Executive Director

Executive Director Role Overview

Do you have a vision for leading an organization that emboldens youth to pursue a life of purpose, service and meaning? Are you excited about catalyzing relationships that affirm and equip youth and their families? Apply to be the next Executive Director of Stars: Illuminate. Educate. Advocate. in Pasadena. 

As the Executive Director of Stars, you are the organization’s visionary leader, mobilizing a staff of 20+ professionals and managing a budget of $2.2M. You are passionate about leading a staff that supports and develops youth and families in under-resourced neighborhoods, motivated by their faith in Jesus. You lead an incredible team who collectively sets a strategic vision. You develop human and financial resources and strengthen the ties between Stars and the greater Los Angeles communities. As the Executive Director of Stars, you lead a team working to ensure that support is provided in an open, non-judgmental, and life-changing way.

Since 2001, Stars has been a relational hub for youth and families in Northwest Pasadena. Today we have expanded our reach to play an important role in supporting mentoring relationships in the greater Los Angeles area. Stars is one of the most impactful Christian mentoring-based organizations in Los Angeles and touches over 350 students and their families each year. It endeavors to be a welcoming, culturally humble, interdependent, and brave community for youth where care is expressed and growth is challenged. 

In the past nine years Stars has grown from 12 to 22 staff, expanded our donor and fundraising support from under $1M to $2.2M and extended our reach to 377 students annually. Stars has recently expanded programming in response to COVID to include wellness initiatives for families, new group mentoring initiatives, and the Stars counseling program.

As the next Executive Director of Stars, you will give vision and leadership to the strategic directions that the board and staff have identified as necessary for the next five years. First and foremost, Stars is poised for strategic growth and will lean more fully into becoming a trauma-informed organization. As new opportunities arise to serve a shifting population in the greater Los Angeles area, you will weigh those opportunities for risks and benefits, and take action. Additionally, Stars will further develop a holistic discipleship framework for students and families, deepen and broaden the academic support systems for our students, and consider the opportunities for additional school-based programming and/or satellite locations for Stars. 

Stars is both an equal opportunity employer and a faith-based 501(c)3. Stars is seeking candidates who wholeheartedly and without reservation agree with and live according to our service covenant .  Stars is committed to creating an accepting and inclusive environment for all.

Responsibilities and Competencies: 

Strategic Vision & Leadership

  • Be the chief executive of Stars. Lead the overall strategic vision and identify priorities for the organization that match the exceptional caliber of Stars staff and its community.
  • Advocate on behalf of students and families when issues of violence, injustice, discrimination, and racism arise, and proactively maintain a supportive climate for our staff, students, and families.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with community organizations, donors, churches, non-profits, the City of Pasadena, and the larger Los Angeles County to strategically enhance Stars’ mission.
  • Be a key spokesperson along with the leadership team and a public presence of Stars in the media, at events, and to the greater Los Angeles area church partners.
  • Build trust and maintain frequent and healthy communication with Board members.
  • Ensure that programs are being faithful to evidence-based methods.

Staff Leadership Development & Supervision

  • Inspire, develop, supervise, and mentor a professional staff team that delivers on a vision of being a thriving, interdependent community where lives are transformed. 
  • Nurture a culture of professional development and growth. 
  • Work closely with the directors team to ensure success at every level of the organization including programming, finance and fundraising, operations, data tracking, facilities and community relations.
  • Lead staff in setting SMART goals, logic models, and evaluating progress in reaching goals.
  • Maintain adherence to human resource laws and serve as the main driver to a contracted Human Resource firm that manages timecards, payroll, and other HR duties.
  • Analyze data from programs through Salesforce and ensure quality data capturing.

Fundraising & Financial Management

  • Create, drive, and oversee a fundraising strategy that leverages the regional network of community members, donors, and volunteers to support Stars.
  • Develop and implement a robust multi-faceted development plan in partnership with the development team, including an annual campaign and an annual gala.
  • Personally engage in fundraising with major donors, strategic partners, and charitable foundations as well as develop additional and innovative revenue sources.
  • Oversee the research and application for grants utilizing a grant writing consultant. Ensure grants fit the mission and program areas.
  • Ensure grants are tracked and submit timely updates to grantors.
  • Create and manage a $2.2M annual budget and ensure the fiscal integrity of the organization including maximum resource utilization and a net positive financial position.
  • Lead staff in creating and tracking a budget.

Board Development and Relationships

  • Create a culture of shared responsibility and engagement among members of the board of directors and cultivate relationships with prospective board members who can provide generative and strategic leadership.
  • Partner with the board chair to determine board meeting agendas, initiatives, committee work and task forces that furthers the work of Stars in the community.

Community Relations

  • Exhibit organizational and communal leadership by cultivating relationships (in conjunction with the directors’ team) with all community partners, including students, families, volunteers, donors, city and school leaders, church leaders, foundations, and nonprofits in the greater Los Angeles area.
  • Produce summary reports for Board meetings, annual reports, and correspondence with community partners and members.


