Chief Executive Officer, Purpose Pipeline

Kapor Center - Oakland, California or Remote - Full time

Reports To: SMASH CEO, Kapor Center CEO, Steering Committee

Status: Full Time

Location: Flexible (SMASH partner cities preferred: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago) with up to 30% travel


The Kapor family of organizations (The Kapor Center, SMASH and Kapor Capital) works to remove barriers to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and tech careers for underrepresented people of color. We take a comprehensive approach to fixing the leaks at every stage of the tech pipeline, from K-12 education through the workplace with education programs, advocacy, and social impact investing.

The Challenge:

Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Pacific Islander students are vastly underrepresented across STEM and computer science education at all levels and in the workforce. Research shows their underrepresentation is directly linked to barriers across the pipeline including the lack of access to STEM/CS coursework, lack of access to diverse role models (representing a range of racial/ethnic groups, gender/sexual identity, economic backgrounds), and exposure to STEM tech and career pathways. We believe that a spark of inspiration can change the trajectories of millions of students of color in the United States.

The Opportunity:

We are building a career navigation platform to expose Black and Latinx students to role models in the tech and innovation ecosystem. Over the past two years, we have piloted a series of videos of Black and Brown STEM professionals with accompanying lesson plans in school and out-of-school settings. Our goal is to expose, inspire and motivate students of color to pursue STEM degrees in college and STEM careers beyond college. We now need an entrepreneur with a passion for changing the trajectory of students of color to catalyze the momentum we have built to launch a startup that inspires students’ career interests, academic trajectories, and career pathways into STEM. The Chief Executive Officer will have a unique opportunity to execute on a vision for closing gaps of opportunity for youth in the tech and innovation ecosystem. This role will work collaboratively across the Kapor Center's three organizations, but will primarily reside in SMASH.

The role will be focused on the following key responsibilities:

  • Setting the vision for Purpose Pipeline and defining the overall strategy from launch to scale
  • Building and executing on a business plan
  • Driving growth, profitability and company value
  • Developing and implementing scalable and efficient strategies to ensure consistent results and exponential growth
  • Hiring and retaining a lean team
  • Cultivating a high-performing and agile team culture
  • Aligning resources to achieve key business goals
  • Owning the operational budget and managing burn rate
  • Managing competition and threats in the marketplace, with constant evaluation of the financial structure, capital strategy and strategic objectives
  • Providing expert guidance to all departments and stakeholders involved in the project
  • Reporting updates to the steering committee regarding progress on strategic goals
  • Building strategic partnerships and relationships to drive growth
  • Being the public champion for the business


The Ideal Candidate Has/Is

  • Experience working in edtech startups
  • Experience with/collaborating as part of diverse leadership teams; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and diplomatically with a wide range of team members, partners, allies, stakeholders, non-profit and tech communities, etc.
  • Track record of agility, adaptability in navigating in uncertainty and ambiguity in fast-paced, dynamic environments
  • Experience leading and scaling a high growth start-up, preferably a company with venture funding and familiarity with the non-profit/philanthropic sector and a variety of funding streams
  • Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s Degree preferred) or equivalent experience
  • Proven track record of building successful products and high performing teams from the ground up

Ideal candidates will also demonstrate the following qualities:

  • High level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
  • Excellent project management skills with the ability to lead and develop a complex, high impact platform for social good
  • An innovative leader with an ability to determine high impact strategy
  • The ability to lead with collaboration, transparency, and integrity.
  • Experience working in educational settings and familiarity with education structures and systems
  • Experience and passion for working with students from diverse backgrounds
  • Deep and authentic commitment to our organizational values:
    • We Close Gaps, Open Doors, and SMASH Barriers
    • We Value Tech as a Tool to Scale Social Impact
    • We Lead with Racial Justice and Reflect the Communities We Serve
    • We Honor Distances Traveled, Not Just Finish Lines
    • We Challenge with Urgency, Respect, and Purpose
    • We Don’t Just Talk. Positive Intent Must Lead to Positive Action


The Kapor Center provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, and an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life/disability insurance, paid time off, 401k, volunteer time and flexible spending accounts (i.e. parking, transit, medical and dependent care). Our collaborative office is located in Oakland’s dynamic Uptown District.

We are seeking candidates with a personal commitment to fairness, social justice, and innovation--values that are embedded in our culture. We are committed to representation and inclusion, and we welcome applicants with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

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C Level Executive Leadership

Experience Level

Senior Level

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