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Matt James


President and Co-Founder, Next Generation

Matt James

As the co-founding President and CEO of Next Generation, Matt James oversees a team of professionals who promote solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: the risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. 

Prior to co-founding Next Generation, Matt was an integral part of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s leadership team for 20 years, serving most recently as executive vice president.  At Kaiser, Matt helped develop groundbreaking public education projects in partnership with national and international media companies, including the highly regarded nonprofit health news service, Kaiser Health News.

Prior to joining Kaiser, he worked in national politics as a senior aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, and Representative Morris K. Udall of Arizona.

Matt was appointed by President Clinton to the board of the Morris K. Udall Foundation, is past-chairman of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and serves on the President’s Advisory Board of the National Wildlife Federation and on the board of the CDC Foundation.

Posts by Matt James

What's Next?

The great baseball player and sometimes philosopher Willie Stargell once said, “Life is one big transition.” That is certainly how we feel here at Next Generation.

Changes at Next Generation

As evidence mounts about the rapid effects of human-driven climate change and the need to invest in early learning and address family-friendly workplace policies and other core issues in order to support the next generation, it is clear that we as a country need to make major changes to alter the current paths we are on. This is why we are making changes at Next Generation.

No More Outdoor Hockey?

Growing up in the Midwest, hockey was my favorite winter pastime. I’ve been thinking a lot about the games I used to play as we prepare to release the second report from the Risky Business Project which predicts, among other things, that outdoor hockey could become a thing of the past for some Midwesterners.

2014: What a Year

When I look back on this year, I am blown away. Kate Gordon called it, “The year of climate action.” In many ways it’s also been a year for kids and families.

The power of gratitude

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I’ll be taking the week off from NextGen News to spend some time with my family and to reflect on all there is to be grateful for. Top of mind this week is the extraordinary work done by our team and our partners on the issue of predictable scheduling.

Treats for the kids, but tricks for the climate?

Halloween is a special holiday for children – it’s one of the few times a year when the entire country actively encourages kids and adults to engage their creative sides, build outrageous/brilliant/hilarious costumes, place decorative gourds on our front porches, and eat too much candy.

Batting 1,000 for kids and the climate

A triple play is an uncommon event in the sport of baseball – a subject fresh on my mind thanks to our San Francisco Giants’ winning the NLCS pennant this week. Only 696 triple plays have ever occurred in the entire professional history of the sport. This week, however, our Too Small To Fail Initiative pulled off the rare act with three successful high profile events on two coasts.

What's Next?

How reading can change the world

Just as children’s minds are formed by what they read, so too is our national narrative formed by how our media frame and report the news. So reading really is fundamental - both to our kids, and to the health of our planet.