Executive Director David Bolton

David Bolton is in his 12th year as Executive Director and CEO of the California Missions Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the 21 historic Missions of California founded by Saint Junípero Serra. For the past 30+ years, David has been dedicated to the preservation of the California Missions and related historical sites, as well as researching and helping to tell the story of early Spanish history in the American Southwest. In April 2019, Mr. Bolton was knighted by Spain’s King Felipe VI as a Commander of the Royal Order of Isabela la Católica.

As a film producer, David has spent more than two decades documenting the vast Spanish Mission chains of the Americas, from South America and Mexico to all corners of the present-day United States. Mr. Bolton’s production company, Cultural Global Media, has produced multiple international broadcasts of the Super Bowl for the National Football League and Fox Sports Latin America.

David is a former six-year board member of the United States-Spain Council in Washington, D.C., and currently sits on the board of directors of Old Spanish Days Inc. in Santa Barbara where he served as 2023 El Presidente, In addition, he serves on the boards of Santa Barbara Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and Santa Barbara High’s Ye Ole Gang which support students and athletics,

California Missions Foundation has been dedicated to preserving and conserving the Spanish Missions and related historical sites of Alta California including their extensive collection of colonial paintings and artifacts. As Executive Director and CEO since 2013, Mr. Bolton has worked to sustain the physical architecture, the culture, and the legacy of this important part of Spanish and American history.

Under his leadership, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars to sponsor critical Mission and Presidio preservation projects from San Diego to Sonoma. With a vision to unite all actively interested in maintaining the Spanish legacy and culture of the Missions, Presidios, and Ranchos, Mr. Bolton spearheaded a merger of the California Missions Foundation and the California Mission Studies Association in 2015. Under the CMF banner, this united organization brings together preservationists, scholars, researchers, and educators under one umbrella focused on Spain’s legacy in Alta California and the Americas.

David looks forward to continuing the California Missions Foundation’s important work including preservation and conservation, mission studies, and the foundation’s expanding fourth grade field trip program.


Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Recipes from Along the Mission Trail - Buen Provecho!

Following many years of dedicated service on behalf of Spain and its legacy in the Americas, CMF Executive Director David Bolton received a Spanish Knighthood and is now officially a Commander of the Royal Order of Isabel la Catolica.