Irene Shih joined Minds Matter Bay Area (MMBay) as its first full-time CEO in March 2019, returning to her hometown roots in the Bay Area. For 18 years, Irene has served students in low-income communities — previously as a middle and high school classroom teacher in Arizona, a strategic advisor to superintendents in large urban school districts like Boston Public Schools, and a thought leader on state-level education policy in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Irene is a corps member alumna of Teach For America, holds an M.P.P. in Social & Urban Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, and completed a B.A. in English Literature and Women's Studies from U.C. Berkeley. Presently, she is a member and contributing writer on the Forbes Nonprofit Council.
As the CEO of Minds Matter Bay Area, Irene has led the organization and its 300-student and 300-volunteer strong community through the adversity of a global pandemic, through changing cultural attitudes about remote work and work-life balance, toward unprecedented levels of communal, operational, and programmatic growth. Above all, Irene and her incredible leadership team are focused on the culture and values of MMBay, on fostering a world-class educational environment that nurtures generational impact on its students by cultivating transformational relationships between students and an ecosystem of volunteer mentors.