Executive Director of Silicon Valley

Executive Director of Silicon Valley

Reading Partners

San Francisco – Oakland, CA   |   January 22, 2020

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners is changing the education landscape. Reading Partners is a leader in working to solve the literacy crisis in our country by leveraging community volunteers in under-resourced schools. The diverse and expansive volunteer base provides one-on-one tutoring to students twice weekly, and the program is proven to help children master the reading fundamentals they need to unlock their potential as successful, happy and confident readers in school and in life.

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1999, the region plays an important part in the history of this organization which has grown rapidly throughout the last 20 years and touched the lives of thousands of students and community volunteers. Reading Partners currently operates reading centers in fifteen schools in Sunnyvale, San Jose, Redwood City, Mountain View, and Atherton, California.

The people who make up Reading Partners are the heartbeat and greatest resource or the organization. The team is passionately rallied around the mission to help children become lifelong learners by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction that works. Joining this stellar team will allow you to lead the charge and deepen the impact of Reading Partners program.

 Watch this video to learn more about Reading Partners.

The Opportunity

Reading Partners is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, entrepreneurial leader as their next Executive Director of Silicon Valley. The Executive Director will oversee portfolios of 15 schools and create conditions for future expansion, leading a program, development, and community engagement team, which includes staff, AmeriCorps members, and community volunteers. The ideal candidate is both a social entrepreneur and a general manager who can roll up their sleeves to lead the entire region, acting as the primary contact to both internal and external stakeholders. A charismatic and compelling spokesperson, the Executive Director will serve as the primary face of the organization in Silicon Valley, managing fundraising and community partnerships. The Executive Director will bring and build relationships within the K-5 educational and, nonprofit sectors, with state/local officials and philanthropic leaders, with the goal of accelerating Reading Partners’ regional expansion and deepening its impact in its founding region.

The Executive Director role is a full-time position based in Milpitas, California. Willingness to travel to other sites throughout the Silicon Valley and to Reading Partners’ National Headquarters, on occasion, in Oakland, California, required.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

A Strategic and Visionary Leader

The Executive Director is a strategic and visionary leader with a solid understanding of the strategies needed to advance the work of a mission-based organization, from funding to mission delivery. They will envision, clearly define, and then project the organization’s value proposition to the community and beyond. The candidate is a results-oriented leader who is experienced at articulating and implementing a plan for increased impact. They will bring a systems perspective to organizational challenges, with the ability to effectively move from vision to strategy to plan to execution while managing multiple work streams and demonstrating exceptional project management instincts. The Executive Director will be creative, a thoughtful decision maker, comfortable partnering with others to problem-solve, and able to use clear and strategic processes in making decisions. The Executive Director has the drive and passion to remain at the forefront of the sector and will continue to develop new and unique opportunities to serve the mission.

A Mission and Culture Catalyst

In order to thrive as a culture leader at Reading Partners, the Executive Director will be highly motivated by Reading Partners’ work and authentically represent this mission externally. They will demonstrate a sincere passion for enriching the lives of high-need students through literacy development and embody Reading Partners’ mission, core values and approach. They will be energized by working amid ambiguity and will bring a patient and solutions-oriented outlook to their work. Finally, the Executive Director will bring an understanding of how to partner with schools and serve at-risk youth, ideally within the context of K-5 education. The Executive Director will thrive in a dynamic and evolving environment.

A People and Operations Manager

The successful candidate will be a highly skilled leader, able to develop a strategic vision and motivate teams to achieve measurable goals, while maintaining a results-oriented, collaborative, and healthy organizational culture. They will demonstrate experience serving as an inspiring mentor to staff members, either in a formal management structure or informally through influence. The candidate will lead, motivate, and manage a team of staff and AmeriCorps members to impressive results, while coaching and developing the capacity of the people on the team. They will oversee and deliver professional development and management training for regional staff and demonstrate advanced ability to plan and implement efficient internal operations to support future growth. The successful candidate will bring a strong track record of establishing the metrics, processes, and protocols needed to effectively move from vision to implementation. Finally, they will have experience juggling multiple work streams concurrently, managing complex and competing priorities, and executing on ambitious goals effectively.

