she was chief of staff to two Los Angeles mayors, Antonio Villaraigosa and Richard Riordan—the first woman in the city’s history to serve in this post–and later served as commissioner for the Port of Los Angeles. She has held senior positions at the Broad Foundation, the California Community Foundation, and the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands; she also worked extensively as an independent consultant for entities desiring to advance access, equity, and engagement in civic life, public education, and the arts. Earlier in her career, she was chief deputy for Los Angeles city councilmembers Richard Alatorre and Bob Ronka, director of the Democratic Party of Southern California, and executive director of Coro, a nonpartisan civic affairs leadership training organization. She helped lead several local ballot measure campaigns, including securing broad reforms in the Los Angeles Police Department. She completed two terms as chair of the Pitzer College board of trustees and is currently a trustee of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation and the Partnership for LA Schools. She holds an MA in urban studies from Occidental College and a BA in political studies and journalism from Pitzer College, and is a former Coro Fellow.