The Steve Fund Search for an Executive Director

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The Steve Fund is the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of young people of color.  Through its work impacting hundreds of thousands of students and families throughout the country, it aims to build and elevate systems that will create a more equitable future. The Steve Fund’s people are spirited, determined, intentional and trustworthy experts working with the nation’s leading colleges and universities, nonprofits, researchers, and mental health experts. The Steve Fund’s vision is that every student and young person of color is fully supported by programs, services and institutional cultures that value mental health and well-being.


As it enters its sixth year, the Steve Fund’s reach has expanded dramatically, ushering in a transformational period of growth in funding, organizational capacity and impact. This transition comes at a moment when conversations about racial equity, mental health, well-being and the future of American’s young people of color are at the forefront of our national collective conscience.  



The Executive Director opening is an opportunity for an experienced visionary leader with a track record of demonstrable impact who can inspire and drive organizational growth and transformation.  This individual will provide the leadership, strategic direction, external visibility, and management expertise for one of the nation’s most needed mental health organizations.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the new Executive Director will lead and manage the Steve Fund’s virtual team.  S/he is responsible for fundraising and development, programming, marketing, fiscal and budgetary management, organizational growth and sustainability.



Primary responsibilities include:

Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Serve as a thought leader guiding The Steve Fund’s vision and setting its strategic direction.
  • Represent the organization externally to stakeholders including: students and families, mental health professionals, higher education and nonprofit leaders, philanthropic partners, program partners, peer organizations and others.
  • Work with the Board of Trustees to develop and achieve strategic planning goals and fulfill the Steve Fund’s mission.
  • Promote a high-performance culture committed to excellence and continuous improvement.


Fundraising and Development

  • Oversee the development, implementation, and success of the organization’s annual fundraising plan.
  • Steward long-term, productive, and growing relationships with current funders including foundations, individuals and corporations.
  • Leverage external presence and deliver strong relationships to garner new opportunities and cultivate a broader pool of funders.


Marketing and Communications

  • Develop and oversee an effective, strategic, multi-pronged communications plan that builds support for and knowledge and visibility of the Steve Fund and its mission among young people of color, media, key influencers,  funders, families, educators, non-profit and private sector leaders, and funders
  • Maintain, strengthen and develop relationships with program partners, peer organizations, funders and the media.
  • Serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger awareness and sterling reputation.


Management and Operations

  • Facilitate the ongoing development and management of a highly-skilled professional staff.
  • Provide oversight to all financial aspects of the organization, ensuring that sound, efficient financial procedures and accurate reporting systems are in place.
  • Report regularly to the Board of Trustees regarding organizational strategies, objectives, achievements and challenges.
  • Ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state nonprofit governance, requirements and regulations.



The Executive Director should have the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • At least seven years of outstanding executive and senior management experience.
  • Commensurate professional recognition and long-standing professional relationships.
  • An undergraduate degree and a graduate degree is preferred.
  • Critical interest in the mission, programming and approach of the Steve Fund with a deep commitment to racial equity. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and lead fundraising strategy with a track record of attracting and growing philanthropic support from foundations, corporations and individuals.
  • Excellent, persuasive communication skills with the ability to serve as the lead spokesperson and ambassador to build awareness of the Steve Fund’s work and impact.
  • Strong management experience with a demonstrated track record running a complex organization with multiple stakeholders and managing a diverse, geographically-dispersed staff.
  • Demonstrated facility with analyzing and employing data to drive innovation and growth.
  • Demonstrated contributions to thought leadership
  • Superior references 



  • An inclusive leadership style that seeks out and values diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • A supportive, emotionally intelligent leader with excellent interpersonal skills who fosters internal trust.
  • A collaborative management style that motivates staff, provides clear and consistent direction and fosters accountability.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, energetic, collaborative and proactive, a team leader who can productively impact both strategic and tactical initiatives.



Applications and nominations can be sent to   Please forward a letter of interest, resume, and five professional references.  Review of materials will begin immediately. For confidential inquiries, nominations, or questions please call 202.276.2983. 

The Steve Fund is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, disability or any other classification protected by federal, or applicable state or local law.

