Top K-12 School in Oregon Hires Equity-Minded Nonprofit CFOO

Catlin Gabel School

In the southwest section of Portland sits a premier independent school with both an outstanding reputation and an exciting future. Catlin Gabel has been educating preschool through grade 12 students since 1957, and the two schools that merged to form Catlin Gabel have nearly 100 years of history before that. This progressive institution that runs on an old family farm is a true diverse and inclusive community, with more than 50% students of color. The main campus comprises approximately 70 acres, and the school recently purchased an eight-acre campus just three blocks away that housed a former art college. With this acquisition comes an exciting array of possibilities for Catlin Gabel to expand its program, services, and facilities. On that note, the school has just begun a $30M campaign that will yield a thriving community center for athletics and wellness and add funds to the endowment. In the future, the school will likely undertake additional campaigns to support facility renovations as well as new construction.

Catlin Gabel saught a chief finance and operations officer (CFOO), reporting to the head of school, to play a critical role for all these major undertakings. On a day-to-day basis, the CFOO oversees three critical finance and operations units--the Finance Department, the Facilities Department, and the Technology Department--each of which has an experienced leader at the helm. Between all that, the CFOO works collaboratively with other leadership team members, including two assistant heads of school, and helps to ensure continued operational improvement across this complex campus. The CFOO also works closely with the head and the board on financial strategy, planning, and analysis.

Catlin Gabel was thrilled to welcome Sharon Keiser to the post in the summer of 2023.

Meet the new leader

Sharon Keiser

Sharon has worked in nonprofits in a variety of leadership roles.  Most recently she served as the COO for Embracing Equity, where she orchestrated the legal separation of this fiscally sponsored project from Wildflower into an independent, thriving 501(c)(3) organization.  Previously she served as the DFO of Denver’s Early Childhood Council from 2012 to 2018.  Sharon has a proven track record as an adaptive nonprofit finance and operations executive with over 15 years of strategic growth experience.


Search Dates

Jul 2022 to Jan 2023

Start Date

Jan 2023

Job Position

Chief Finance and Operations Officer


Portland, OR

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