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    Romanita Hairston

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    Letter of Interest

    A photo of Romanita HairstonTo Whom It May Concern,

    I was made aware of the open posting for the school board seat in District VII and am submitting a declaration of interest as per the instructions provided on the Seattle Public School's website. For the past 25+ years, I have led from a very purposeful and passionate position, focused on doing the right thing in all aspects of business with a focus on serving and supporting vulnerable populations.

    Alongside my career as a national leader, I've been engaged in local issues affecting vulnerable youth and families. I would be honored to have an opportunity to utilize my strategic expertise, leadership acumen and collaborative capabilities alongside my operational and programmatic strengths as a member of the Seattle School Board.

    I have been involved with Seattle Public Schools since my early college days. This involvement grew when my children entered the school system; two of my three children graduated from Franklin High School and have since gone on to college.

    As a family, we place a high value on education. As a parent and community leader, my focus has long been to be supportive and work to enhance the system. My desire to serve has grown over the years and contributing as a member of the school board would be an excellent way to utilize my skills and live out my passion for young people and education.

    Education is a pathway to productive participation in society. It is the foundation for economic growth in our region. I am committed to the children and youth of our region and specifically aware and focused on the opportunities we have to achieve greater educational outcomes in South Seattle neighborhoods.

    I have held a variety of roles over the course of my career and served in several capacities within the education system that give me a unique perspective and broad set of skills. I have held significant roles in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and corporate sectors. I have taught and served on the boards of educational and social sector institutions committed to the academic and social success of children and youth.

    Every role has included a focus on educational outcomes for future generations. These are important times for public education that are rich with opportunity and laden with challenges. I am known for working with diverse groups of stakeholders to find innovative solutions to intractable challenges. I am a proven leader, dedicated community member, and passionate advocate for issues affecting children and youth. I have lived in Seattle for over 30 years. I hold two BAs from the University of Washington and an MBA from Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

    I look forward to the next steps.

    Romanita Hairston

    Resume or Related Experience




    Mission-driven thought leader known for developing data-driven and sustainable solutions.

    Gathers intelligence on business strategy, performance, organizational processes, and operational structures that results in greater operational efficiency, mission awareness, and achieved business outcomes.

    Trusted business leader, community advocate, and board member with the proven ability to win customers, raise significant funding, and increase regional, national, and global visibility for initiatives.

    Global experience working in multi-sector and multi-cultural initiatives connecting business, public sector, education and technology.


    Microsoft, Redmond, WA 2018 - present
    Director, 21st Century Job, Skills, and Employability

    Serve as a strategist, thought leader and design thinker. Work in a multi-sector environment in collaboration with a diverse array of teams to achieve business objectives.

    Lead a global pilot to increase future-ready skills for students in higher education through training and offline programs.

    Utilize design thinking to develop scalable, customer-focused, solutions that achieve employability and greater economic opportunity for all.

    Engage the global philanthropy ecosystem (internal partners, external partners, customers and end-users) to identify, develop, and advance opportunities for collaboration and partnership that meet intended business outcomes; achieve employability for future generations, and support Microsoft's mission.

    Highlighted Accomplishments:

    • Launched and developed global higher education employability pilot to include the end to end implementation model by working with leaders across multiple business teams and garnered participation from higher education institutions.
    • Partnered to implement the design and execution of new Philanthropy nonprofit skilling pilot.
    • Supported internal stakeholder's and business team's relationships with over 150 customers/partners, globally, via presentations, training, and workshops that led to direct sales motions, enhanced field relationships, and defined business process.
    • Enhanced working relationship and alignment to shared business objectives with internal stakeholders.

    Murdock Charitable Trust, Vancouver, WA 2016 - 2018
    Program Director

    Provided thought leadership, taught, and spoke on key areas of subject matter expertise (economic mobility, child well-being, spiritual formation, leadership development and human services programming) to over 6,000 people annually at 10+ events.

    Analyzed and investigated 48+ grant proposals providing a thorough written analysis of all aspects of the proposal to include: leadership, project implementation plan, project theory of change, organizational financial health, project sustainability and community impact.

    Managed grants administration portfolio ensuring accountability to grant guidelines. Worked with a team on capacity development efforts and programs for social sector leaders from 150+ organizations.

    WORLD VISION, Seattle, WA 1996 - 2016
    Vice President - U.S. Programs, 2007 - 2016

    Maintained a P&L of $80-$100M+ and directed a staff of 112 employees. Oversaw operations impacting three million beneficiaries and working alongside more than 3,000 partners.

    Directed the design and implementation of short- and long-term, domestic program strategies in relief, advocacy, and community development, improving children's wellbeing in the U.S.

    Established performance measures and standards to assess programs: quality, feasibility, viability, and sustainability.

    Highlighted Accomplishments:

    • Led the end-to-end business development for one global program, one fundraising product, and three national programs.
    • Developed and leveraged critical national partnerships to align with the program model, support the brand, and increase visibility.
    • Led the annual operational plan and budget development, ensuring compliance with accounting and audit controls.
    • Distributed $80M+ of high-quality donated goods.
    • Led strategy to raise more than $12M per year in revenue from public and private sources.
    • Achieved more than 90 percent program impact for all programs, consistently meeting target goals.

    Questionnaire Responses

    On July 16, candidates were asked to provide responses to five School Board-selected questions and asked to select three questions submitted by community members in a recent survey.

    The original deadline for questionnaires was Monday, July 29, 2019, and two deadline extensions were provided for all candidates. This candidate did not submit responses prior to the final questionnaire deadline of Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.