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Matt James

Co-founder

President and Co-Founder, Next Generation


Matt James

As the co-founding President and CEO of Next Generation, Matt James oversees a team of professionals who promote solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans: the risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. 

Prior to co-founding Next Generation, Matt was an integral part of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s leadership team for 20 years, serving most recently as executive vice president.  At Kaiser, Matt helped develop groundbreaking public education projects in partnership with national and international media companies, including the highly regarded nonprofit health news service, Kaiser Health News.

Prior to joining Kaiser, he worked in national politics as a senior aide to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, and Representative Morris K. Udall of Arizona.

Matt was appointed by President Clinton to the board of the Morris K. Udall Foundation, is past-chairman of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health and serves on the President’s Advisory Board of the National Wildlife Federation and on the board of the CDC Foundation.

Posts by Matt James

What's Next?

Predicting the future ... by inventing it

Being such a young organization, it feels a little strange pointing back to things we did in the past, but our long-time followers will remember our Monterey Shale series, released last fall and covering the economic prospects of oil extraction in the formation. Back then we called the projections "too big to believe." This week, however ...

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The Power of Collaboration

Responding to the threat of climate change – like the threat of diminished prospects for our children – will require an extraordinary kind of collaboration and cooperation, but a kind we are absolutely capable of achieving.

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The air we breathe, the words we speak

Like we need air, like we need water, the research shows that we need words, spoken to us from our earliest days. The power of parent talk – reading and singing, too – to deliver those words with love, and in turn to set children up for a life of success is extraordinary.

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Just the facts, please

Distraction, spin, and information overload – these are just a few of the problems we face when we attempt to sort out the right information we need for our kids and our climate.

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100,000 Reasons To Celebrate

Our Too Small to Fail team passed a major milestone this week with the news that we've garnered over 100,000 likes on Facebook. To celebrate, we're running a giveaway on the Facebook page and soliciting fan photos on with a contest on Twitter and Instagram. And of course we're still providing high-quality, science-based information on early childhood development to parents and caregivers on toosma

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If You Don't Like the News, Change it.

Good news everyone! Well, kind of … Kate Gordon, Vice President and Director of Energy and Climate, actually reported on some pretty terrible news in this week’s California Energy and Climate News. In a recent Gallup poll only 24 percent of Americans worry more about climate change than say, the economy, unemployment, or crime. As Kate artfully points out, however ...

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Cutting through the noise

All of us struggle to make sense of the world. Sometimes it seems like the needle of insight is buried deep within the haystack of muddle and distraction — and who has time to figure it all out?

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Here's looking ahead for you, kids

What would California look like if it expanded its vision for a low-carbon economy to help low-income families reduce their huge gasoline and car maintenance expenses? What kind of state would we be if we paused to imagine a not-too-distant future in which more of our very young children have access to the kind of childcare that sets them up to thrive later in life?

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Man Bites Dog

"When a dog bites a man, that is not news … but if a man bites a dog that is news.” That saying has been attributed to multiple newspapermen – and for the most part is true. Two “Man Bites Dog” stories jumped out at me recently, one which has gotten lots of play, one that deserves to get more.