Science Club for Girls (SCFG) is delighted to announce that Lonsdale G. Koester has joined the organization as Executive Director, succeeding Dr. Connie Chow who has served SCFG with distinction for the past eight and a half years.
Ms. Koester brings to SCFG a deep and varied background in organizational development, strategic planning, financial management and fundraising. She most recently served for four years as Chief Financial Officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs. Prior to that, Ms. Koester held several roles in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, as well as the United Way of America and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest children’s literacy nonprofit.
“During the past few years of my career, I have become keenly aware of the importance and growth of STEM fields, especially here in Massachusetts, and the long-standing barriers to these opportunities for many groups, particularly girls from traditionally underserved communities” said Ms. Koester.
“These barriers are much less about ability and aptitude than they are about opportunity, encouragement and confidence”, she continued. “Full representation in STEM-related academia and careers for women of all backgrounds requires that we develop a talent pipeline with strong mentors, and that development begins in the earliest school-age settings with programs like Science Club for Girls. I am excited to join this exceptional organization at such a critical time.”
“The SCFG board is confident that Ms. Koester’s unique blend of skills and expertise in fundraising, finance and management, and her networks across the greater Boston area, will contribute significantly to SCFG’s growth and development,” said Uche Amaechi, board chair of Science Club for Girls. “The board is excited to work with Ms. Koester and the experienced, highly skilled, veteran staff to build on the foundation that Dr. Connie Chow has established and lead the organization into its next phase.”
Dr. Chow, the current SCFG Executive Director, will continue in her position until December 12, 2014, with plans for a well-deserved sabbatical before launching the next phase of her career. She has graciously agreed to continue as an advisor to the new executive director.
Ms. Koester holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and B.A. from the University of the South (Sewanee). She is a member of the board of directors of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and co-chair of the annual stewardship campaign of Boston’s landmark Trinity Church on Copley Square. Ms. Koester resides in Cambridge with her husband and two young children.
About Science Club for Girls
Science Club for Girls is a nonprofit organization with 20 years of experience delivering free programs to girls in K-12 grades, especially those from underserved communities in Boston, Cambridge, Lawrence and Newton. Science Club for Girls’ mission is to increase girls’ excitement, confidence and literacy in STEM through programs led by mentors in these fields.
Science Club for Girls was selected by Root Cause as a Social Innovator in STEM Education and Outreach in 2012, and received the national 2010 MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award for its work in STEM with middle-school girls.
Since 1994, 92% of high school juniors and seniors who have participated in Science Club for Girls programs have gone on to college. 55% of the SCFG alumnae have majored in science, engineering, or allied health. By comparison, only 22.5% of MA high school seniors who take the SAT intend to study STEM in college.
Learn more about Science Club for Girls through our Press Kit