Forever Balboa Park Announces National Search for President and CEO

September 28, 2021

Forever Balboa Park, the nonprofit organization created from the July merger of Friends of Balboa Park and the Balboa Park Conservancy, announces the launch of its national search for a new President and CEO. Forever Balboa Park’s new leader is expected to shepherd the organization into its next stage of development. 

The search will be conducted with the help of the national search firm, Potrero Group. The firm boasts a successful track record of recruiting extraordinary leaders.

“We’re incredibly honored to support this search,” says Cleveland Justis, founder and principal of Potrero Group.” “Balboa Park is an iconic urban park — one of the best in our nation — we’re confident that this opportunity is going to generate tremendous interest.” 

The organization’s first CEO will unify the community around a shared, inclusive vision to transform this beloved urban gem into one of the world’s premier parks. The position’s main roles include raising the park’s national profile, enhancing the visitor experience, and establishing a sustainable operations model to support the City of San Diego in fostering a best-in-class 21st-century botanical garden and cultural park. 

The chosen candidate will be a diplomat, fundraiser, conservationist, and community influencer who is impactful beyond the confines of the park. With extraordinary growth opportunities on the horizon, a relationship-driven leader will help Forever Balboa Park build trust and secure support for major initiatives.

“We are excited to welcome a CEO that inspires a community of belonging,” says Joyce Gattas, Board Member and Chair of the search committee. “Balboa Park will benefit from a visionary leader with innovative approaches to both collaboration and fundraising, providing San Diego with a world class park that is welcoming to all.” 

Forever Balboa Park hopes to finalize its selection in early 2022. 

In the interim, Forever Balboa Park is currently led by continuing board leaders and senior managers: Sarah Evans and Connie Matsui as board co-chairs along with Sarah Beckman, Jackie Higgins, and Elizabeth Porter, who fulfill key staff leadership roles. 

The position specification for this role can be found here on the Potrero Group website. Interested candidates should apply via email by sending a cover letter describing their qualifications that match the criteria and what they bring to the role, along with a resume, to Cleveland Justis at

Potrero Group

Potrero Group is a management consulting firm providing custom research, strategic business planning, executive search, and organizational development services at the intersection of the government, private, and nonprofit sectors. Potrero helps mission-driven leaders and organizations making a difference in the world see choices clearly and make difficult decisions with informed confidence.

Forever Balboa Park 

Forever Balboa Park is the City of San Diego’s partner in advo cating for the greater good of Balboa Park. Its focus is to sustain the park’s legacy, enhance its many assets, and collaborate with park stakeholders to envision and execute future plans to benefit both residents and visitors for decades to come. It brings valued resources to the park as a convener and organizer, raising funds and cultivating volunteers to realize and activate projects, programs, and services for the best interests of the park and the greater San Diego community.

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