Michele Ybarra

Michele Ybarra

Senior Search Associate

As a Search Senior Associate, Michele works closely with search teams to recruit senior executives to mission-driven clients. Michele supports all aspects of the search process with a focus on project management, candidate development, and client engagement. Integral to all of her work is a passion and commitment to social impact and equity.

Prior to joining Koya, Michele led the senior leader recruitment and hiring for Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school system in the country. She was charged with ensuring a high-quality, inclusive and equitable recruitment and hiring process that led to a diverse and talented central office staff with the goal of representing the diversity of the city of Chicago.

Early in her career, Michele taught middle school in Memphis, Tennessee, where her passion for education, civil rights, social justice and equity deepened. She quickly learned that the quality of the teachers and the school leaders were the two most impactful factors to determine the quality of education a child received.

This led her transition into the talent field in order to find the most talented individuals to make an impact in the education and nonprofit field broadly. She has led recruitment efforts for Teach For America, Noble Network of Charter Schools, and Braven, a nonprofit organization that empowers young leaders and aims to solve the education-to-employment gap in higher education.

Michele’s civic involvement also demonstrates her interest in social justice and education. Michele has volunteered and been involved with organizations in this intersectional space including One Million Degrees, Spark, Posse Scholars, and City Year.

Michele studied secondary education at Michigan State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the Honors College with her BA in Spanish Language and Literature. She minored in Mathematics.