Farnaz Golshani Flechner is the Executive Director/CEO of Environmental Charter Schools. Farnaz came to ECS in 2018 with more than 20 years’ experience and leadership in the nonprofit sector. She 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 systemic challenges she pursued a degree in Public Policy with a focus on education policy reform. 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 Chrysalis’ 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 on 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 and environmental projects with more than 600 employees nationwide. In 2012 Farnaz returned to Los Angeles and served as the Interim Executive Director of Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. After recruiting their current leadership team, she went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation (MBEF) from 2014-2018. At MBEF she led all fund development efforts, raising approximately $7M each year, led grantmaking, helped to grow the Endowment from $10M to $18M, and initiated the Teacher Innovation and Social Inclusion grants programs.
Farnaz holds a BA in Fine Arts and English Literature from UCLA and a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She has served on several nonprofit boards, including ECS 2013-2017, the Pathway Home for Returning Veterans and Opportunity Agenda.