Aug 18, 2022

Chief Executive Officer

  • Build
  • Redwood City, CA, USA
Full-Time Executive Management (CEO/ED)

Job Description

Chief Executive Officer


Location Flexible




Founded in 1999, BUILD’s mission is to use entrepreneurship to ignite the power of youth in under-resourced communities to build Career success, Entrepreneurial mindsets, and Opportunity. BUILD helps students become the CEO of their own lives. We believe in the potential of every student and are dedicated to breaking down the educational, economic, and social barriers that stand in the way of their long-term success. We have a bold vision to triple the number of students we serve and seek a dynamic leader to help us meet that vision.


Our unique program offers high school students a four-year entrepreneurship experience where students launch real businesses and build 21st century skills. Our curriculum focuses on teaching collaboration, communication, problem-solving, innovation, grit, and self-management. Entrepreneurship is the hook; college, career, and life success are the goals. 97% of BUILD seniors have graduated from high school on time, and over 80% go on to college. Upon completion of the program in high school, students have the opportunity to stay connected through BUILD’s Alumni Program offerings.  


With a budget of approximately $15M and a team of over 60 people, we currently serve approximately 2,000 high school students annually in New York City, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. We are continuing to grow our national footprint through our new digital offerings that have enabled us to reach over 100 cities across the country. Our staff have trained nearly 400 educators, and over 12,000 youth have participated in our digital BUILD Design Challenge since its launch in 2020.


For more information on BUILD, please visit our web site at and view our Annual Report here:


About BUILD’s Growth Strategy


In 2021, we announced our $15M growth campaign, BUILDing Generation Entrepreneur - also known as BUILDing Gen E - a national movement to inspire a diverse new generation of entrepreneurial leaders and changemakers. Our BUILDing Gen E campaign focuses on three pillars:


• Digital Acceleration: Leveraging the power of technology to accelerate access for thousands more students and educators across the country. BUILD is bringing our newly digitized blended learning curriculum offerings to our classrooms, providing new engaging tools and enriched content.

• Geographic Expansion: Combining digital tools with powerful teacher coaching and support to expand our reach with middle and high schools, school districts, and community-based organizations across the nation. 

• Systemic Change: Amplifying youth voices, launching a coalition, and building a movement to reimagine the future of education by championing access to entrepreneurship education and innovation, with a focus on racial equity, economic mobility, and social justice.


Our BUILDing Gen E campaign has raised over $16M to date from supporters such as Jack Dorsey, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Bezos Family Foundation, Comcast NBCUniversal, and more.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging at BUILD


BUILD honors the dignity and worth of every individual and strives to create equity of voice, access, influence, and power across lines of difference – both in and beyond BUILD, specifically for groups that have been historically denied social justice. We acknowledge and embrace the entire range of human experience, celebrating the nuance and insights diversity brings to our work because we believe it yields the greatest impact for students and the best prospects for change.


We do not only speak of diversity and inclusion; we live by it. In our practices, policies, and organizational culture, BUILD works to foster a familial environment where we can bring our whole selves to our work knowing that we are enriched by differences in race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, physical abilities, mental and developmental abilities, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, educational background, work styles, political beliefs, cultural practices, perspectives, and passions.


At BUILD, we know that the people we work with, and the communities we serve, are our greatest assets and strengths. Promoting diversity is a central component of our culture and a critically important core value. By respecting, valuing, and celebrating diversity, BUILD enhances our organizational culture and allows for greater impact in the communities we serve.


 The Chief Executive Officer Opportunity


With a strong foundation that includes more than 20 years of success, BUILD is well positioned to expand our impact exponentially, leveraging digital opportunities and a blended model to reach thousands more students, educators, and skills-based volunteers. We are seeking a growth-oriented, purpose-driven, and strategic Chief Executive Officer to lead this expansion, galvanizing current and future supporters to be part of our mission and impact.   


Motivated by a deep commitment to our students and to racial equity, the Chief Executive Officer will serve as a visionary and energizing champion for our work. They will inspire and activate our staff, board, partners, and supporters to propel BUILD’s growth, while keeping students and our mission at the center of all we do. Externally, the Chief Executive Officer will share a vision for BUILD that motivates partners and funders to be part of our growth and to recognize BUILD as a leader in building a movement around youth entrepreneurship. Internally, they will provide strategic leadership for our talented staff and ensure the resources and supports necessary for our team to fulfill our mission as we grow. The Chief Executive Officer will exemplify the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurialism that grounds our work.  


