Marie Ciepiela is a life-long social sector leader in community change and advocacy. For over 20 years, she has worked exclusively in nonprofit agencies dedicated to education, youth, and families, and foremost, to expanding access, inclusion, and equity for all people to gain the qualities in life we deserve – housing, education, health care, resourced neighborhoods, and a belief in the unlimited possibilities of the future.
Marie’s career began in Boston working with newly arrived families from Central America seeking asylum in the late 1980s. Since arriving in San Francisco in 1990, she has served as executive leader of three nonprofit organizations, including: the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco; the OMIE (Oceanview, Merced, Ingleside, Excelsior) Beacon Center; and, the Youth Service Bureaus, the mental health department of the YMCA of San Francisco.
Marie’s history at these organizations has been to significantly increase revenue, design innovative programs for diverse communities, inspire and lead large staff teams, and cultivate public-private partnerships, most notably with school districts and City/County departments. Internally and externally, Marie is a person who impacts and persuades influential community leaders and decision-makers; whose opinion is sought after; and whose judgment is respected and trusted.
Marie’s childhood growing up in the Philippines and Panama frames her perspective and dedication to community work. After retuning to the US to finish high school, she went on to Harvard to complete her undergraduate degree in Latin American History, and later obtained a masters degree in International Development from UC Davis. Mid-way through her nonprofit career, and motivated her own children beginning school, Marie also obtained a Spanish Bilingual and Bicultural Teaching Credential (BCLAD). Ultimately, she was recruited back into nonprofit leadership, and is now content to use her teaching tools to facilitate dialogue, teach, coach and mentor at the service of a great cause!