Posted September 1, 2021
| 3:10 p.m.
The Board of Directors of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara (GIGSB) has appointed women’s leadership attorney and policy expert Jennifer Faust as the organization’s next CEO. Faust will take up the position on January 3rd. Tom Blabey, Interim Executive Director and COO of Girls Inc. will continue to lead the organization and will serve as the main point of contact through the end of 2021.
During the transition period, Faust will advise the board and employees on special projects, including assessing the board structure and preparing for the start of a strategic planning process in 2022.
She will meet with a variety of Girls Inc. stakeholders, including donors and program partners, to discuss how GIGSB can further contribute to the community through program expansion opportunities and advocacy initiatives promoting the rights of girls and women.
“Jen is a strategic, visionary leader and experienced community builder who will be deeply committed to the Girls Inc. mission and to girls and women in our community,” said Tracy Jenkins, president of the GIGSB board of directors.
“She is the right leader for us today, and her experience and talent will help us lead confidently into the future as Girls Inc. works to tackle systemic gender inequality, racism, and other prejudices that affect girls’ rights and opportunities and affect teenagers. “Said Jenkins.
Faust’s hiring follows a nine-month board-led search for national leaders that included input from the board, staff, parents and the community. Her leadership in ensuring girls and women empowerment and equal participation both politically and in practice has been demonstrated throughout her career.
Faust brings to Girls Inc. a blend of 25 years of strategic leadership, system change management and fundraising for significant gifts, as well as political expertise and a passionate advocacy for gender equality and women in leadership positions. Her background in DEI, program development, and team building will help drive strategic initiatives the organization launched in these areas in 2021.
“I am really happy to join Girls Inc. in the Santa Barbara area at this crucial time,” said Faust. “My mission remains to empower and empower marginalized leaders so that we can all ensure that gender inequality is a thing of the past.
“I am leaving my decade-long career in foreign affairs after realizing that I am one of the few women at my level in a male-dominated field, rising up from other professionals and girls and teenagers.”
In addition, Faust has extensive experience in international social justice and political endeavors, among other things by advocating for the safeguarding of the economic and electoral rights of women in Kosovo. She also served in the US Peace Corps, where she organized broad-based movements to promote the economic empowerment of women’s groups in Haiti.
Most recently, Faust was executive director of the Pacific Council on International Policy at the University of Southern California. She is a women’s empowerment coach with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from George Washington University and a master’s degree in political economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.