Christopher Punongbayan is the Director of Equity and Social Justice, Northern California Grantmakers, which convenes foundations, nonprofit organizations, government, and business to tackle Northern California's most pressing social issues. Prior to joining NFG, Chris was Executive Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, the nation's oldest Asian American public interest law organization.
Chris is a recognized expert on Asian American and racial justice issues. He has appeared on diverse new outlets from Fox News to the Filipino Channel, and been quoted by the Associated Press, Reuters, ThinkProgress, and others. Chris has been recognized by the Ford Foundation (New Voices Fellowship), the Levi Strauss Foundation (Pioneers in Justice), and the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation. Prior to Advancing Justice-ALC, Chris held positions at Filipino Advocates for Justice and Asian Americans for Equality, and also in the HIV/AIDS sector at Positive Resource Center and Bailey House.
Chris currently serves on the Community Advisory Panel of KQED, San Francisco’s NPR affiliate. Previously, he served on the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission and on the boards of the South of Market Community Action Network, Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center, and the Audre Lorde Project. Chris graduated cum laude from Brown University and UCLA School of Law where he completed the Critical Race Studies concentration and the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. In his free time, Chris stays active through running, tennis, and volunteering at the St. Francis Square Cooperative where he coordinates a program to support senior citizens. He is also a certified yoga instructor.