Metta Fund

Metta Fund Announces Shireen McSpadden As Inaugural Leadership Award Recipient

Today, San Francisco-based Metta Fund announced Shireen McSpadden as the first-ever recipient of its newly created Metta Fund Leadership Award.

Civic leader Shireen McSpadden received the 2021 Leadership Award for her decades-long advocacy and work in support of older adults. She received the honor at the Metta Fund Leadership Awards reception on October 28th, 2021, which took place in the gardens of the historic San Francisco Bayview Opera House.

McSpadden is the former Director of the San Francisco Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS) and was recently appointed by San Francisco Mayor Breed as the new head of the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. In 2020, she was recognized for her anti-ageism work by Time Magazine, named as one of 16 people and groups fighting for a more equitable America. As a member of Governor Newsom’s Master Plan for Aging Stakeholder Committee, McSpadden was instrumental in helping shape California’s Master Plan for Aging.

Shireen is a champion for equity and has been a primary force behind some of the most successful efforts and transformative solutions impacting older adults; she has left and indelible mark.

 “Shireen is a champion for equity and has been a primary force behind some of the most successful efforts and transformative solutions impacting older adults; she has left an indelible mark,” said Metta Fund Chief Executive Officer, Janet Y. Spears. “Her advocacy and commitment have helped ensure that all San Franciscans can thrive as they age. We are delighted to recognize her accomplishments and dedication to the older adult population with the Metta Fund Leadership Award.”


Said McSpadden, “I am deeply honored to be the recipient of Metta Fund’s inaugural leadership award and want to thank Metta Fund for its commitment to bringing visibility to the overlooked issue of aging within philanthropy.”

After nearly two years of planning and several postponements, the Metta Fund leadership award program was created in 2021 to recognize the work of community leaders who have made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life for older adults in San Francisco and beyond. The award exemplifies one of the many ways Metta Fund is committed to elevating the public dialogue around aging and equity. In honor of the award recipient, a grant of $7,500 was made to the Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness, a community-based organization working to eliminate health inequities in San Francisco’s Black and marginalized communities.

Photos from the 2021 Metta Fund Leadership Award celebration can be found here.

About Metta Fund

Metta Fund is a private foundation dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of San Francisco’s aging population. We partner with innovative nonprofits to prioritize areas where community needs are greatest and where systemic change is needed to address health inequities – because everyone deserves to live a healthy life, at every age. We envision inclusive and healthy communities where all can thrive and age with dignity and joy. For more information, visit


Anna Karrer Manley
Director of Communications
(415) 660-7359