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Riki Rafner

Evelyn Dilsaver Named Commonwealth Club Board Chair

Nation’s Premier Public Affairs Forum Appoints Successful Businesswoman and Independent Board Member to Lead Club

SAN FRANCISCO (December 17, 2018)—The Commonwealth Club of California has named Evelyn Dilsaver, an independent board director of multiple companies, including Tempur Sealy and Health Equity and the non-profit Blue Shield of California, to lead its Board of Governors.  As Club chair for the next two years, Dilsaver succeeds public policy attorney Richard Rubin.  Dilsaver becomes the 12th woman to head The Commonwealth Club’s Board of Governors since The Club’s inception in 1903, joining the ranks of an illustrious group of women, including actress and diplomat Shirley Temple Black, AAA Vice President Rose Guilbault, Deloitte & Touche LLP Partner Anna Mok, Bernard Osher Foundation President Dr. Mary Bitterman and former Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Senior Partner Mary Cranston.  Senior executive vice president and general counsel (retired) of Wells Fargo & Company James Strother has been named The Club’s Board vice chair.    

“It is truly an honor to continue to guide the Club and its mission in the 21st Century—especially during such a contentious period in America’s history.  The Club represents decorum, understanding and education—all keys to our nation’s success.  As chair of the Board, I intend to underscore the need for more civil discourse on all sides of every issue to motivate public policy debate, which is the core of The Commonwealth Club’s charge.”   

President and CEO of the Club Dr. Gloria Duffy noted, “We are excited that Evelyn is assuming this post.  Over the years, she has demonstrated a great dedication to the Club and leadership in diverse community organizations. As a member of our Board of Governors for the past 10 years, she has devoted countless hours to the Club, orchestrating four of the Club’s most succcessful annual dinner galas—the Club’s most significant annual fundraising event.  Moreover, she is widely respected throughout the state for her hard work and commitment to public service.”  

Evelyn Dilsaver was executive vice president of Charles Schwab and president and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management 2003-2007.  Under her leadership, within four years Schwab built a motivated and highly functional team, significantly enhanced existing distribution and created new distribution capabilities to grow from $137 billion to $210 billion in assets. annually. 

Dilsaver has worked in several senior management roles for more than 30 years since leaving Ernst & Whinney, a public accounting firm, where she was a senior manager.  She has been recognized with numerous accolades, including the San Francisco Business Times’ “100 Most Influential Business Women” award from 2006 to 2010, "Forever Influential" in 2011, Most Inspiring Director, 2014, and Most Inspiring in 2017.  She was also named one of the Filipina Women’s Network’s "100 Most Influential Filipinas in the U.S." in 2011, and Cal State East Bay Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 2008 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2016. 

Dilsaver is frequently invited to speak at leadership conferences, including the professional Business Women’s Conference, The Governor’s Conference for Women, California Diversity Council and the Financial Women’s Network. Dilsaver has served on several public and private boards.   In addition to the public company boards and Blue Shield of California, she serves on Protiviti, a global consulting firm and Bailard Real Estate Fund.  She is incoming chair of the board for Blue Shield Foundation and also serves on the non-profit boards of Cal State East Bay Foundation and Women Corporate Directors.

Dilsaver spent the first 17 years of her career in audit and finance positions as controller for a bank and for Charles Schwab, and as chief financial officer for U.S. Trust, a wealth management firm.  She graduated from Cal-State East Bay (Hayward) with a degree in accounting and is a CPA. Dilsaver is also a graduate of Stanford’s Senior Executive Program.  

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, with more than 25,000 members.  For the past 11 decades, the Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on a wide range of topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy and more in about 500 live programs each year.  Based in San Francisco with a second office in San Jose, the Club presents speeches, debates and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance.  The Club continues to host its guests—from presidents and activists to scientists and chefs—at its headquarters on the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco as well as at venues around San Francisco, Silicon Valley, the East Bay and Marin County.  In addition to its traditional forums, the Club hosts the Climate One project on climate change, and Inforum, a division oriented to younger community members.  It has sponsored public policy projects over the years, ranging from early 1900s studies and reports leading to environmental and social legislative and policy innovations, to more recent efforts to improve state governance in California.  The Club has produced a PBS film, published books and publishes a bimonthly magazine, The Commonwealth.

About 1 million people listen to The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcast—the oldest continuing radio program in the country—on more than 230 public and commercial stations across the country. The Club’s podcasts are downloaded about 5 million times each year. The Club’s videos also appear on the California Channel, C-SPAN and YouTube, where they have been viewed millions of times. For more information, visit