Michael Fleming has served as executive director of the David Bohnett Foundation since 2000. He works closely with Mr. Bohnett to promote the foundation’s mission of improving society through social justice, developing quantitative and qualitative goals for funding progressive programs in education, LGBT issues, arts, gun violence prevention and cognitive animal language research.
With a background in broadcast media and public affairs, Fleming has deployed his strengths in communications, strategic planning and cause-oriented advocacy to help steer over $100 million to organizations that share the Foundation’s vision.
Fleming has served on numerous boards and commissions including the Los Angeles Board of Water Power Commissioners – the five member panel that oversees the nation’s largest public utility. He previously served as the President of the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and as a Commissioner on the Board of the Los Angeles Convention Center. In 2010, President Barack Obama named Fleming to the White House Council for Community Solutions — a select group of business, non-profit and education leaders that studies growth and the impact of innovative, community-developed solutions to address some of the nation’s most serious challenges.
Under Fleming’s stewardship, the Foundation established and funded leadership development graduate programs at some of the country’s top schools of public service including New York University, UCLA, Harvard and the University of Michigan. Since 2003, he has taught the required capstone class for the LGBT minor at UCLA and, for the past four years, has taught graduate classes on the intersection of philanthropy and public policy at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.
He began his career as an associate producer for PBS’ flagship station, Boston’s WGBH-TV, and remains active in broadcasting as a member (and the immediate past Chairman) of the Board of Directors of KCRW, and a Trustee of the NPR Foundation.
Fleming has a B.A. from Colorado College and was a Victory Fellow (now Bohnett Fellow) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. A Boston native, Fleming lives in Los Angeles and is married to California Court of Appeal Justice Luis A. Lavin.