Chief Executive Officer

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
Lori Edwards
United States

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Job Category: 
Organizational Overview: 

Treehouse gives children and youth in foster care a childhood and a future. They envision–and strive to create–a world where every child that has experienced foster care has the opportunities and support they need to pursue their dreams and launch successfully into adulthood. Powered by generous donors, talented staff, engaged Board members, and many caring, committed partners, Treehouse has set an ambitious goal that by 2022 youth in care statewide will graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers, with support and a plan to launch successfully into adulthood.

The journey toward setting this ambitious goal has been years in the making and fueled by a commitment to equity, achieving intended impact, and building long lasting solutions for deeply embedded challenges. In the past ten years Treehouse has:

  • Tripled in size, from 50 staff to 150 and a budget of $6M to $17M
  • Improved staff turnover from 40 percent to consistently under 17 percent with longer tenures on average
  • Become a more racially diverse staff, currently 40 percent of staff are people of color
  • Achieved 77 percent extended graduation rate for youth in its program
  • Engaged Board, staff, volunteers, and community in action toward equity, focused through the lens of race

These outcomes are the result of an organizational awakening. In 2011, a Washington report identified Treehouse’s primary service area as having the lowest graduation rates for youth in care across Washington state, less than 40 percent. After the initial shock, the team got to work in order to learn why their education focused programs were not having their intended impact. After six months of investigation and seeking advice, three things were clear. First, Treehouse needed to find and work with many more youth and also partner with them much more closely. Second, this new strategy was going to cost a lot more, so a new fundraising strategy was built from the ground up, developing a relationship-based model capable of funding growth. Third, equity, and in particular racial equity, had to be at the core of all work moving forward and success would depend on Board, staff, and volunteers engaging a racial equity lens. Their goal: youth in foster care in King County would graduate from high school at the same rate as their peers with a plan for the future. They met their first ambitious goal, but that was not enough and now Treehouse has set their sights on statewide graduation equity by 2022.

Role Responsibilities: 

Treehouse’s next CEO will build upon a strong foundation, created in partnership with the community by its long-standing CEO, following her intentional transition. This moment calls for an inspirational leader with a passion for making a difference in the lives of children and youth, a commitment to equity and social justice, aptitude for fundraising, and experience leading organizational growth and sustainability. The Board of Directors is fully committed to the pursuit of racial equity and intends to model that throughout this search process. This is an exciting opportunity to join this team of innovators, partnering to build a stronger community.

A full position description can be found here:

Candidate Qualifications: 

While the ideal candidate will embody many of the following abilities, attributes, skills, and experiences, the Treehouse Board of Directors anticipates that no one candidate will possess all the qualifications listed below. In areas where aptitude and/or interest are greater than actual experience, candidates are encouraged to propose a plan for support:

Connection to the Cause

  • Passion for partnering with children, youth, families, and community.

Organizational Leadership

  • Strong entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy with the demonstrated ability to identify opportunities for growth.
  • Collaborative spirit that includes soliciting and delivering feedback, engaging diverse thought partners, and innovating strategies to drive change and success.
  • Proven track record managing mid-stage organizational growth, comparable budgets and staff through the shifts needed to sustain ongoing organizational health and mission focus.
  • Demonstrated aptitude for innovation and iterative design; a track record of clearly defining shared goals, making effective decisions, demonstrating accountability, and productively navigating change.
  • Comfort raising significant investments from private sources including individuals and foundations; ability to think strategically in partnership with the development team to build, nurture, and sustain relationships with key donors and partners;
  • Experience supporting an organization’s policy and advocacy efforts, and establishing meaningful collaborations with relevant partners, agencies, and coalitions.

Cultural Leadership & Management Style

  • A deep and sustained learning journey and commitment to equity with the proven ability to apply a racial equity lens to all levels of an organization’s work.
  • Excellent management skills and experience leading and inspiring change in a diverse, mission-driven environment; proven capacity to develop systems and decision-making that foster participation, mutual accountability, and growth.
  • Strong relationship-building skills and an authentic interest in listening to and learning from others; the ability to act with intentionality, establish trust, engage stakeholders, and cultivate belonging.
  • Emotional intelligence and ability to engage in productive conflict; an active listener who understands a trauma-informed practice lens.
  • Collaborative leadership style, demonstrated by knowing when to step in and direct, when to delegate, and when to share leadership.
  • Powerful communicator one on one, in small group settings, and with large audiences. 

The Basics

  • Ability and willingness to travel across Washington and nationally, and the adaptability to work effectively in a wide variety of geographic, political, and cultural settings.
  • Advanced degree preferred or equivalent lived experience that is aligned with Treehouse’s mission and values.

How to Apply