Self-Care Blog: Raising Awareness about Suicide Prevention

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Every September we observe Suicide Prevention Month. It is a time to learn as much as we can about this alarming public health issue—most often related to mental illness. And it is also a time to listen, to offer help, and to eliminate stigmas around suicidal thoughts and seeking support.

Recent statistics suggest that suicide is on the rise among young people ages 15 to 24 years old, as are incidents of suicidal thoughts. Suicide rates are much higher for some population segments such as American Indians/Alaska Natives and rising for others such as young black males.  Despite the mental stress from dealing with persistent racism, discrimination and exclusion, young people of color are half as likely than the general population to get the mental health care they need. Mental health services, social support, and connectedness are just a few of the approaches that can help prevent suicide.

At The Steve Fund, we want to provide all young people of color with support resources that help meet these specific needs. That’s why we have partnered with some of the most innovative tech solutions, including:

  • Anytime, anywhere, text STEVE to 741741 and a live, trained Crisis Counselor will respond. Whether you’re feeling down, stressed or overwhelmed, this service is specifically designed to help meet the unique needs of young people of color.
  • There’s always someone to talk to via our partnership with the 7Cups platform. Young people of color can find support, therapy or simply someone to speak to.

We also want to share a few reminders to help you deal with challenges and thoughts that may weigh heavily on you.

  • There is no shame in seeking help for mental health concerns. We often hear messages to stay “strong,” but it is important to be honest with ourselves when we or people we care about are thinking in a self-destructive way.  Taking care of ourselves by getting help from a health professional is a priority.
  • If it feels important, then it is important. Whether you are listening to someone around you or dealing with your own thoughts, recognize that suicidal thoughts are serious and deserve your attention.
  • Listen openly, without judgment. One of the most important ways we can help prevent suicide is by listening, accepting what we hear and showing that we care by helping people get the help they need.

On behalf of everyone at The Steve Fund, I invite you to commemorate Suicide Prevention Month with us by taking the time to listen. You never know when someone may need your help.

Be well,

Anuja Khemka
Executive Director

The Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin Host Young, Gifted, & @ Risk 2018

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The Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin  Host Young, Gifted, & @ Risk 2018

Conference is the largest national gathering of mental health experts and educators focused on the mental health needs of college and university students of color.

AUSTIN, TX (November 14, 2018) – Today, the Steve Fund and the University of Texas at Austin are hosting the 5th Annual Young, Gifted & @ Risk conference, which will bring together nearly 450 behavioral health providers, students, higher education officials, community members and families to address the critical mental health needs of college and university students of color.

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only nonprofit organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of college and university students of color.  The annual conference will feature experts who will speak to cutting-edge issues such as:

  • Race, Immigration, and Trauma: Confronting a Racially Hostile Environment
  • Culture, Identity and Mental Health Among College Students of Color
  • Athletes’ Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Helping Families of Color Talk about Mental Health of College Students of Color
  • Social Media, Social Alienation, and Online Discrimination

Speakers include Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund; Dr. Maurice McInnis, Executive Vice President and Provost, UT Austin; Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina, Director, Latino Research Initiative, UT Austin; Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine and Senior Scientific Advisor to the Steve Fund; and Dr. Jeanne Manese, Director Emerita, UC Irvine Counseling Center.  

“We are thrilled to have so much participation from our colleagues in Texas, the South, and from across the country for our fifth annual Young, Gifted & @ Risk conference,” said Evan Rose, President of the Steve Fund. “Moving the needle toward equity in mental health is no light lift, but we are consistently humbled by the excellent work of so many committed clinicians, administrators, faculty members, and students advancing the mental health of students and young people of color across the nation.”

Steve Fund experts, senior staff and consultants, board members, and Youth Advisory Board members are available for interviews before, during, and after the conference.

About The Steve Fund

The Steve Fund is the nation’s only non-profit organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of college and university students of color. It works with colleges and universities, students, non-profits, researchers, practitioners, and with groups serving diverse populations. It aims to stimulate dialogue and to promote effective programs and strategies that build understanding and assistance regarding the mental health and emotional well-being of the nation’s students of color as they enter, matriculate in, and transition from higher education. Learn more at