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer will provide leadership and management across all aspects of the organization, with specific areas of focus that include:


• Guiding our growth strategy, leveraging experience in scaling organizations and facilitating change to ensure our team can expand our impact while sustaining program quality

• Cultivating and stewarding relationships with BUILD funders and sharing BUILD’s story, vision, and successes with a wide variety of audiences including educators, individual donors, foundations, and corporations

• Engaging partners in the education landscape, both nationally and within BUILD communities, to ensure opportunities for program expansion and to support the success of BUILD’s policy and advocacy agendas

• Collaborating with the President to inspire, motivate, and mentor the National Leadership Team, the Executive Committee, and the broader BUILD staff and to ensure our team has the resources necessary for success

• Upholding and modeling an inclusive organizational culture that celebrates and encourages collaboration, grit, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit and that puts BUILD students and communities at the center of our work


Location and Travel


We are open to candidates from a variety of geographic locations, with some preference for cities with a BUILD presence (New York City, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington, D.C.) or other metropolitan areas that provide a good base for travel.


Candidates will need to be open to frequent national travel, both to BUILD sites and more broadly to engage donors and partners around the country.

Hiring Organization



Candidate Profile


We are seeking a strong and dynamic leader whose personal purpose aligns with BUILD’s belief in the potential of every child and the value of entrepreneurship education as a transformational tool for learning and engagement that leads to social and economic mobility. Our next leader will also demonstrate a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and a dedication to empowering students from under-resourced communities.


While we are open to considering many different professional backgrounds and recognize that no one individual will possess every qualification outlined, the successful candidate will bring many of the following professional qualifications and personal attributes to this role:


• Progressive senior-level leadership experience with a proven track record of successfully leading, managing, and growing a performance- and outcomes-based organization, preferably within the educational, educational technology, nonprofit, or philanthropic sectors; experience with a national organization and/or multi-site organization is strongly preferred.

• Entrepreneurial approach to strengthening business models, stewarding organizational change, and driving sustainable growth through proven successes in scaling programs, infrastructure, and operations.

• Experience partnering with a Board and senior team to develop and execute on a bold and inspiring vision that centers the young people and the adults who support them.

• Ability to champion BUILD and the movement it represents with passion and dynamic, persuasive communication skills, sharing a story that inspires both internal and external constituents and creates visibility, momentum, and support for BUILD’s continued growth and impact.

• Proven track record of cultivating individual donors and securing major gifts of $1M+. Must have a passion for fundraising that is demonstrated by a commitment to maintaining and growing current funders, a zest for cultivating new donors, an ability to identify and generate new revenue streams, and a record of successfully taking organizations to the next level of sustained philanthropic support through individuals, foundations, corporations, and events.                                   

• Ability to build sustainable and productive partnerships with nonprofits, philanthropic partners, academic institutions, and city and state government. Politically astute, comfortable, and capable of speaking to these constituents and other stakeholders about the power and potential of BUILD’s model.

• A financially savvy leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate and extend trust to a team, and guide investment in people and systems.

• Both analytical and strategic, able to take in and synthesize information and data from multiple sources to make sound decisions.

• An empathetic and inclusive management style that balances accountability and autonomy with support and the needs of the organization with the needs of the team; clear commitment to professional development of the team and exceptional track record of recruiting and retaining a strong and diverse team by fostering an equitable environment. Experience leading or contributing to an organization’s talent and culture strategy is highly valued.

• A deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, with the ability to model continuous learning and growth while leading organizational commitment to being an anti-racist organization.

• Working knowledge of current educational policies and practices; experience working in an educational, youth-based organization preferred.

Industry/Service Area





Compensation & Benefits


The salary range for this position begins at $200,000 and is commensurate with lived and professional experience. BUILD offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes competitive compensation, medical, dental, and vision benefits, generous paid time off, a flexible work environment, and a commitment to professional development. To learn more about BUILD’s core values and culture, please visit

Application Instructions



Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in leading mission-driven searches, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here ( or via email at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


BUILD is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. We foster a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, out-of-home care, age, national origin, socioeconomic state, religion, and ability, culture, and experience.


About Koya Partners


Koya Partners, a part of 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 Partners, visit

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