About Us

The world is brimming with innovators whose ideas can shape our region and change the world. At the Goldhirsh Foundation, we identify the brightest emerging talent and give them the tools to best support their success.

We hold ourselves to the same high standard of the talent we seek to cultivate. We are a small team, passionate about our work in social innovation. We strive to manifest that beyond our investments—by creating events and mission-driven initiatives meant to bring together thinkers and doers across a spectrum of disciplines.

The Goldhirsh Foundation has been making grants for almost a decade, but was re-launched in 2012 in Los Angeles, where the majority of our grantmaking occurs. Since 2013, the Goldhirsh Foundation has conducted a large portion of its grantmaking in Los Angeles via the annual LA2050 Grants Challenge. Browse the more than 2,500 proposals to make Los Angeles better submitted through the grants challenges on the LA2050 Ideas Archive.

The Team

Tara Roth

Tara Roth is the President of the Goldhirsh Foundation. Prior to this role, Tara bridged the worlds of marketing, media, and philanthropy as the founding COO of GOOD and a social strategy advisor. Tara began her career in marketing and business development for NBCinternet and Infoseek. She has worked with organizations such as Participant Media, and the New Schools Venture Fund. As a senior advisor to GOOD, Tara helped launch the Pepsi Refresh Project. Tara received a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and has an MBA from Oxford University where she was awarded a Skoll scholarship in social entrepreneurship. In 2024, Tara was named one of the 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles, by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Tara is a member of the L.A. Sustainability Leadership Council, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Advisory Council, the Lyft City Works Advisory Council, the 2023 Zócalo Book Prize selection committee, and is a judge of the 2021 and 2022 Anthem Awards. Tara serves on the board of the Ad Council, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, Good Mvmt, and UCLA’s School of Arts and Architecture. She previously sat on the board of Southern California Grantmakers, USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, regional advisory boards of Opportunity Fund and 826LA, and was a Senior Fellow at USC’s Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.

@taranellroth on TwitterTwitter
Ben Goldhirsh

Ben Goldhirsh is the Chairman and co-founder of Matter Neuroscience. An entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, Goldhirsh has held leadership roles at GOOD, Upworthy, and Collaborative Fund. At Goldhirsh Foundation, Ben supports social entrepreneurs pushing the world forward across key areas of societal health. Ben graduated from Brown University, and has been awarded lifetime achievement awards from PEN USA and Liberty Hill for his work in social justice.

Claire Hoffman

Claire Hoffman is a Director of the Goldhirsh Foundation. She writes for national magazines, covering culture, celebrity, religion, business, and whatever else seems interesting. She has a master’s degree in religion from the University of Chicago, and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Her daughters, Josie and Vivian, sit firmly at the center of her universe.

@clairedhoffman on TwitterTwitter
Jeremy Rosenberg

Jeremy Rosenberg is Director of Communications at the Goldhirsh Foundation. Jeremy is an innovative communications executive and cross-platform storyteller with a wide range of non-profit, media, and civic-centric experiences. He served as Assistant Dean, Public Affairs and Special Events, at the USC Annenberg School; Vice President, Communications and Marketing, at the LA84 Foundation; and as an online editor and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. His non-fiction books about LA include “Under Spring,” “Kickoff Concussion,” and “No Man is An Island.”

@https://twitter.com/LosJeremy on TwitterTwitter
LeAnn Kelch Melendez

LeAnn Kelch Melendez is the Director of Grants and Programs at the Goldhirsh Foundation. She graduated with a B.A. in International Development Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and received her Master’s in Urban Planning and Master’s in Public Administration from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She currently serves as Treasurer and Communications Co-Chair for the Los Angeles Chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. LeAnn is passionate about grantmaking that advances justice and promotes the thriving of all people in Los Angeles.

