Sterling Speirn is the immediate past president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he served for eight years from 2006 through 2013.
He is now helping to launch a new project, Poverty Interrupted, which seeks to find answers to the question: Can the intergenerational transfer of poverty in the US be interrupted, and if so, how, and at what cost? The project has begun its first 5-year phase and will be consulting with potential partner communities and organizations in 2014 and 2015.
While at the Kellogg Foundation, Speirn led the organization through a comprehensive review of its mission, vision, and program priorities. The foundation’s strategic framework is designed as a platform to integrate its programs in three core elements, Food, Health and Wellbeing, Family Economic Security, and Education and Learning to work with communities to create the conditions of success for vulnerable children. As a result the foundation has placed a special emphasis on whole child development from birth to age eight and by using a dual generation strategy aims to significantly increase the number of children who are successful and performing strongly by the end of third grade. In addition to nationwide work, the Foundation also made a commitment to work for at least a generation in several priority places, including Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Orleans, as well as in two micro-regions in Chiapas and on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and in two micro-regions in Haiti.
Before joining the Kellogg Foundation, Speirn was president of Peninsula Community Foundation, headquartered in Silicon Valley, where he established the Center for Venture Philanthropy and created the Raising A Reader Take Home Book Program. Before that, he managed the national computer grants program for nonprofit organizations at Apple Computer.