An Authentic Relationship Builder

At the heart of the Executive Director’s work he/she will establish deep relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including staff, community constituents, elected officials, media outlets, nonprofit and for-profit leaders, as well as board members. They will be able to open doors, make connections, tell a compelling story, build consensus and create opportunities to both generate revenue and support advancement in literacy education, across the region and within a very competitive market. The successful candidate will have experience identifying, building, and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse array of non-profit, government, community, private sector, and high-net-worth stakeholders. An effective communicator and a natural “connector”, the Executive Director will bring a track record of successfully increasing revenue and cultivating donors and community support.

The Executive Director will be a leader with gravitas, with a track record of establishing meaningful and trusting relationships with colleagues and stakeholders from the very beginning. They will engage with Executive Director counterparts from across the organization to share best practices and to evolve their practices together. Additionally, the Executive Director will sit on the Leadership Team with other senior leaders in the organization, helping to define the overall strategy and priorities for the organization on an ongoing basis.


The primary responsibilities of the Executive Director will include but are not limited to:

Lead and Manage the Organization

  • Set and achieve programmatic, fundraising, and other goals aligned with the regional and national strategic plans.
  • Build fundraising and organizational infrastructure and capacity to support future growth.
  • Provide executive oversight of all program operations: compliance, quality assurance, and program efficacy.
  • Oversee all business functions (accounting, Talent, IT, legal, etc.), with support from the national accounting, Talent, and IT departments.
  • Lead and manage a team of approximately 6 year-round staff and 21 AmeriCorps members toward highly successful program implementation, community engagement, and fundraising targets

Oversee the Program

  • Develop, design, and lead implementation of new strategies and approaches to meeting programmatic growth goals.
  • Partner with the program lead to recommit current schools and recruit new schools by late spring to meet targets for schools served and wait list for the following school year.
  • Collaborate with other executive directors and members of the national team to develop and implement a system for sharing resources and best practices across all Reading Partners locations.
  • Lead all fundraising for the region to exceed revenue goal of $1.7M
  • Set, meet, and exceed, annual fund development goals in future years to support ongoing expansion in Silicon Valley.
  • Cultivate and manage donor relationships across the region to secure monies from government , corporate, foundation, and individual funding sources.
  • Develop and manage the regional board to provide effective local leadership and ambassadorship.
  • Collaborate with development staff and board members to identify, cultivate, and steward potential funders.
  • Work closely with the national team to ensure proper implementation of the state or national AmeriCorps grants, and to steward the relationship effectively to continue strong relationships with all state and national AmeriCorps agencies
  • Drive all external relations activities in the region to grow and scale the region
  • Create and lead a broad coalition of nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental entities to affect students’ reading success.
  • Engage and manage relationships with elected officials and public sector partners (municipal, school board, state, and district staff for Congressional offices) to support the advancement of Reading Partners as a key partner in the educational system in the region.
  • Build and grow relationships with district-level leaders to ensure Reading Partners’ success as a best-in-class literacy program.
  • Support Reading Partners’ role in the policy dialogue around literacy, education, and national service.
  • Increase organizational visibility and profile in local media markets through the successful creation and implementation of a regional communications plan.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to support Reading Partners’ community engagement and volunteer recruitment efforts.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

  • Robust experience working with nonprofits, school districts, government officials, and philanthropic organizations in the Silicon Valley.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and executing fundraising strategies, including ability to raise one million dollars or more annually.
  • Demonstrated success in staff recruitment, leadership, management, and development.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage large and complex operating budgets.
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity when addressing challenging situations with limited resources
  • Flexibility to readily adapt to a fast-paced, changing environment; experience working in launch or growth phases of organization, a plus.
  • Alum/alumna of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, or other national service program preferred
  • The ideal candidate will have a first degree and potentially a second degree. MBA or other advanced degree preferred; however, education does not take the place of robust/relevant work experience.
  • A deep belief in our mission; the innate ability and desire to root your work in Reading Partners core values.

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. [name, name, and name] are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link here or email mcharles@koyapartners.com. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Reading Partners is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.

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.