President & CEO
Tony Mestres is the president and CEO of Seattle Foundation, one of the largest community foundations in the country and one of the largest grantmakers in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1946, Seattle Foundation’s mission is to ignite powerful and rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Tony is recognized for his servant leadership approach in driving organizational change, and expertise in building partnerships with the private and public sectors, as well as community and philanthropic leaders. He has redefined Seattle Foundation’s role as a civic leader, utilizing the foundation’s voice to uplift community needs and develop impact strategies to drive greater equity and opportunity across the region. Tony directs the strategic counsel and support provided to Seattle Foundation’s 1,200 individual, family and corporate philanthropists, and oversees the investment of more than $120 million in charitable grants annually.
Through its grantmaking, investments, and community partnerships, Seattle Foundation works to ignite powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Since joining the Foundation in 2014, Tony has centered the organization on advancing racial equity and economic inclusion through policy change at the local and state levels. Under his leadership, the organization launched Communities of Opportunity with King County, a nationally recognized effort to create greater racial, economic, and health equity in our region. Seattle Foundation also established the Vibrant Democracy Initiative that focuses on strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities, helping residents advocate for positive change. And most recently, Seattle Foundation launched a multi-year climate justice effort to address and decrease the harm that low-income people and communities of color experience from climate change, while simultaneously supporting community-led solutions for mitigation and adaptation.
Prior to Seattle Foundation, Tony had a 22-year career in high technology. As a vice president at Microsoft, Tony was the business group leader responsible for worldwide sales and marketing of Microsoft’s Windows product line. Tony also managed strategic partnerships and execution of Microsoft’s PC, Mobile and TV Entertainment strategy. He was recognized as one of Global Telecom’s Forty under Forty Most Promising Executives.
Tony’s philanthropic leadership includes more than 16 years as a partner (and later Board member from 2013- 2019) of Social Venture Partners, a 600-member organization that cultivates effective philanthropists both locally and globally. In addition, Tony was Board President, and was later named director emeritus, of the Kindering Center, a nonprofit that serves and supports children with special needs and their families. Tony currently serves on the boards of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Seattle International Foundation, Washington Roundtable and the national Council on Foundations.
Under Tony’s leadership, Seattle Foundation has been recognized with awards including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Secretary’s Award for Public Philanthropic Partnership; the International Rescue Committee Philanthropy Award; the King County Municipal League Foundation’s James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award; and Seattle Business Magazine’s Nonprofit of the Year award in 2018.
A graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Tony received his B.A. in History from Dickinson College. He is also a recipient of Dickinson College’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. Tony was selected for The NonProfit Times, 2019 Power & Influence Top 50 executives working in the nonprofit sector, as well as their Influencer of the Year.