President & CEO
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Tony Mestres is President & 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, 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 his expertise in building partnerships with the private and public sectors as well as with 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.
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, which focuses on strengthening the voice and participation of underrepresented communities, helping residents advocate for positive change. Most recently, the 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 joining Seattle Foundation, Tony had a 22-year career in high technology. As a vice president at Microsoft, he 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 Telecoms’ 40 Under 40 Most Promising Executives.
Tony’s philanthropic leadership includes more than 16 years as a partner, and later as a Board member (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 later was 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, the Council on Foundations, and Hispanics in Philanthropy.
Under Tony’s leadership, Seattle Foundation has been recognized with a number of 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; Seattle Business magazine’s 2018 Nonprofit of the Year award; and a 2020 Corporate Citizenship award from the Puget Sound Business Journal for the statewide COVID-19 relief coalition All In WA.
A graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Tony received his B.A. in History from Dickinson College, which in 2017 recognized him with a Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. In 2019, Tony was among the nonprofit executives selected for The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 and was also named their Influencer of the Year.