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John Hiester

Executive Director

Over a 15-year career, John has dedicated his professional life to educational equity and helping young people realize their full potential. This deep-seated commitment makes him a natural fit to lead Breakthrough Silicon Valley in its next chapter. 

John brings a wealth of experience to his role. Prior to Breakthrough, he served in a variety of leadership capacities for Year Up, an organization preparing low-income young adults for careers through college credits, hands-on training, wraparound support, and internships.

John served as director of operations and strategic planning for Year Up Bay Area; as founding site director of Year Up Bay Area's Silicon Valley campus; and as launch lead for Year Up’s expansion into Arizona. 

John has also served on the board and as a committee member for several local community organizations including the Santa Clara County Opportunity Youth Partnership, All-Stars Helping Kids, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, among others.

John earned a B.A. in Spanish Literature from Kenyon College and an M.B.A., Public and Nonprofit Management, from Boston University.

When we, as a society, step up and commit to providing real educational opportunities to those who most need them, the benefits are real, measurable, and game-changing for everyone. This is work that I’ve been involved in for almost 15 years. I just can’t imagine doing anything else.”
— John Hiester, Breakthrough Silicon Valley Executive Director