Chris Simonsen


Chief Executive Officer
Orangewood Foundation

Finance professional Chris Simonsen transitioned to become the CFO of Orangewood Foundation, a Santa Ana nonprofit serving teens and young adults in need of housing, employment, education and wellness support. CEO since 2013, he led the creation of Samueli Academy, a public charter high school, completing its campus and a $72 million capital campaign in January 2022. His six-year effort resulted in the approval of a unique foster program, allowing students to live on campus during the week and with their foster families on weekends.

As CEO, Chris implemented a muti-source revenue model, ensuring long-term sustainability while expanding programs in workforce development, housing and aiding exploited individuals. Orangewood Foundation’s size has quadrupled, serving over 2,500 teens and young adults annually, with a focus on a “networked nonprofit” approach to sharing innovative practices beyond Orange County.