Emily Young Ph.D.

Dr. Emily Young is the Executive Director for The Nonprofit Institute in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. She also serves on the boards of California State Parks Foundation, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and International Community Foundation. She has spent over 20 years in various positions in philanthropy, as well as higher education. Prior to the University of San Diego, she served as Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation, where she was first hired to build its Environment Program in 2000. During her time at The San Diego Foundation, Dr. Young worked with funders and community leaders to catalyze and facilitate regional and statewide collaboratives. She developed grant making programs around climate change, conservation and outdoor access, and clean air/water efforts in tribal and other disadvantaged communities. She also managed regional initiatives on arts and culture, civic engagement, education and youth development, and neighborhood revitalization. 

Emily received the 2011 Funder’s Network for Smart Growth Nicholas P. Bollman Award for leaders who inspire through values and action, while the Climate Initiative she led received both the 2012 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Private Partnerships and the City of San Diego’s Climate Protection Champion Award. 

Prior to The San Diego Foundation, Emily was an assistant professor at the University of Arizona, where she taught courses on environment and society, geography, and Latin America. She received a MS in geography at the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas at Austin.