Project Invent, Executive Director

Project Invent
Working from home
$145,000-165,000 + full benefits including health, dental, vision, & access to a 401k retirement.
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Project Invent, an innovative start-up 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in East Palo Alto, California, empowers students with 21st-century skills to succeed individually and impact globally, through invention.  Their mission is to create a generation of fearless, compassionate problem-solvers, ensuring equally high outcomes for all participants, particularly those who are underserved.  Since its founding in 2018, Project Invent has scaled rapidly and has already made a significant impact on educators and students across the country.  That impact includes Project Invent partnerships with 65 schools nationwide, with 70% of trained fellows teaching in schools serving under-resourced communities, and 91% of students responding that they feel more confident in making a difference in the world after their Project Invent experience.  Through the program, high school students invent technologies that solve real-world problems while Project Invent staff train and support teachers to ensure students are getting a transformative learning opportunity.

To learn more about Project Invent, please visit



With the transition of founder Connie Liu, Project Invent is seeking an experienced Executive Director who can build on the vision and successes of the Founder (Connie Liu) and continue to execute on the ambitious goals of the strategic plan by increasing the number of school partnerships nationwide, growing their staff size to support this programmatic growth and increasing the organizational budget to over $1.5 million by 2024.  

Though it is less than four years old, Project Invent is in exceptionally good shape for this succeeding leader to take it to the next level.  The organization has a strong and stable team, including a Deputy Director who oversees preserving a positive team culture,  operations, program services and financial management.  It has a great track record of success and is highly respected by program partners, educators and investors across the country.  The Project Invent board is very engaged and high functioning and prepared to be a strong support for the next Executive Director.  The organization has a clear strategic plan that serves as the guide for its efforts.  Finally, Project Invent is in an enviable financial position, with 95% of its fundraising goal already met halfway through the current fiscal year and a healthy operational reserve.

The ideal candidate for this position will be: an entrepreneurial leader who can support a fast-growing team; a strong fundraiser and champion who can inspire individuals, corporations and institutional donors to support Project Invent’s unique program; and someone who can partner closely with the board to maintain their high levels of engagement and quality governance.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone passionate about youth education, design thinking and invention programs and who wants to support underserved youth on their journey through high school, college and beyond.

The  Executive Director is a remote position and may work from anywhere within the contiguous United States. Travel may be required to visit program partners and for other meetings.



Key Responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

  • Serving as the face of Project Invent, partnering closely with the Board, funders and the broader Project Invent community to secure and allocate the resources necessary to maintain the health of the organization and expand its programmatic impact.
  • Championing the broader vision of Project Invent internally and externally by valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion for all constituents, and maintaining an unyielding focus on what is best for Project Invent’s students, teachers, staff and larger community.
  • Leading the strategy and “on the ground” execution of Project Invent’s vision for success including ensuring that its programs, culture, local partnerships, and community engagement are highly effective and tightly aligned to Project Invent’s mission and goals.
  • Managing Project Invent’s staff through building relationships based on trust, compassion, and empathy while remaining deeply committed to developing and bringing out the strengths of all team members. Building a strong foundation and communications norms to hold staff accountable for their goals and the organization’s desired financial, programmatic and compliance outcomes.
  • Overseeing the financial and operational health of the organization including fundraising, grant writing, budgeting, HR practices, and operations.



A successful first year in this role for the new Executive Director will include:

  • Smoothly step into leadership, engaging with all stakeholders during the first 6 months to understand, adapt, and maintain a positive, trusting team culture;
  • Prepare for the next round of strategic planning, working with staff and board to identify growth levers and bottlenecks, and program innovations to help scale impact and revenue sources;
  • Tune up and execute the growth plans for academic year 22-23: currently anticipating ~30% growth in revenue;  ~100% growth in student teams and 2 new hires.



In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director candidate will be:

  • A visionary leader who is deeply passionate and committed to Project Invent’s mission to empower students with 21st-century skills to succeed individually and impact globally, through invention.
  • An entrepreneurial and accomplished leader who is able to make decisions that drive towards results, with a track record of 5+ years of successfully managing organizations in the education, nonprofit, and/or private sector;
  • Experienced in being the primary face of an organization, with a track record of success for raising funds, $3-5 million, for their organization and building successful business and program partnerships and/or securing major gifts;
  • Skilled in developing external partnerships with current and prospective donors, program partners and potential advocates for Project Invent’s work across the country;
  • Deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion with a demonstrated focus on closing opportunity gaps for students from under-resourced communities. 
  • Someone with excellent written and verbal communications skills, including communicating complex information with clarity to diverse audiences, facilitating dialogue, and building consensus.
  • Experienced in leading an organization through an intense period of growth, while acclimating to and maintaining a positive staff culture based on trust, highly skilled in understanding the complexities that come with this growth and being able to successfully lead the organization through this dynamic period of change;
  • A strong project manager with experience leading multi-stakeholder initiatives and/or leading improvement efforts.  
  • Experienced with fiscal management, budgeting, and contract development and oversight. 
  • Familiar with science education, research, entities, and players in secondary science education (preferred). 



This position offers a salary range of $145,000-165,000 and robust benefits including full health benefits (including medical, vision and dental) and access to a 401k retirement plan. More details can be provided upon request.



Please submit a resume online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Serena Moy at or at 510.575.9635.

Project Invent is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

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