Executive Director

Our Story

Our Mission: Inspiring a love of science and creating opportunity for diverse children and youth. Founded in 1964, the Elementary Institute of Science (EIS) is a premier STEM nonprofit organization committed to increasing lifelong opportunities for students in southeastern San Diego and beyond through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. EIS programs focus on developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities that foster interest and skills in STEM. Our after school, weekend, and school partnership programs broaden access to quality STEM experiences, providing students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of STEM content areas while building skills, such as: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, and encouraging students to pursue STEM careers. EIS serves an incredibly diverse student population that constantly inspires us to create programs that are both wide in scope and rich in detail so children of all communities, backgrounds, and aspirations are equipped for success.

EIS programs include:

After school and Saturday Programs – An opportunity for students (grades 2-8) to immerse themselves in STEM learning beyond school hours.

Camps – An opportunity for students (grades 2-8) to immerse themselves in STEM learning during school breaks.

Future Innovators in Robotics & Engineering (F.I.R.E.) – Focusing on getting girls engaged in engineering, EIS offers intensive engineering and computer science programs for middle and high school girls. Led by female coaches and role models, students learn to design, code, and build robots in teams.

Girls Take Flight – An innovative program from 10th – 11th grade girls that provides hands-on experience building and flying drones and explores their many uses.

Science and Social Justice Forum – In a relaxed and informal setting, high school students talk with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge ideas in STEAM.

Lab Assistant – An opportunity for high school students to volunteer at EIS and get a behind-the-scenes look at our programs.

 Step-2-STEM – A STEM enrichment program that expands access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities for elementary students in the Lincoln cluster.

Teton Science – 10th and 11th grade students sharpen their analytical thinking and scientific skills at the Kelly Campus of Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The experience culminates with a backpacking trip in Yellowstone National Park.

In its five-decade history, EIS has served thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to thrive in careers in medicine, engineering, computing, and more. We continue to inspire more students each year to love science, become critical thinkers, and develop a “STEM Identity.”

For more information, please visit: https://eisca.org/

Leadership & Culture

EIS is led by a highly engaged and supportive Board of Directors, involved with maintaining the history and mission of the organization while supporting the Executive Director and staff to be innovative in carrying the work forward. The organization is committed to fostering a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and growth in the community it serves. The Executive Director will join a collaborative team of 10 full-time dynamic staff, working in partnership to inspire more than 2,000 children each year through innovative STEM enrichment programs. This role will be perfectly positioned to exemplify and further develop the positive culture of our organization, promoting an environment where our team members are encouraged and supported to do their very best work.

Benefits & Features

  • Salary: $125,000
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Matched 401(k) retirement plan
  • 15 paid days off
  • 10 paid sick days
  • 12 paid holidays


The location of this role is at Elementary Institute of Science’s state-of-the-art 15,000-square-foot facility, located at 608 51st St., San Diego, CA 92114.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors and managing a $1.4M budget, the Executive Director will be involved with almost every aspect of our organization. The Executive Director champions the work of EIS and builds its impact by engaging public and private schools, universities, and civic organizations in strategic partnerships; inspiring staff to serve students with excellence, caring, and sensitivity; motivating donors to give generously; and fostering collaborative efforts between board and staff that engender efficiency, trust, and respect among all parties. In addition to building a strong and inclusive internal culture, the Executive Director will be highly visible in the community, serving as the chief spokesperson and advocate for the organization’s mission and goals. The role requires a skilled public speaker and storyteller who can passionately and authentically communicate the critical need for and impact of our work with children and families. This is an exceptional opportunity for a charismatic leader with a passion for STEM education.

Priorities in the first year:

  • Invest time in learning about the history and mission of the organization and its evolution with the community.
  • Develop and implement an inclusive engagement strategy to increase parent and community involvement.
  • Manage EIS’s growth and expansion, support and enhance organizational efficiency and operations.
  • Build authentic relationships with all internal and external stakeholders.

Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic and Collaborative Leadership

  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with community leaders, educators, allied organizations, and other champions of STEM to build the network of individuals and organizations who advance the work of EIS, make use of its resources, and enable it to contribute to the advancement of STEM education in and around San Diego.
  • Partner with the board and staff to develop and implement a comprehensive and innovative strategic plan based on stakeholder feedback, creativity, financial analysis, and risk assessment.
  • Build internal relationships at all levels, including a genuine understanding and appreciation for each team member’s position; promote a collaborative work environment where all staff are engaged, informed, and empowered to participate.
  • Take a genuine interest in the happiness and well-being of EIS staff, students, and families; create opportunities for professional development and enrichment for these key stakeholders.
  • Keep the Board, staff, students, and parents informed with regards to the organization’s goals and strategies, as well as the latest developments.
  • Develop and manage annual operational plans and budgets.
  • Provide vision and oversight for all EIS goals, activities, and objectives.

Fundraising and Business Development

  • Position EIS to receive large multi-year gifts, grants, and contracts.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of top donors and prospects; solicit and close major gifts.
  • Develop and execute a comprehensive and strategic outreach plan to increase the visibility of EIS and its brand to current and future stakeholders throughout the San Diego region.
  • Actively engage with community members, schools, and organizations throughout southeastern San Diego to explore innovative opportunities for strengthening connections between the community and EIS.
  • Build loyal and long-term relationships with key donors, sponsors, program partners, school officials, elected officials, and public agencies to enhance and support EIS’s programs and strategy.
  • Promote EIS through public events, public speaking, and social media; position the role of EIS’s Executive Director as a visionary and influential leader in the community.


  • Partner with the board finance committee to ensure fiscal discipline, financial integrity, and internal controls are maintained.
  • Guide the development of performance management and reporting systems to measure outcomes on both a quantitative and qualitative basis.
  • Empower EIS staff to achieve programmatic excellence and exceed goals.
  • Be visible across all EIS programs and sites, making frequent visits to talk with staff, students, and parents; monitor program developments and quality standards.
  • Implement a comprehensive staff recruitment, engagement, and retention strategy.
  • Support a highly engaged EIS board in effective governance practices.
  • Operate with transparency and accountability.

Background Profile

  • Strong cultural competency and personal connection to the communities EIS serves.
  • 5+ years’ experience in a leadership capacity, preferably as CEO or Executive Director, within a community-based organization, including experience managing the operations and maintenance of a building.
  • Experience working with children and families in underrepresented and underserved communities and/or education or STEM background preferred.
  • Demonstrated success scaling organizational growth.
  • A successful track record in growing and diversifying funding sources such as individual giving, events, grants, contracts, and other partnerships.
  • A solid fundamental understanding of fiscal management; experience developing and managing budgets.
  • Experience working with a board of community leaders, including reporting, advising, and board member recruitment.
  • Experience managing teams and ability to engage staff and develop each team member to their fullest potential.
  • Prior experience creating work environments that are inclusive, productive, and healthy.
  • Proven ability to create a compelling, mission-driven vision, and successfully implement it.
  • Ability to drive innovative marketing and communications strategies to build our brand awareness and organization footprint.
  • Exceptionally well-developed listening and communication skills including the ability to connect with and inspire a wide range of partners and stakeholders; exceptional people skills; must enjoy public events.
  • Bilingual, English/Spanish preferred

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Employees must be fully vaccinated.

For more information or to apply, please contact:

Tia Anzellotti, Director, Blair Search Partners
1855 First Avenue, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101