Washington State Charter School Commission – Client Success Story

Washington State Charter School Commission Executive Search Success Story

KEES, a public sector and nonprofit executive search firm, was retained to find the Executive Director for the Washington State Charter School Commission (Commission), the agency in Washington State tasked by the Governor and Washington State Board of Education with overseeing charter schools. This partnership stands as a significant expansion of KEES’ dedication to bolstering nonprofit and public sector organizations in Washington state. It also contributes to further growth within the Pacific Northwest by making a positive impact on students, families, communities, and economies.

KEES supported this process through our Executive Search service and was delighted to be selected from a national competitive bidding process. Upon completion of the search, the Commission and appointed Executive Director Search Committee announced the hiring of Jessica de Barros as its permanent Executive Director. De Barros had been serving since the spring of 2022 in the role of Interim Executive Director. As a career-long advocate for the work of the charter movement and collaborative public efforts, de Barros brings more than 23 years of experience in the public sector, mainly in education policy.

Read the full announcement here

The Washington State Charter School Commission retained KEES, a national executive search firm for nonprofits, as its executive search partner in 2022. A comprehensive nationwide search was launched, and Ms. De Barros was selected from a talented pool of top finalists from across the United States.

About KEES

KEES values the significance of education across various levels, from early childhood education to general and independent schools, community colleges, and public universities, recognizing its role in shaping society’s future leaders. Additionally, KEES collaborates with clients offering essential wrap-around services, including mentoring, tutoring, and other support for K-12 programming. Our partnership with the Washington State Charter School Commission is a valuable addition to our expanding portfolio of education and charter school collaborations.

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“We are very pleased to have Jessica accept the executive director role of the Washington Charter School Commission. Her breadth and depth of experience will be invaluable to our work. She has led school systems and worked on public policy at the state and federal levels. She also has unique insight to charter public schools as a former Board Chair of a Washington school,” said Chris Korsmo, Commission Chair. “Like other school and district leaders across the state, we are navigating schools and student outcomes beyond the pandemic, and Jessica’s leadership will be essential to ensure charter public schools maintain and build upon the strong education objectives for families who want another public school option for their kids.”

About Washington State Charter School Commission

Washington State’s Charter School Commission was formed with the mission of creating a rigorous and comprehensive proposal process and to hold charter schools accountable to high standards of quality. The Commission is an independent state agency that exists to authorize and oversee high-quality public charter schools throughout Washington with an emphasis on schools designed to expand opportunities for at-risk students, providing leadership and oversight that is consistent with national principles and standards of charter school authorizers and the provisions of Washington’s charter school law. To learn more, please visit www.charterschool.wa.gov.