Chief Executive Officer

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Compensation is commensurate with experience.




United States


About the Foundation

The Central Valley Foundation (CVF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit philanthropic organization founded in 1994 by Susan and the late James B. McClatchy to enhance and preserve the quality of life in California’s Central Valley area. For nearly 25 years, CVF has supported projects that advance educational outcomes for English Learners in K-12 public schools in the Central Valley, chiefly in the Fresno and Sacramento areas. A new “Growing Strong Learners” Pre-K Initiative now aims to improve and expand pre-Kindergarten programs for English Learners. CVF also supports activities and educational programs that promote awareness of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of speech and the press. In the fall of 2018, CVF will launch an ambitious First Amendment Initiative to increase understanding of and support for the First Amendment in Central Valley communities, leading to greater civic engagement. CVF’s focus areas are facing significant challenges that must be addressed sooner rather than later. In recognition of this pressing need, the Board of Directors voted in 2016 to spend down all of the Foundation’s assets ($53 million) by 2030 through a sunsetting plan. 

About the Position

CVF seeks to hire a full time Chief Executive Officer (CEO), signaling an increased tempo of activity as it moves from an “in perpetuity” foundation model to a “sunsetting” model in which more of its assets will be deployed sooner. Given that CVF’s funding resources will still be limited relative to the issues it addresses, the Foundation seeks to augment the impact of its grantmaking through the external-facing role of the CEO, who will be expected to build partnerships, cultivate allies, and speak out in public fora (both in writing and in person) to advance the mission. Additionally, the CEO will lead a team of 3 part-time staff and a few external consultants, providing inspirational leadership and creating an environment where people thrive. The board of directors is looking for an imaginative, energetic, collaborative leader to partner with in this next crucial phase of the Foundation’s life. 


The CEO reports to the Board of Directors and manages a small staff based in Sacramento and Fresno. The CEO is responsible for strategic leadership of CVF by working with the Board, the staff, consultants, and volunteers to plan, implement, and monitor work toward the Foundation’s goals. 

The CEO has full responsibility for leading CVF in pursuit of its mission including mission stewardship, board relations, grantmaking, staff leadership, finances, legal compliance, accountability, evaluation, and consultant management. This position requires significant capacity for day-to-day management augmenting a passion and visionary leadership for CVF’s main areas of focus (English Learners and promotion of the First Amendment).

Mission Stewardship

  • Advances CVF’s mission and ensures it serves as a guide for board and staff.
  • Responsible for strategic planning to enable CVF to fulfill its mission.

Board Relations

  • Engages the board in deep reflection on the Foundation’s work. Provides timely and meaningful communication regarding CVF’s operations, programs, and finances.
  • Works with the Board to help ensure that it is able to conduct effective governance.


  • Manages all aspects of the sunsetting plan (in the fall, 2016, the Board voted to sunset the Foundation by 2030.) Leads in developing strategy as well as specific plans.


  • Works with the Board, staff, and consultants to develop grant making and grant management strategies and systems that are aligned with CVF’s mission; ensures that such strategies and systems are implemented.
  • Maintains positive relationships with grant recipient organizations.

Staff Leadership

  • Responsible for human resources management: recruits, retains, develops, and evaluates staff; ensures the team has the tools and resources required to carry out its work.
  • Ensures that equitable compensation and ongoing professional development opportunities are available to staff. Promotes a collaborative culture that values accountability, transparent communication, and teamwork.

Financial Management

  • Maintains the highest level of ethical and fiduciary integrity in stewardship of and accountability for the organization’s overall operations within the guidelines and policies set by the Board and applicable laws and regulations.
  • Works with the Finance and Investment Committee and the Board to develop and implement asset investment management and financial administration strategies and policies that are aligned with the Foundation's mission. Submits to the Board a proposed annual budget for its approval.

Legal Compliance

  • Works with the Board to develop effective legal compliance strategies and systems aligned with CVF’s mission and ensures that they are well implemented.

Accountability and Evaluation

  • Works with the Board and staff to institute appropriate accountability/program monitoring approaches. Uses feedback from these systems to improve operations.
  • Ensures that CVF actively seeks to monitor changes in the environment and adapt and learn from its experience.
  • Supervises evaluation consultants in measuring the impact of the Foundation’s programs.

Identity Management

  • Works with the Board and staff to ensure proper care and development of CVF’s history, reputation, and public image. Institutes a communication plan for expressing a powerful and clear image of CVF that is consistent with its mission, history, and culture.
  • Represents CVF effectively at public forums and events. Reaches out to and works collaboratively with other foundations and nonprofit organizations for greater impact of CVF’s projects and to advance shared goals.

Issue-Area Visionary Leadership

  • Looks for opportunities to inspire interest in and share CVF programs’ results with policy makers and other funders, to maximize the impact of CVF’s funding.
  • Contributes to thought leadership in the foundation’s focus areas.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree in related field preferred.
  • Strong management skills: minimum of five years’ experience in roles related to CVF’s mission including executive management experience in a public or nonprofit organization forming and guiding strategy and/or assessing impact.
  • Experience working in a grantmaking institution.
  • Experience working effectively with a board of directors.
  • Excellent communications skills: written, interpersonal, oral, and presentation. 
  • Strong budget development and financial management skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of individuals, working with diverse communities and cultures.
  • Experience working in education (particularly Pre-K or English Learners) or on First Amendment issues preferred.
  • Competence with technology, including standard Microsoft Office products.
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently, primarily within the Central Valley, including overnight site visits, as well as state and national conferences, and evening meetings.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please submit a resume and cover letter to