John joined the Haas, Jr. Fund staff in 2017 after 10 years with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey, where he managed national programs and initiatives focused on childhood obesity and health equity. Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, John is descended from Mexican immigrants who settled in the state. His father came to the United States under the bracero program during World War II to work on the Santa Fe Railroad. His maternal grandparents were migrant farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley.
John started his professional career as an attorney representing farmworkers in rural California. He has worked on the staffs of the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and was senior program officer with the State of California’s California Service Corps, where he oversaw implementation of the state’s AmeriCorps program. John holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University, a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and a master of public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.