SEO San Francisco , Executive Director

SEO Scholars - San Francisco, California - Full time


SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity), founded in 1963, is an educational non-profit focused on improving outcomes for students that come from underserved and historically underrepresented backgrounds. For over 50 years, SEO has been an innovator in education, mentorship, and creating educational programs and opportunities that maximize the full potential of their students. In 2011, Adam Karr, an SEO alumnus and Chair of the SEO SF Advisory Board, led the establishment of SEO Scholars San Francisco as the first expansion region for this program and aimed to replicate for Bay Area students the stellar outcomes that the program had delivered in New York City. SEO Scholars provides motivated, low income public high school students with a rigorous free out-of-school supplemental academic curriculum, college guidance, and the leadership development necessary to gain admission to, and succeed at, competitive colleges and universities.

Since their launch in San Francisco,

  • SEO SF has successfully recruited nine classes of Scholars, growing to serve 170 Scholars across high school and college, currently;
  • SEO SF celebrated their first class of college graduates in the summer of 2019;
  • SEO SF has expanded to 11 full-time employees and 17 local board members;
  • 100% of SEO SF Scholars have been accepted to college, and these Scholars are on track to achieve the same high college graduation rate as the New York program (90%);
  • SEO SF has established a strong local revenue stream, raising over $2 million in annual philanthropic support;
  • SEO SF has built a flourishing community of Bay Area-based SEO alumni and supporters, with a highly engaged volunteer leadership.

To learn more about SEO, please visit


SEO SF is seeking an Executive Director who can grow the organization’s impact in San Francisco and possibly expand to other parts of the greater Bay Area. The ideal candidate for this position will be an entrepreneurial leader who inspires and develops their team, an experienced development professional with a track record of working closely with their board members and cultivating those relationships while raising substantial funding from individuals and institutional donors and showcasing the work of the organization, and someone with a familiarity of San Francisco’s public education landscape and the diverse challenges and opportunities that presents. In addition, the next Executive Director will be a compelling communicator, story-teller and strong relationship builder, and a results-driven manager who has demonstrated success for the initiatives and organizations under their leadership.

This is an ideal opportunity for an education advocate who wants to make a significant impact to support the Bay Area’s school-age youth on their journey to college, through college and beyond. The Executive Director serves on the SEO National Executive Leadership Team (ELT) along with other NYC-based senior staff. The Executive Director reports to the SF Advisory Board Chair for all financial and development matters and to the Vice President, SEO Scholars High School (based in NY) for program-related responsibilities.


Key Responsibilities of the SEO SF Executive Director include:

  • Serving as the face of SEO SF, partnering with the SEO SF Advisory Board and funders to secure and allocate the resources and supports necessary to grow SEO SF’s programs, remaining solutions-oriented while pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the areas of development. The Executive Director will work in close partnership with the SF Advisory Board Chair, board members, and the President/CEO to build the board’s philanthropic capabilities;
  • Leading the strategy and “on the ground” execution of SEO SF’s vision for success including ensuring that its programs, office culture, local partnerships, and community engagement are highly effective and tightly aligned to SEO SF’s mission and goal of achieving transformational outcomes for all Scholars;
  • Managing SEO SF senior leaders and staff, remaining deeply committed to developing and bringing out the strengths of all staff while holding them accountable for their goals and SEO SF’s desired financial, programmatic, and compliance outcomes. The Executive Director will provide overall strategic and operational leadership and responsibility for SEO SF’s staff, program, and the execution of its mission;
  • Managing programmatic work under the direction of the VP, SEO Scholars High School (NYC) and in collaboration with the SF program leaders, to set program goals and milestones and implement, modify, and evaluate the programmatic strategies and tactics necessary to ensure program excellence and consistent quality;
  • Championing the vision of SEO internally and externally by valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion for all of SEO’s constituents and maintaining an unyielding focus at all times on what is best for SEO’s Scholars, staff, partners, supporters, and the local community.


A successful first year in this role for the new Executive Director will include:

  • Establishing strong relationships and building credibility with staff, existing board members and donors;
  • Achieving board approved fundraising and budgetary goals for the academic year;
  • Evaluating current impact with the SF Advisory Board and solidifying a strategic plan for increasing the demonstrated, transformational results of SEO SF;
  • Building and maintaining strong management practices throughout the organization, ensuring all SEO SF staff are engaged in a positive, productive and thriving culture guided by common goals, honesty, and transparency.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director will be:

  • Deeply passionate about SEO’s mission, that access to education is critical to moving young people into their full potential and holding the belief that educating our most underserved youth is critical to our current and future social and economic well-being;
  • Experienced in being a primary face of an organization and raising funds for their organization, including a track record of building successful business and program partnerships and/or major gifts fundraising within the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • Dynamic, versatile, and someone who engages effectively with a variety of individuals and speaks in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about SEO SF’s programmatic goals and priorities;
  • An entrepreneurial leader who is able to make decisions that drive towards results, with a track record of 7-10 years of successfully managing organizations in the education, nonprofit, and/or private sector;
  • Someone who is knowledgeable about local politics, infrastructure, and the demographics in the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • Inspiring in their management style and willing to devote time to coach and develop their team while holding them accountable to measurable results;
  • Someone with a proven track record of building a great staff culture;
  • Experienced working with, and leading, a Board of Directors and/or experienced working with a regional advisory board functioning within a national organization;
  • Skilled in strategic planning, project management, and organization. The Executive Director will be able to focus on the vision of the organization and communicate priorities while not losing sight of the details;
  • Someone with integrity, who displays kind, humble and collaborative characteristics, sound judgement, and can lead and influence in situations with or without authority;
  • Someone who has strong organizational and project management skills and is able to execute across multiple priorities.


SEO provides competitive compensation, commensurate with qualifications and experience, plus excellent health benefits, 403(b) retirement plan, flexible spending account (FSA), dependent care FSA, and generous paid time off, including a competitive paid parental leave benefit. More details can be provided upon request.


Please submit a resume online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Serena Moy at or at 510.575.9635.

SEO is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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C Level Executive Leadership

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