About Ken White

My Story

Ken White has devoted his career to enhancing opportunities for people and communities, with an emphasis on the rising generation. 

A graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s mid-career program, he has worked for nonprofits in a variety of capacities over the last two decades. 

As a leader, manager, and consultant, Ken has experience in organizational growth and change efforts. In assisting a variety of organizations—international and neighborhood, nonprofit and forprofit, political and educational—Ken works with a variety of people, settings, and resource bases.

Most recently, Ken was CEO of the Junior State of America Foundation, where he helped an 85-year-old, $6 million nonprofit that supports teen civic leadership development. He navigated JSAF through significant turbulence to: develop a theory of change, overhaul governance, change its name, develop new programs and impact measures, realign its strategy and organization, receive the largest donation in the group’s history, build alliances, and enhance stakeholder engagement—while dramatically improving JSAF’s financial health.

Immediately prior, Ken served as Associate Director of the Post Carbon Institute, a leading-edge think tank focused on energy, environment, economy, and equity.

Previously, Ken was the Coordinating Director of the Chaordic Commons, Inc., a group created by Dee Hock, the founding director of VISA, to develop new forms of organizations in pursuit of a healthier world. 

Ken served as Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, a citizen-led organization working for representative and inclusive government. One of his significant achievements at Common Cause was co-leading a broad coalition of organizations that successfully passed a Clean Elections Law via ballot initiative, and then mounted an equally effective legislative and legal strategy to uphold and implement that law.

Ken spent the mid-1990s as the Director of Communications for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and the Coalition of Essential Schools. Immediately prior to his work for Annenberg, he held similar posts with Oxfam America and the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies. He has also been a consultant to numerous nonprofit and forprofit organizations.

Ken began his career as a journalist—reporting for a local daily newspaper, writing feature stories and commentary for national publications, and serving as Editor and other roles for several magazines. 

He has served as a spokesperson for several organizations and coalitions, making numerous appearances on television and radio. He has led discussions and workshops on a variety of topics, including democracy, adult development, intergenerational collaboration, communications, and faith and politics.

Ken lives in Richmond, CA, with his wife, Brooke Deterline. His avocations include community building, coaching high school mountain bike riders, trail running, and meditating.