McGeorge alumna one of the top general counsels in the world
University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law alumna Kim Wilford ’94 is on the rise.
Wilford, who serves as general counsel for the popular social fundraising platform GoFundMe, Inc. has been recognized as one of the top 20 general counsels in the world by the Financial Times. The honor recognizes corporate legal officers who have taken innovative approaches to a traditional role.
For Wilford, the honor is important, but the opportunity to pursue her passion for impacting social change through philanthropy is what she considers to be her success.
“A career in law is a journey and along the way you start to understand the options that are available to you,” she said. “When I got to GoFundMe I was at a point in my career where I wanted to do more than practice law. I wanted to follow my passion for philanthropy. I am thankful to have found a place that provides me with the opportunity to do both.”
One of the most successful social fundraising platforms, GoFundMe has seen exponential growth in the last 11 years recording more than $15 billion raised from over 200 million donations to support personal causes and nonprofits all around the world.
Wilford is also Chairman of the Board of GoFundMe.orgwhich works in partnership with GoFundMe to address certain global socioeconomic issues such as justice and equality, food insecurity and the environment. Through various thematic funds offered by GoFundMe.org, the entities expand the benefit of social fundraising to communities that need to be better heard while eliminating the paradox of choice for donors who want to help.
One example of GoFundMe.org’s work is America’s Food Fund, established by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and Apple. The fund has raised more than $45 million to support food poverty organizations including Feeding America, No Kid Hungry, Save the Children, Urban School Food Alliance and World Central Kitchen.
Wilford’s role is to ensure the nonprofit and its operations are legally and regulatorily compliant.
“Our entire platform is about social impact and connecting people to give and get help. Whether it's through a specific campaign or in partnership with GFM.org, we are trying to make the world a better place – a place where needs are met and dreams are realized. That’s what is important to me.”
Wilford is a member of McGeorge’s Dean’s Cabinet, which includes accomplished alumni and donors.
"Kim brings a distinct expertise from the tech world. Just as she leads at GoFundMe by serving both the mission and the business, she challenges the law school, the Cabinet, and me to think both like a law school and like an enterprise," said McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.
Wilford hopes to mentor McGeorge students and encourage them to follow their passions and incorporate them into their legal careers.
“I love being an informal mentor for aspiring students in the early stages of their career,” said Wilford. “There are so many resources that McGeorge offers and it's important for students to experience as much as possible to identify what area of the law they are passionate about and how they can make an impact in the world.”
Wilford is one of several McGeorge alumni whose legal training has led to non-traditional roles in the legal profession including Mark Amodei, U.S. Representative for Nevada's 2nd Congressional District; Scott Boras, sports agent; Matina Kolokotronis, chief operating officer of the Sacramento Kings; Bill Lockyer, former State Treasurer of California and Attorney General; and Steve Martini, novelist.