Executive Director

Executive Director

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation

Danville, CA   |   May 13, 2020

About Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation (ADF) ensures that children from low-income families have access to high-quality books in the home environment and extensive family engagement support. The Always Dream Foundation is an operating foundation that builds awareness about the importance of in-home reading and empowers low-income families with the tools necessary to level the playing field. We do this by providing access to high-quality books in the home via 21st century technology, all while engaging parents to become active participants in their child’s everyday learning. Currently serving students in schools in three states (California, Hawaii, and Arizona) with a budget of $1.2M, ADF has recently completed an evaluation and adapted our program in response to learnings and is now poised for significant growth and increased impact.

For more information on the Always Dream Foundation, please visit our website.

The Opportunity

The Executive Director (ED) will have strategic and operational responsibility for leading the Always Dream Foundation into a new stage of growth and impact. As the chief executive, the ED will lead strategy development and execution, fundraising, staff management, and the financial and operational aspects of the organization, with a particular focus on growth and program expansion. In this work, the Executive Director will partner with Kristi Yamaguchi, the rest of the Board, and a small and dedicated team. This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious leader who is ready to build on a strong foundation to grow a meaningful program.

Leadership & Management:

  • Demonstrate strong leadership to support the mission and vision of the organization, in partnership with the Board, so that our constituents receive high-quality services
  • Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors, seeking and building Board engagement and involvement in both ongoing operations and growth
  • Build a high-performing staff team and play an active role in attracting, retaining, and developing a best-in-class staff
  • Actively engage and energize all constituents, including Board members, funders, partner organizations, volunteers, and event committees, in support of the organization

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Expand revenue generating and fundraising activities to support existing program operations and expansion
  • Use external presence and relationships to cultivate and steward new opportunities for donor and partner engagement
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—web presence, social media, and external relations–with the goal of creating a stronger ADF brand
  • Represent Always Dream Foundation, its vision and services through public presentations and by attending relevant events, conferences, and gatherings
  • Develop and work with the Board, ensuring that Board committees and efforts are well organized and funded
  • Inform the Board regularly of internal organization matters, including relevant staffing, funding, pertinent financial matters, and program success and priorities
  • Keep Always Dream Foundation current and at the forefront of the philanthropic community that cares about early literacy

Program Expansion:

  • Design the replication model and program growth plan for expansion into new schools and geographies
  • Identify and implement cost-effective ways to deliver the Always Reading program
  • Build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders and political and community leaders at each expansion location
  • Grow partnerships to support program delivery i.e. hardware, software, telecom
  • Share program results externally to support regional and national replication
Candidate Profile

The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to the Always Dream Foundation’s mission and bring proven leadership, effective fundraising, and relationship management experience. In addition, the ideal candidate will have many, if not all, of the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

  • At least 10 years of leadership experience, with a track record of effectively scaling an organization regionally and/or nationally
  • Experience building a performance- and outcomes-driven organization, preferably a social impact organization
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Commitment to results and a ‘can do’ mindset with emphasis on accountability
  • Demonstrated success coaching and managing a high-performing team, setting and achieving strategic objectives, and managing the financial and operational aspects of an organization
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to steward existing board member relationships and cultivate new board members
  • Strong fundraising, marketing, and public relations experience, with the ability to engage a diversity of stakeholders
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed
  • Experience at change leadership and change management
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required; advanced degree preferred

Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cassie Scarano and Ariella Pasackow are leading this search. To express your interest in this role please, visit this link. All inquiries will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.