Franco brings 20 years of strategic organizing and management experience, in both economic development and public policy settings. Most recently she was Vice President of Mission & Leadership for Best Buddies International, where she led national expansion efforts into new markets. With a background in distributed team leadership and key relationship development, Franco is passionate about listening to the needs of communities to deliver impactful programs.
“I truly believe that educating people to find their dream job, as GDI does, changes not just the individual’s life, but whole families and communities,” said Franco. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join a community with volunteer leadership that guides the organization and am looking forward to collaborating to drive this work onward and upward.”
“As we pledged in our ‘Rebuilding a Stronger Future’ letter in October, our Board has been working diligently to restructure GDI. One of the key pathways forward was to find a seasoned executive leader who embodies our mission and vision,” said Brenda Jin, Chair of the GDI Board of Directors. “We are confident that Katie will lead the organization into its next phase of growth and impact.”
Franco is embarking on a nationwide listening tour, to meet with volunteers, students, Chapter Leaders and partners about their needs and concerns. One of her first tasks as Executive Director is to create a strategic plan that will help the organization build on its promises to expand quality technological education to women and non-binary individuals.
Franco resides in Vermont with her family, where she will resume her new role. GDI’s emphasis on inclusive talent development leverages a fully distributed team across its Board of Directors and Management team. Many reside in rural communities.
About Girl Develop It
Founded in 2010, Girl Develop It (GDI) is a nonprofit organization that creates welcoming, supportive opportunities for women and non-binary adults to learn software development skills. Through classes, projects, and events, GDI students develop code, confidence, and community. We envision a world where all people are included and empowered in developing the future of technology.