No. 98: Capitol Weekly Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

98. Michael Mantell

Michael Mantell is president of the Resources Legacy Fund, which directs funding and administers initiatives for individual donors and environmentally-minded philanthropic foundations, including the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, with significant results. Mantell, a former California state undersecretary for Resources for Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, founded the RLF as a way to pool funds from private and public sector sources to achieve maximum conservation impact. His approach works: Mother Jones cited the RLF as one of the state’s heaviest hitters in California water policy, noting that the fund doled out over $11 million in grants to water-related nonprofits in 2014. We tallied up just under $10 million in grants for 2015, the date of their latest posted tax filing. Additionally, the RLF does research and advocacy, often through the California Water Foundation. Mantell is author and co-author of several books and articles, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society.

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