Barbara Watanabe

Director of Strategic Partnerships

bwatanabe@breakthroughsv.org

Barbara holds primary responsibility for fund development, and also works closely with programs staff on partnerships that can benefit the students and families we serve. Barbara was born and raised on Maui. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Economics and earned an MA in Economics from the University of Michigan. Originally recruited into banking and finance, she found her calling in marketing and product management in the high tech industry, and then took a side road to raise her two sons. Barbara is a strong proponent of public schools and was actively involved in her sons’ public school education. She has served on numerous school and community boards focused on literacy, improving and expanding public school education, and closing the digital divide. Barbara held nonprofit executive management positions in Hawaii and Los Angeles prior to returning to the Bay Area and joining Breakthrough Silicon Valley.