Jun 2023


Launch is accepting applications for Chief Executive Officer, with a priority deadline of July 19. Please see the below job description, or view it as a PDF here.

Chief Executive Officer Position, Seattle, WA

Launch, formerly Community Day School Association (CDSA), is a Seattle-based nonprofit whose mission is to lead the charge to brilliant outcomes for children in our community by ensuring equitable access to the highest quality learning and care. We do this by providing affordable, high-quality after school, preschool, and summer programs at 12 locations in Central, Southeast, and West Seattle. Launch is a leader in the fields of early learning and youth development and has earned respect from local families, partners, local governments, and the community at large.

Since 1977, Launch has been guided by its values of inclusiveness, balance, excellence, engagement, honor, and safety. Launch supports working families from all social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Families who enroll in our program enter a network of assistance that strengthens the community, while offering positive opportunities for their children. Our twelve locations have deep, committed relationships with Seattle Public Schools, Parks and Rec, the Seattle Preschool Program, and many community partners. Launch administrative staff and teachers are passionate about preparing 21st Century learners for school and life in a fun, nurturing environment, with a focus on social, emotional, and academic learning and growth.

Learn more about Launch programs, impact and mission here.

The Opportunity
This is an exciting opportunity for an inspiring, results-driven, and inclusive leader to work in partnership with the Board of Directors to implement Launch’s next chapter. This role will leverage Launch’s strengths and lead innovation in order to deepen our impact eliminating the opportunity gaps for children and their families caused by historical and systematic biases.

Opportunities for Impact

  • Operational Management: Build capacity and excellence in our programs; use data and experience to monitor key performance indicators and be responsive to changing conditions and community needs.
  • Fundraising and Resource Development: Lead efforts to secure financial resources through fundraising, grants, corporate partnerships, networking, and other revenue streams to support a thriving wage for classroom staff, operational sustainability, and long-term growth.
  • Team Leadership and Development: Nurture a high-performing and diverse team, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning, ensuring a work environment that emphasizes belonging. Ensure Launch recruits, retains, and develops our exceptional team of highly skilled and committed staff.
  • Collaboration and Partnership Building: Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with key partners, including educational institutions, government agencies, community organizations, and philanthropy, to foster collaboration, leverage resources, and expand the organization’s reach and impact.
  • Board Governance and Relationship Management: Work closely with the Board of Directors, seeking guidance and input, and contribute to Board growth and development. Ensure effective governance practices are in place to support the organization’s sustainability and growth.
  • Advocacy and Thought Leadership: Represent Launch in external forums, serving as a spokesperson for the organization, and engaging in advocacy efforts to promote educational equity and excellence. Develop an acute understanding of the challenges facing early learning organizations both locally and nationally. Assess early childhood learning and expanded learning opportunities systems and external landscapes for strategic leadership opportunities.

The Position
Accountable to the Board of Directors, the CEO will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for programs, finances, and execution of Launch’s mission. They will be responsible for leading collaborative decision-making, managing a team of experienced and talented staff, and serving as a liaison to the Board.

The ideal candidate will bring strong racial equity awareness, business acumen, data savviness, and life experience to inform strategy and take calculated risks to improve programs and deepen organizational reach and impact. Candidates should have established professional networks and be interested in expanding these throughout the early learning and expanded learning opportunities community.

Ability to:

  • Be a passionate steward of Launch’s mission, values, and culture. Build and foster strong, collaborative community connections in support of Launch’s mission. Gather and leverage data to tell Launch’s story and expand its reach and impact.
  • Provide successful oversight of a multi-program organization with a $5M+ annual budget and 125 staff dispersed over multiple locations. Diversify and expand current funding sources; develop a systematic process for donor engagement.
  • Ensure early learning and expanded learning opportunity programs actively address systemic racism and work toward educational equity for individuals representing historically underserved communities. Anticipate educational changes, trends, regulations to lead changes that ensure all students of programs are school-ready.
  • Identify and evaluate new, innovative, and creative approaches to fulfilling the organization’s mission as guided by our strategic plan. Initiate new relationships with relevant organizations and negotiate with decision-makers when appropriate.
  • Apply strong leadership acumen and good judgment to establish the necessary trust and credibility with the Board of Directors, staff, parents, children, community at large and partners.
  • Build capable teams and capacity. Inspire quality performance with leadership to build, nurture, and retain a strong team of professionals.
  • Lead the organization with sensitivity, clear vision, excellent communication, commitment to anti-racism, and strong emotional and social intelligence. Ensure Launch maintains trusting and nurturing reciprocal relationships with communities of color and people of color-led organizations, especially in Seattle and King County.
  • On occasion, work some nights and weekends to facilitate Launch’s work.


  • Demonstrated experience in a senior or executive leadership role with a track record of success in building strong relationships and effectively leading a diverse team across multiple locations.
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to educational equity, anti-racism, and empowerment of young learners, families, and staff.
  • Demonstrated use of a racial equity framework to change organizational practices preferred.
  • Proven ability to develop and implement strategic plans, drive organizational growth using continuous quality improvement methods, and oversee complex budgets effectively.
  • Strong fundraising and resource development skills, including experience securing grants, cultivating donor relationships, and diversifying revenue streams.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to engage and inspire diverse stakeholders, including staff, board members, partners, and donors
  • Broad professional network in the Seattle metropolitan area and in the early learning/education/expanded learning opportunity sectors a plus.
  • Experience working with a board of directors. Policy governance experience or willingness to learn a plus.
  • Advanced degree in education, nonprofit management, or a related field preferred.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a full time, exempt position with a target starting salary range of $135,000-$170,000 depending on experience. We also offer a generous benefits package including: employer-paid medical, dental, and vision coverage; paid time off that includes vacation and sick leave, paid holidays; a 401(k) with employer match, and; life and disability insurance.

To be Considered
The position is open until filled with a priority deadline of July 19th, 2023. Please submit a resume that details your qualifications and a two-page cover letter that speaks to the abilities we describe, addressed to the Search Committee by emailing You may direct questions to Mari at

Launch is a progressive, equal opportunity employer committed to creating a welcoming work environment. Launch does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, gender, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. We are committed to a diverse, socially just, and welcoming work environment and people of color, people with varying abilities, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply.