The Honorees

We are so proud of our two award-winning honorees for 2020–2021. We will honor both award winners through 2020 and all of 2021 with special recognition at the special donor event, Celebrating You, scheduled for October 7, 2021.

COMMUNITY PARTNER of the YEAR: Stanford University Graduate School of Education (GSE)

The mission of the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) is to produce groundbreaking research, model programs and exceptional leaders in education to achieve equitable, accessible and effective learning for all. The GSE yields teachers, leaders, scholars, founders, policy makers, activists, and heads of state.

Dean Dan Schwartz, a cognitive psychologist, focuses his research on how people learn, and leads the school to work on what it means to ensure the success of future learners, including those in the earliest years, and their teachers.

The Stanford GSE has been an advisor and partner in the development of the PFS STEM from the Start program. This program is based on research studies in brain development and the importance of Math and STEM in the very earliest years. Stanford GSE Senior Researcher, Kristen Pilner-Blair, has taken an active lead to design, develop and evaluate an app that has been tested in a StEM pilot project at one of PFS’ early learning centers. Stanford GSE researchers have also been the emcee and speaker(s) at the 2018 PFS Thought Leader Series event, Closing the Opportunity Gap Before Age 5: Focus on San Mateo County.


Judy Swanson is a longtime San Francisco Bay Area community member who has taken a leadership role with PFS and other leading nonprofits across the country. Judy’s personal interests include her family, community service, and philanthropy. She is the CEO of K&E Management, ltd., a private investment partnership, and the CEO and a Director of the Swanson Foundation. She is a former member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Leadership Council and continues to be a major benefactor of the Swanson Biotechnology Center, which is a part of the Koch Institute.

Judy serves on the board of directors of the Tech Interactive in San Jose and the San Francisco Ballet and is on the Board of the Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation. Most recently, she joined the board of directors for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and is also a member of the presidents’ Circle of the National Academies of Sciences. A graduate of Michigan State University, Judy is a lifetime member of the International Chapter of Young Presidents’ Organization and the Chief Executives’ Organization.

A tremendous leader for PFS over many years, Judy is a sustaining member of the Hillsborough Auxiliary to Peninsula Family Service. Judy is a PFS Pillar of the Peninsula and the lead donor partner for the ongoing STEM from the Start program.