Skip to content

John Kim

President & CEO

Executive Team
Portrait of John Kim


John Kim is the President & CEO of Catalyst California (formerly known as Advancement Project California). Since joining Catalyst California in 2002, John has been lifting up the voice and needs of low-income communities of color to transform systems and expand opportunities for all. Through coalition building and by utilizing innovative tools and strategies, he has helped redirect billions of public and private dollars to the most underserved communities. John oversaw the strategic direction and development of RACE COUNTS, a first-of-its-kind initiative that examines racial disparity, performance, and population impact in each of California’s 58 counties. With John’s visionary leadership, RACE COUNTS engaged hundreds of statewide community stakeholders and was featured in The New York Times, CityLab, The Sacramento Bee and various radio shows.

John has a long track record as a coalition-builder and facilitator of multi-stakeholder collaborations and has established a wide-range of partnerships with community-based organizations, elected officials, governmental agencies, academic researchers, and foundations across the state. Over the years, he has developed advocacy and research initiatives on community health, governance reform, community engagement, voting rights, K-12 and early education, and public finance. Under his leadership, many of these initiatives, have transformed how large public institutions allocate funding and provide programs and services to the most underserved communities.

His work in the Bay Area was recognized by KQED Channel 9 as the 2001 Local Hero of the Year Award, and by then-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown with the proclamation of a “John K. Kim Day.” In 2012, John completed the prestigious Rockwood “Leading from the Inside Out” National Fellowship. He currently serves on the boards of California Budget and Policy Center, California Calls and has recently been appointed to California’s inaugural Racial Equity Commission.