Alameda County District Attorney's Office
Nancy E. O'Malley, District Attorney

Meet DA Nancy E. O'Malley

DA O’Malley Recieves 2015 Irvine Foundation Award

Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley Receives James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for Work to End Child Sex Trafficking

Sacramento, CA - Today, the James Irvine Foundation will honor five recipients of the 2015 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards at a luncheon in Sacramento. The awards recognize innovative leaders advancing breakthrough solutions to critical issues facing California. Each recipient’s organization is awarded $200,000 to advance his or her work, along with additional support. This year’s recipients are working in the areas of employment, early education, corrections and youth well-being.

One of the 2015 award recipients is Nancy E. O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney and the head of an office that leads the state in human trafficking prosecutions. In 2005, DA O’Malley created the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (H.E.A.T.) Watch program, the first of its kind in California and the first to operate within a public prosecution office in the United States. H.E.A.T. Watch brings prosecutors, investigators and victims’ advocates together to address the needs of those who have been exploited, while working to ensure their exploiters are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A 2012 report from the California Attorney General stated that O’Malley’s office has prosecuted 46 percent of all human trafficking cases in California.

DA O’Malley is committed to extending the impact of her work. “We need a meaningful and substantive dialogue among law enforcement, public welfare, juvenile justice and other leaders to chart a course for how California’s public systems should best handle and care for victims of human trafficking and abuse,” she says. “By coming together, working collaboratively and providing a comprehensive response, we will save lives and we will be more effective at preventing child sex trafficking.”

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by The Irvine Foundation and will use this award as an opportunity to create an Institute devoted to ending the sexual exploitation of children,” states Ms. O’Malley. “The Institute will bring together a group of committed leaders from diverse backgrounds that will examine the status of our state’s response to human trafficking and create an evidence-based guide for policy makers, elected leader and communities to adopt in the fight to end human trafficking of children across our state.”

The other 2015 award recipients are:

  • Sandra Gutierrez of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors in Los Angeles for helping close the learning gap by preparing low-income Latino parents to be their children’s first teachers and advocates;
  • Jody Lewen of Prison University Project in San Quentin, for changing lives in prison classrooms by building the only fully on-site program in the state prison system to confer college degrees;
  • Bill Pace and Beth Sirull of Pacific Community Ventures in San Francisco, for creating jobs and spurring investments in low-income communities by linking small business entrepreneurs with expert advisors and private investors.

“The individuals we honor this year are improving the lives of Californians through strategies that are creative, effective and inclusive of California’s diverse communities,” said Don Howard, President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation. “These leaders are helping solve some of California’s most difficult problems. They are listening to the people they serve, working with the community, maximizing every dollar they use, and then sharing what they learn. We are thrilled to support their important work.”

The recipients will be honored at the Foundation’s award luncheon at Sacramento’s Sheraton Grand Hotel. Speakers at the luncheon include Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins, Assemblymember Brian Maienschein, Nancy McFadden of the Office of the Governor, and others. The Foundation will also debut original videos featuring the work of each of the recipients.

The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize Californians who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to critical state issues. The Foundation provides each award recipient’s organization with $200,000 to support his or her program work, and assists in sharing their promising approaches with policymakers and practitioners.

To learn more about the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards, visit:

About The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation’s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1.3 billion in grants to more than 3,500 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.9 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $73 million in 2014 for the people of California.

For additional information about the D.A.’s Human Trafficking Unit and H.E.A.T. Watch, please visit

For more information about the Irvine Foundation, please visit or call 415.777.2244.


ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280 or
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Posted on Feb 5, 2015