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Packard Foundation Announces Benjamin Chou as Democracy, Rights, and Governance Program Officer

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is pleased to announce that Benjamin Chou is joining the Foundation as Democracy, Rights, and Governance Program Officer. In this inaugural role, Chou will support the development and implementation of the Foundation’s initiative seeking to advance a thriving, resilient, pro- equity democracy.

The Democracy, Rights, and Governance initiative’s initial focus areas include supporting healthy civic engagement, repairing our country’s social fabric, advancing effective governance, and bolstering faith in the institutions of government.

Chou comes to the Packard Foundation from Houston Endowment, a private foundation working to strengthen public education, increase informed civic engagement, and enhance Greater Houston’s arts, cultural organizations, and greenspaces. “Chou has demonstrated a remarkable ability to navigate the complexities of democracy grantmaking as well as strategic vision, and a commitment to bipartisan collaboration,” said Kelly Born, Democracy, Rights, and Governance Director for the Packard Foundation. “We welcome Chou to the team and look forward to working together to foster a thriving U.S. democracy.”

At Houston Endowment, Chou served for over two years as a program officer for Civic Engagement. In that role, he helped direct the foundation’s $25 million annual budget to support nonpartisan, multiyear democracy grantmaking and collaborated with funding partners to fill grantmaking gaps.

“I’ve had the opportunity to enable meaningful work for the people of Houston through partnerships with our grantees and the chance to learn from and alongside the most supportive group of colleagues one could ask for,” said Chou. “As sad as I am to say goodbye to the Endowment and to Houston, I’m eager to bring my passion and energy for protecting and strengthening American democracy to my new role at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.”

Prior to Houston Endowment, Chou served as Senior Advisor and Director of Innovation at the Harris County Elections Department in Houston, Texas helping to lead the legislative affairs efforts to combat voter suppression legislation in 2021, and implementing drive-thru voting for the November 2020 election. Chou previously worked for Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Chou holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Rice University, a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University, and a law degree from Northwestern University.



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