  • The salary range for this role is $120,000-140,000 depending upon skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance, a retirement plan with employer match, short-term disability (STD), long term disability (LTD), vacation, sick time and 18 paid holidays, study/conference time, paid sabbatical and parental/family leave.
  • Professional development, mentoring, and skill building opportunities.
  • Ministerial Housing Allowance available for licensed or ordained ministers.
  • Relocation expenses included.

*If your salary expectations differ and/or you have more experience than required, we’d still welcome the opportunity to speak with you about this opportunity *


What You’ll Bring to the Job:

  • Passion, wisdom and maturity that inspires students, staff and other key stakeholders.
  • Dynamic leadership with a drive for success, resilience and adaptability.
  • An inspiring presence which will help others to deepen their interest in Jesus, staff to invest in their work, and donors to commit to Stars’ financial future.
  • Strong relationship building skills, embracing inclusivity, and a comfort working with diverse populations. Capacity to create space for a diversity of perspectives and allow all voices of students and staff to be heard.
  • Unrelenting curiosity and a desire to understand the families and neighborhoods we support.
  • An attitude of proactive communication and collaboration.
  • Proficient in leading a team to discover and accomplish shared goals.
  • Solid organizational skills, including planning, attention to detail, multitasking, and prioritization.
  • A nuanced understanding of Christian theology, discipleship, biblical justice, and shalom in a way that is approachable and meets staff and students at various points in their personal spiritual journey.
  • Proficiency in using Google G Suite including ability to work collaboratively using shared calendars and shared documents.
  • Experience working with a CRM (Salesforce is preferred) to track donors, volunteers, participants, and program attendance and impact.

Your Past Experience:

  • Navigated challenging problems showing a growth mindset, resilience and a commitment to personal and organizational well-being.
  • Guided and nurtured faith development in self and others, modeled after the life and teachings of Jesus.
  • Provided spiritual, social-emotional, and physical support to children, youth, and families.
  • Led organizations or programs with a proven and measurable track record of innovation and sustainable growth.
  • Managed and supervised a diverse team of 7-15 professionals in an exemplary manner to accomplish their best work and develop their potential.
  • Shown commitment to a high level of integrity, self-motivation, and desire for excellence.
  • Proven track record of understanding the dynamics of working with diverse and under-resourced communities.
  • Experience in successfully partnering with a non-profit Board of Directors, churches, schools, municipalities, community organizations, and grant issuing entities.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills shown through grant writing, newsletters, donor updates, annual reports, and Board of Directors agendas.
  • Demonstrated financial literacy and management skills.
  • Ability to multitask, wear multiple hats, all while prioritizing relationships and accomplishing goals.
  • Fundraising experience including executed annual fundraising campaigns, cultivation, stewardship, and major gift solicitation.
  • Holds a Bachelor's degree (Master’s degree desired but not required).

About Stars

Founded in 2001 as Lake Avenue Community Foundation, and renamed Stars in 2018, Stars has always aimed to provide relationship-centered support to children, teens, young adults, and families. Stars is a community that affirms, equips and emboldens young people to pursue a life of purpose, service and meaning.

Stars is holistic and community-collaborative driven in our approach to providing educational opportunity and support for students. By making a difference in the lives of the children and youth we serve, Stars strengthens our whole community. Our approach is unique in the depth of the relationships we form with the students and families we serve and our long-term commitment to them. 

The core belief of Stars is that all students should have access to the resources needed to make their dreams a reality. Through an intentional focus on real relationship-building, Stars helps youth build “social capital” that will enable them to navigate the complex barriers that can hinder their holistic success. Our wraparound mentorship model affirms each youth’s sense of dignity and fosters interdependence so youth know they are surrounded by a community of support at all times.

Stars’ programs include four after-school program sites, a mentoring program, summer enrichment trips and academic programs, college support, counseling, social skills classes, and parenting classes. Stars organizes a network of relationships through partnering with churches, schools and community members for elementary, middle school, high school, and college students.  

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Work for extended periods of time at a computer, requiring the ability to send and receive information with necessary optical, auditory, and manual dexterity.
  • Work at a computer, requiring the ability to send and receive information with necessary optical, auditory, and manual dexterity.
  • Use a keyboard and mouse to enter, retrieve or transfer words or data information and/or move from screen to screen on the computer to view information. 
  • Strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills; comprehend and speak English.
  • Display the reading skills necessary to proofread written material.
  • Perform basic mathematical calculations.

We will consider a range of candidates’ experiences and credentials and those that whole-heartedly agree with Stars Service Covenant

If you have any questions about this role please contact: careers@gostars.org 

Salary Description
$120,000 - $140,000 per year