Washington STEM Begins Search for New Leadership to Continue its Mission of Increasing Access to STEM Opportunities in the State

Washington STEM’s board of directors announced today that the organization will start a search for a new chief executive officer.


After nearly a decade of working to advance equity, excellence, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education across Washington state, current Washington STEM CEO Caroline King resigns on May 31, 2019, and will move abroad with her family this summer.

Washington STEM is a statewide, independent nonprofit organization headquartered in Seattle, WA. Launched in 2011 and founded on the principles of equity, partnership, and impact, Washington STEM seeks smart, scalable solutions that lead to opportunities for those students most underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields.

“Caroline has improved STEM education for Washington state students, especially those furthest from opportunity,” said Liz Tinkham, Washington STEM’s board chair. “Her effective leadership and passionate dedication to students – especially youth of color, students from low-income and rural communities, and girls – have driven results. With Caroline, Washington STEM has secured policy wins, brought together communities across the state, and changed systems so that students have more STEM choices and more opportunities in their career and life.”

A former teacher, Caroline was a founder of Washington STEM and served as the chief policy and strategy officer for seven years, where she led the organization’s efforts to build public demand and strategic partnerships, advocate for smarter policies, and measure impact. She has testified to the U.S. Senate regarding innovative and effective STEM education practices in Washington state and served as a gubernatorial appointee to Washington State’s STEM Education Innovation Alliance and a Washington MESA board member. In 2012, the Puget Sound Business Journal recognized Caroline as a 40 Under 40 Honoree.

Washington STEM’s accomplishments during Caroline’s time as founder, chief policy and strategy officer, and chief executive officer include:

  • Exposed over 10,000 early learners to STEM and over 40,000 youth to high-demand careers, while developing a strategy and the partnerships required to ensure every Washington youth is ready to thrive in a STEM-rich economy and world
  • Led advocacy efforts that enhanced state policies and funding for computer science, STEM classrooms, teacher professional learning, and programs supporting underrepresented and underserved students across Washington
  • Supported business, education, and community leaders to launch 10 regional STEM Networks across the state while forging strategic partnerships in King County – reaching 82 percent of Washington students — that raise awareness, incubate and replicate best practices in STEM, and bring career-connected opportunities to students where they live
  • Partnered with the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) and the State of Washington to serve as the program administrator to WSOS, the nation’s only public-private scholarship supporting low- and middle-income students to earn STEM and health care degrees
  • Nearly tripled awareness and support of STEM education among Washington voters over the past six years according to a bi-annual statewide survey

“Every day and year with Washington STEM has been a privilege for me,” King said. “Our dedicated board of directors and talented team have the committed partners and focused plan needed to continue to elevate STEM education. Through STEM, today’s students and the next generation of Washingtonians will maximize their economic opportunities and creative contributions to their communities and our world.”

The Washington STEM board is partnering with Waldron to assist in its efforts in finding a new CEO.

For more information on the search for a new Washington STEM CEO, please visit the Waldron website or contact wa.stem.ceo@waldronhr.com.