Farnaz Golshani Flechner

Chief Operating Officer

BA, Fine Arts and English Literature, UC Los Angeles
Masters in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Farnaz comes to ECS with more than 20 years’ experience and leadership in the nonprofit sector. Farnaz began her career as an Art and English Teacher in a Title 1 school in LAUSD and at Inner-City Arts. Aiming to tackle greater organizational challenges in our education system, she pursued a degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She returned to LA in 2002 and served as VP of Programs at Chrysalis, a workforce development nonprofit serving LA’s homeless. While there she learned what it takes to lead an efficient and effective organization- 93% of homeless clients secured jobs, and 90% of funds raised went directly to programming.

In 2006, Farnaz moved to San Francisco and joined FSG Social Impact Advisors, where she worked as a consultant to assess the impact and strategy of the Hewlett Foundation’s CA K-12 Education Policy Program. Then, as the Director of Programs and Services at Tides, she oversaw the management of 230 fiscally sponsored social justice projects with more than 600 employees nationwide. In this role, she managed relationships with funders and oversaw risk management, governance, and HR services.

In 2012 Farnaz returned to Los Angeles and served as the Interim Executive Director of Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, an innovative arts-integrated charter elementary school serving socio-economically, ethnically, and linguistically diverse students in Northeast Los Angeles. For the past four years, Farnaz has served as the Executive Director of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF), a community-driven fundraising organization which supplements state funding for programs that inspire learning, enrich teaching and promote innovation in the public schools of Manhattan Beach. There she led all fund development efforts, raising approximately $7M each year, led grantmaking, and helped to grow the Endowment from just over $10M to $18M.

Farnaz holds a BA in Fine Arts and English Literature from UCLA and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where she was awarded the Parker Gilbert Montgomery full-tuition scholarship. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including the Pathway Home for Returning Veterans, Opportunity Agenda, and here at ECS.