Executive Director with Summer Search Bay Area

Summer Search is a national youth development organization dedicated to creating greater equity by increasing the number of students from low-income backgrounds who successfully enter and complete college. Our mission is to provide high school and college students with developmental opportunities and resources to strengthen their college-going identities and readiness to become first-generation college graduates and socially responsible leaders.

Since 1990, we have partnered with high schools, community-based organizations, and families to provide mentoring (by full-time staff), transformative summer experiences, and start-to-finish college advising and support. To date, we’ve served more than 6,200 high school students, college students, and alumni.

Our long-term investment (7-9 years) successfully supports our students in changing the nation’s college completion narrative. 96% are students of color; 92% are first in their families to attend college; 71% earn a bachelor’s degree within six years of graduating high school, compared to just 21% of their low-income peers nationally.


In 2016, Summer Search merged three independent program sites in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and the North Bay into a singular Bay Area region. As a result, the Bay Area has formed the largest and most expansive region within the Summer Search network, with more than 40 staff, a $7.6M budget, and programs that served more than 3,000 high school students, college students, and program alumni this past year. Today, the region has a high-performing program and development team, and is focused on building its capacity to serve more students and achieve greater impact.

At this time, Summer Search Bay Area is seeking an Executive Director to implement overall strategy, fundraising, and program outcomes for the region. The Executive Director will join a talented and committed staff, engaged local Board of Directors, and supportive national leadership team. Taking a values-driven and collaborative approach, the Executive Director will serve as an inspiring leader through growth and change, elevate Summer Search’s presence in the region, and embody an organizational culture that celebrates equity, teamwork, learning, and an unwavering commitment to Summer Search’s mission and students.

Specifically, the Executive Director will:

  • Execute upon an annual plan for the Bay Area region to serve more than 3,000 students and manage a $7.6M budget.
  • Serve as chief fundraiser and partner with the Director of Development, Board of Directors, CEO, and national development team to drive a strong fundraising effort, including the solicitation, cultivation, and stewardship of 5-, 6-, and 7-figure gifts from major donors, foundations, and corporations. Hold local accountability for securing $5M of a $7.6M budget.
  • Partner with the local Board of Directors in order to leverage volunteers as strategic thought partners, donors, and external stewards.
  • Serve as a highly-visible external ambassador and spokesperson to a range of audiences in order to elevate the overall brand and profile of Summer Search in the region.
  • Partner with the Regional Program Director and national program team to ensure the highest quality delivery of programs through building and maintaining strong systems and structures, and driving data-driven decision making.
  • Foster the high-performance and collaboration of a 40+ member team, setting the tone for an authentic and positive work environment that results in staff satisfaction and retention. 
  • Prioritize and engage in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) efforts that advance Summer Search’s vision to deliver student-centered and empowering programming, and raise the critical consciousness of staff and board.
  • Directly supervise and coach a Regional Program Director who oversees a large program team, inclusive of High School Mentoring, Summer Experiences, College Access and Success, and Alumni Relations programming.
  • Oversee sound financial management for the region, partnering with the Board of Directors and national office to build and manage the annual regional budget.
  • Lead ongoing implementation and change management for regional operational structure.


The Executive Director position calls for an inspirational, collaborative, and relationship-driven leader with a track record in leading successful organizations. Specifically, this hire will bring:

  • PASSION FOR MISSION: A commitment to Summer Search’s mission of transforming what young people believe is possible for themselves by supporting them to earn a bachelor’s degree and to become socially responsible leaders.
  • EXPERIENCE: 15+ years of professional experience, including 5+ years in a leadership role, at a youth development, educational, or similar organization in the Bay Area.
  • LEADERSHIP: An authentic and engaging leadership style with an ability to inspire confidence and spread enthusiasm for an organization’s work and mission. Experience leading large and diverse teams towards a shared outcome.
  • FUNDRAISING: A solid track record in leading and/or supporting external relations and raising 5-, 6-, and 7-figure gifts through major and individual donors, foundations, corporate sponsorships, and events.
  • STRATEGIC AGILITY: Nimble strategic thinking and planning skills to lead through growth and change, with demonstrated experience in building systems and structures that optimize program and staff performance.
  • BOARD RELATIONS: Prior experience working closely with a Board of Directors, with the skill to leverage Board talent in strategic planning, oversight, and fundraising.
  • CULTURAL HUMILITY: Cultural awareness and sensitivity in working with diverse and low-income populations, with an understanding of systems of oppression facing low-income communities of color.  
  • SELF-AWARENESS: High degree of awareness and understanding one’s own emotions and identities, and how they affect interactions with others. Commitment to personal growth and learning.
  • VALUES-ALIGNMENT: The ability to thrive in a collaborative and relationship-driven work culture, demonstrating personal qualities of empathy, openness, and authenticity.


  • Bi-lingual English-Spanish/-Vietnamese/-Cantonese language skills are a plus.
  • Prior experience leading a local/regional operation of a national nonprofit is a plus.
  • Knowledge of Bay Are public school landscape and communities is a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Master’s degree in education, nonprofit administration, social work, or related field is a plus.


  • We are committed to staff learning, growth and development. Our intense investment includes:
  • Competitive salaries
  • Medical insurance with up to 90% employer contribution
  • Dental, vision, FSA, life and disability insurance plans
  • 401 (K) and Employer Match up to $2,000 annually
  • Generous time off including 15 vacation days, 10 sick days, 2 floating holidays, 10 company-wide holidays and a 1-week December closure. 
  • Individual, local, regional and national training
  • A commitment to developing leaders from within the organization.
  • An organizational culture that supports staff well-being and holistic self-care
  • Ample opportunities to connect with the students and communities we serve 


With a staff that cares deeply about social justice and equity, we believe that diverse perspectives and backgrounds create a rich work environment and enhance our ability to pursue our mission. 

We are committed to building an organization with raised consciousness in order to impact how we work with students, as well as how we work together as a team. 

We hope you will join us as we continue to build a diverse organization that fosters a work environment where people from all backgrounds are welcomed and valued.

Select "Apply for this Position" below to submit a resume and targeted cover letter that answers the question, “Why are you interested in the Executive Director opportunity at Summer Search?” Please address cover letters to Kait Schroder, Managing Director of Regions. 

Apply Here


Last Indexed: 
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 18:00