Kriss Deiglmeier


Former CEO, Tides Foundation (2014-2019)



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Kriss Deiglmeier is a career nonprofit executive and the former CEO of Tides, a center-left pass-through funding nonprofit and part of the larger Tides Nexus, a position she held from February 2014 to late 2019.

In addition to her work with Tides, Deiglmeier has supported left-of-center activism as a Democratic political donor and an advocate for left-liberal policies.


Kriss Deiglmeier has been involved in the nonprofit sector since at least 1989 when she was the CFO of Larkin Street Youth Services, a non-profit located in San Francisco that assists homeless youth. After a brief stint at United Way, Deiglmeier moved to Juma Ventures, a social-services and employment-placement group in San Francisco. 1 In 2004 she became the founding executive director of the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. 2

In 2014 Deiglmeier became the CEO of Tides and stated that her vision for Tides included it playing an active role in leading the left-progressive movement. During her tenure she more than doubled the organization’s annual revenue from $200 million to over $550 million and oversaw a dramatic increase in grant-making, rising from $93 million annually to $380 million by the time she stepped down as CEO five years later. 3 4 5

Social Innovation

Deiglmeier has published several articles concerned with the concept of “social innovation” and how it works and can be improved. Unlike some other left-of-center activists, Deiglmeier is not necessarily hostile to the private sector or the idea that private for-profit companies can be involved in advancing left-progressivism. However, she does separate the idea of “social value” from the kind of value created by actors in the free market, claiming that the distinction is between value that benefits society in ways that surpass “the private gains and general benefits of market activity.” She cites the example of fair trade as an example of a social innovation that benefits society more than individuals. She views what she considers a move by governments into less of an antagonistic role with business into being more of a partner to be positive and encouraging. She cites the example of carbon emissions trading to be a positive example of this. 6

Comments Following Election of Donald Trump

In the wake of the election of President Donald Trump, Deiglmeier released a statement coauthored with Jane Leu of Smarter Good, shortly before his inauguration aimed at left-progressive social change donors. Deiglmeier stated that nonprofits would be entering an uncertain and volatile new world. She stated that the new administration could threaten progressive donors’ advances in securing environmentalist climate change policies, social-liberal approaches to women’s issues including abortion, and liberal expansionist immigration policies, among others. Social justice non-profits must shift from an offensive orientation to a more defensive one, she argued. She also chastised donors for failing to wake up to the new reality and for their failure to act with the needed urgency. She called upon them to donate more money and to be less concerned with setting long term strategic objectives and restricting funding to specific goals, stating that increased general operating and rapid-response support was needed. 7

Political Contributions

Deiglmeier has contributed to exclusively left-of-center candidates and PACs, with nearly $4,000 in donations to the 2016 Clinton campaign and related PACs, and other donations to ActBlue and Students for a New American Politics PAC. 8


  1. “Our Mission & History.” Juma. Accessed August 24, 2020.
  2. “Kriss Deiglmeier.” Accessed August 5, 2020.
  3. “Tides Announces New Chief Executive Officer.”, January 14, 2014. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  4. “Kriss Deiglmeier to Step Down as CEO of Tides.”, April 26, 2019. Accessed August 5, 2020.
  5. “Kriss Deiglmeier.” Accessed August 5, 2020.
  6. Phillis, James, Kriss Deiglmeier, and Dale Miller. “Rediscovering Social Innovation.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2008. Accessed August 6, 2020.
  7. Deiglmeier, Kriss, and Jane Leu. “Dear Funders, It’s Not Business as Usual.”, January 10, 2017.
  8. “Deiglmeier, Kriss Individual Contributions.” Accessed August 5, 2020.

Connected Organizations

  1. Tides Advocacy (The Advocacy Fund) (Non-profit)
    Former Board Member
  2. Tides Center (Non-profit)
    Former CEO (2014-2019)
  3. Tides Foundation (Non-profit)
    Former CEO (2014-2019)
  4. Tides Inc. (TINC) (Non-profit)
    Former CEO, Board Chair
  5. Tides Network (Non-profit)
    Former CEO (2014-2019)
  6. Tides Nexus (Other Group)
    Former CEO (2014-2019)
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