James Higa

San Jose, California

For much of my career, I reported directly to Steve Jobs and worked along side him at Apple and NeXT and Apple again to change the face of technology and entire consumer industries. I count myself lucky to have been at the birth of the personal computer revolution as a member of the original Macintosh team but never imagined a journey that would take me smack dab through the middle of the music industry negotiating and launching iTunes or having a hand in the transformation of the mobile phone as we know it.

Now instead of changing the world through products and technology, I’m trying to make a dent in the universe through people and communities as the Executive Director at Philanthropic Ventures. PVF is a foundation that thinks different about philanthropy. We are known for our radical speed. Our average grant cycle is an unheard of 48 hours. We’re also known for radical collaboration. The Inequality Gap is THE defining issue of our generation. We aspire to change the world in Silicon Valley but if we can’t even change our own backyard, how can we hope to change the world? We must close this gap by bringing together grassroots organizations, high tech companies & startups, and cities in a circle of collaboration.

I still have a foot in tech as a Mentor in Residence at Index Ventures. Helping founders and companies be better than they could be is my way of giving back to the next generation. At Index, I have the privilege of working with the best and brightest founders from SoMa to London, Helsinki, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and New York.

Photo by: Chris Michel

  • Work
    • Philanthropic Ventures Foundation
  • Education
    • Stanford University