Jeffrey L. Richardson has been named executive director of the Liberty Hill Foundation, a public foundation based in Santa Monica.

Richardson has spent more than 20 years working for social justice organizations throughout the U.S.

He joins Liberty Hill Monday, October 17th, and succeeds Torie Osborn, who will assume a part-time position leading the foundation’s endowment campaign.

Established in 1976, Liberty Hill has awarded nearly $27 million to grass-roots community organizations working to expand justice, dignity, and fairness in Los Angeles County.

As the campaign director for the Service Employees International Union Local 1877, Richardson organized union efforts among Local 1877’s majority black workforce.

He also led fundraising, managerial, and training programs for the National Congress for Community Economic Development, a national trade association for low-income people of color.

Richardson also worked as a development director and director of foundation relations for United Way and served as executive director of the Jobs for Peace Campaign.

He moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago and he says this is where he learned electoral mobilization and grass-roots democracy building.

“My life work has been to help people find the power in themselves and exercise that power to transform their lives and communities,” Richardson said. “That work is both political and spiritual.

“Dr. [Martin Luther] King talked about ‘personalism’ — respecting the humanity of each person. Liberty Hill’s work in philanthropy embodies that spirit of personalism and I am very proud to be joining the nation’s leading social justice foundation.”

Richardson was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his father was a postal inspector and his mother was a social worker.

His wife, P. Gabrielle Forman, is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Occidental College.

He has received numerous awards, including the Pittsburgh NAACP/Urban League of Pittsburgh Barrier Breaker Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Coalition Award.