Carla Fuentes

Carla Fuentes is the Social Innovation Coordinator at the Goldhirsh Foundation. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy and Management. She currently is serving on the board of her neighborhood council, is a member of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy LA Steering Committee, and a part of the LA Civil Rights Volunteer Corps with the Los Angeles Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department.

Mariam Bagdady

Mariam Bagdady is the Social Media and Communications Assistant at the Goldhirsh Foundation. She is a USC Annenberg graduate and has a passion for journalism, having written for multiple publications including The Daily Nexus, The Garnette Report, TMZ, SCene Magazine, and Flaunt Magazine. She is devoted to being an advocate for all communities and aims to help Los Angeles become the best that it can be — whether it be addressing racial inequity or prison reform.

Lauren Song

Lauren Song is the Design Fellow at the Goldhirsh Foundation. They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with an emphasis in Design from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. They are devoted to engaging their community, utilizing art and design that feels human to push for equity and inclusion, and aspiring for a brighter future for Los Angeles.

Press

To contact the Goldhirsh Foundation, email team@goldhirshfoundation.org.

Investment Committee

Shana Barghouti

Shana Barghouti, Co-Chief Investment Officer at ReMY Investors, a multi-family investment firm based in Los Angeles. Prior to ReMY, Shana was a partner at Angeles Investment Advisors, where she managed the investment portfolios of several endowments, foundations and other non-profit organizations. Previously, Shana worked for Wilshire Associates, serving governmental pension funds. Before her career in finance, Shana was an advertising copywriter at BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi. Shana holds an MBA from UCLA and an AB in Philosophy from Harvard, where she was captain of the varsity women’s lacrosse team. She serves on the Board of the Griffith Observatory Foundation and on the Regional Advisory Council for KPCC/LAist. She lives in Los Angeles with her two sons.

Natasha Case

Natasha Case, Co-Founder and was the CEO of Coolhaus Ice Cream until its successful acquisition in 2021. Natasha co-founded Future Gin, the first all-queer and women-owned spirit in the US and is now the Founder and CEO of Lunch Bunch enrichments + nutritious food for schools. She became a Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of LA in 2023 and joined the Victory Campaign Board in 2024. Natasha serves on the board of UCLA School of Arts & Architecture, Larchmont Charter School, Startup UCLA, and has served as a judge for Chopped, Top Chef Jr, Alex vs America, the Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream, Ad Age Awards, and Harvard-Westlake Venture Club/Inc. In 2019, she joined YPO (Beverly Hills chapter). Natasha has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30, Zagat 30 Under 30, LinkedIn 10 under 35, 10 Most Successful Women in Business by Leaders Globe, and UCLA’s LGBTQ+ 2019 Alum of the Year. She is a published author of the Coolhaus Ice Cream Book (2014) and was the co-host and executive producer of ‘Start to Sale’ podcast (Eater/Vox Media).

Celestine Schnugg

Celestine Schnugg, Founding Managing Partner of Boom Capital, an early stage venture capital fund. She is recognized as the first investor in Mammoth Biosciences, and early investor in Swarm (SpaceX), Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR), and Planet Labs (NYSE: PL). In addition to being the first check for frontier tech, Celestine convenes a scientific society. Prior to starting Boom, Celestine worked at Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Apple.

Ruth Wernig

Ruth Wernig, former Chief Investment Officer of The California Endowment. The California Endowment is a private health foundation established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities. As CIO, she was responsible for a $3.5 billion endowment. She helped diversify the portfolio of investment managers to include person-of-color led investment firms. She helped steward TCE’s venture into mission and impact investing, all while improving the overall performance of the portfolio. She retired in June of 2021. Previously, Ruth was Treasurer of the University of Southern California from 2004-2010. She was responsible for overseeing the investment management of the university’s endowment, working capital, pension and life income assets of $3.5B. Ruth has her undergraduate degree from Brown University and an MBA from Boston University. She is a CFA. She sits on the Board of St. Joseph Center in Venice and chairs the Finance Committee.