We are pleased to announce the selection of Marie Ciepiela as our new Executive Director! The selection was made after a thorough national search and selection process, during which Marie served as Interim Executive Director of Friends.
“A world class library needs a world class organization to support and advocate on its behalf,” reports Luis Herrera, City Librarian. “It requires a strong and visionary leader at the helm and Marie Ciepiela is an ideal choice to lead the Friends. I look forward to a wonderful partnership with Marie to help advance our collective impact in our community.”
During Marie’s four month period as Interim Executive Director at Friends she oversaw the successful revival of the Library Laureates Gala, the most profitable Spring Big Book Sale to date and a reception for James C. Hormel and supporters in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center at the Main.
“Friends believes in doing what we can to insure that the San Francisco Public Library system continues to best meet the multi-faceted needs of our community,” reports Mikiko Huang, Immediate Past Chair of the Board and Chair of the Search Committee. “Marie has strong experience with public/private partnership and we look forward to Marie bringing her passion, energy and dedication to Friends, as she leads us in our continuing efforts to support and advocate on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library system.”
Marie’s resume includes over 20 years of nonprofit experience in education, youth, families and expanding access, inclusion, and equity for all people. She has served as executive leader of three nonprofit organizations, including: the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco; the OMIE (Oceanview, Merced, Ingleside, Excelsior) Beacon Center; and, the Youth Service Bureaus, the mental health department of the YMCA of San Francisco.
Marie’s history at these organizations has been to significantly increase revenue, design innovative programs for diverse communities, inspire and lead large staff teams, and cultivate public-private partnerships, most notably with school districts and City/County departments.
Marie’s childhood growing up in the Philippines and Panama frames her perspective and dedication to community work. After returning to the US to finish high school, she went on to Harvard to complete her undergraduate degree in Latin American History, and later obtained a master’s degree in International Development from UC Davis. Mid-way through her nonprofit career, and motivated by her own children beginning school, Marie also obtained a Spanish Bilingual and Bicultural Teaching Credential (BCLAD).
Having built a library within their home with her sisters as a child, Marie is delighted to lead Friends in its work to support and empower San Francisco’s premier public Library. “The Library is a place that can transform individual lives and a space for communities to express their values, compassion and learning,” reports Marie. “I am honored to join the long tradition of community leaders and supporters who have envisioned, fought for and built our premier public San Francisco Library.”