Meet Steffani Dornan

As Special Assistant to the CEO, Steffani is responsible for managing internal and external relations for the CEO. Steffani works closely with The Fund’s leadership and operations team. Steffani shares a passion for education and is eager to make a difference with The Fund on the leadership level.

Why is The Fund’s mission important?

I have always wanted to do this work for the students. The Fund does a really good job of making sure that the principals leading the schools are supported in a way that helps their students be successful. In order to make this possible, it starts with strong leadership. 

How have you “redefined leadership” in your own life?

I have come across several people in leadership positions, and I worked directly with a lot of them. It was a learning experience, but with that experience comes understanding of what it takes to be a real leader. There are pieces that you can take from each of them; I have learned which skills and experiences I would like to take with me in a leadership position. It has allowed me to grow and develop and has shaped me into the team member I am, and it has helped me realize what I value in a leader.

Was there an educator in your life who inspired you?

I had a Chief who was the head of the Office of Early Childhood, and she was super inspirational. A lot of people in those positions tend to look at numbers, but she went above and beyond and focused specifically on the students, teachers and families. She led her team in a way that gave us a voice, challenged our thinking and engaged us throughout each process. It never felt like she was making all the decisions on her own, she wanted to make sure that she heard everyone and that we were strategically thinking through all outcomes before making a decision. She also really focused on the human element of the job, and I had not experienced working with someone who cared for me as not only a team member but on a personal level. She really was an inspiration and always came into work with a smile and ready to conquer whatever challenge met her that day. 

What’s one thing about your role at The Fund that might surprise people?

One thing that would surprise people is that while my role consists of a lot of scheduling, there is a lot of communication and relationship building that I have to do, whether that is with other assistants, members of our board, working groups, or even members of CPS.