Project Impact with Danny Kim

Senior Director of People, Culture and Diversity at San Diego Foundation


As an executive search and recruiting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and public agencies, Blair Search Partners cares deeply about people and purpose. When we’re able to successfully match the right people with the right organization at the right time, the impact resonates throughout the entire community. 

We’re starting a new series on the blog called Project Impact, featuring outstanding candidates we’ve recently placed with nonprofit organizations and public agencies, and the incredible impact they are having within their organizations and throughout the community.

Up first is the incomparable Danny Kim, Senior Director of People, Culture and Diversity at San Diego Foundation.


Danny Kim San Diego Foundation

Meet Danny Kim

Danny joined San Diego Foundation (SDF) about 7 months ago, bringing a strong background in organizational development and consulting. 

“For a long time I’ve been working with organizations, leaders, and teams to help elevate their performance,” says Danny.

Working in this way allowed him the opportunity to gain experience across many industries—from biotech, to manufacturing, to education, nonprofits and beyond. Now, Danny says, he’s shifting his focus and exploring what it looks like to make a deep and lasting impact at San Diego Foundation and the region at large.


Prior to joining San Diego Foundation, he was happy in his previous role and wasn’t actively looking for anything new. However, after having the opportunity to interact with some of the Blair Search Partners recruiters, he started thinking about the opportunities that might be out there.

A Relationship-based Executive Search and Recruiting Firm

“It was really organic in the sense that I never felt like they were saying ‘you should apply for this role,’” he said. “It was a very open-ended inquiry, connection, and relationship driven experience. They never tried to convince me one way or another, it was really on me to take that first step.”

Danny had recently begun working with a recruiter at Blair Search Partners when he saw the Senior Director position at San Diego Foundation pop up. His recruiter, Katie Do, was with him every step of the way to discuss his options and provide support as he made a decision.

“Being in a recruitment process is a fairly vulnerable thing.” Danny said. “You are trying to navigate your life and decide on the right move to make. I appreciated having Katie right there to answer questions and help me connect with the members of the San Diego Foundation team I wanted to meet so that I could understand the organization’s culture and  make a decision.”

It was the purpose, mission, and opportunity to give back to San Diego that ultimately drew Danny to San Diego Foundation and solidified his career move.

Your Recruiter as Your Guide

BSP Recruiter Katie really shepherded Danny through the recruitment process. When asked what his experience was like he shares:

“Oh, so great. I mean, text, emails, quick calls and updates. She was empathetic and persistent, without it being forced,” he said. “I very much felt a sense of autonomy but also like she was in it for me. It was really cool to see that and experience that.”

The First Few Months

Danny Kim is a man for the people. In his first 7 months in his new role as Senior Director of People, Culture and Diversity at San Diego Foundation, he is thankful for the opportunity to support his team every day.

“My personal aspiration in any organization is to build and grow,” Danny said. “I really get to help take our team to the next level, operationalize some of our best practices, and invest in our people. I think that’s part of why I’m here is to bring some of the leadership development to the team and to the organization.”

“My hope is that our People Team becomes such an important piece in capacity building for the larger SDF team, that we have a greater impact in the community. When you have better program managers, better fundraisers, or better anyone on your team,everyone wins. Our community wins.”

Advice for Future Candidates in the Nonprofit Recruitment Process

Danny had some advice for those who are in the midst of the nonprofit recruitment process. 

“It’s important for leaders to continue to be open to change. Even if you feel like you’re in the best position to move forward, there may be opportunities that require you to stretch and help you grow,” he said. “We are all leaders. And as leaders, it’s our job to always put ourselves in position for growth.”

For Danny, connecting with Blair Search Partners was the first of many steps that opened up new opportunities for growth.

“It’s kind of like seeds in a garden,” he says, “you just don’t know. Some might flourish, some might not. But it’s about creating space to say, ‘let me be intentional. Let me make sure I’m keeping my eyes and ears open. That I’m keeping my connections and my network strong.’”

Danny wasn’t looking, but the open door through Blair Search Partners cleared a new path for him. 

Perhaps it could clear one for you, too.

If you’re interested about the potential of a new path, or if you’re a mission driven organization looking for your next perfect fit, contact us at Blair Search Partners. We’d love to walk alongside you.