May 21, 2018
Science Club for Girls ED Steps Down, Interim Leader Named

Lonsdale Koester, left, and Martha Walz
March 10, 2017 — Science Club for Girls, a Cambridge nonprofit that provides free programs in science and engineering to girls, this week announced that Lonsdale Koester has resigned as executive director, and that Martha M. Walz has been appointed interim executive director.

Uche Amaechi, board chair of Science Club for Girls (SCFG), said, "Lonsdale has been instrumental in increasing SCFG's impact and capacity for future growth. She oversaw the expansion of our offerings to serve more girls, through more programs, at more sites, in more towns, all while improving infrastructure, systems, and reporting capabilities. Lonsdale also collaborated in the growth and strengthening of our board.”

Koester, who joined SCFG in December 2014, decided to return to politics as policy director for the Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign of Jay Gonzalez. Her last day was Feb. 28.

SCFG said it will conduct a comprehensive search to find a permanent executive director.

Koester said, "It has been an incredible privilege to be part of SCFG's journey these last two years. We have done some amazing things together, the most important of which is always the day-in, day-out work of inspiring the next generation of diverse girls and women in STEM."

Walz, who has nonprofit, political, and corporate experience, said, “Science Club for Girls has an enviable record of success, which I am honored to build upon. Thanks to the extraordinary work of SCFG’s staff and volunteers, the organization is poised to serve more girls than ever before. Scientific advances profoundly change our world, so I am excited to help unleash the talent and creativity of girls who have so much to offer us."

She most recently served as chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. During her tenure there, Walz created and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan; reversed a $1.2 million loss in the organization’s health care operations; and raised more than $4 million annually for its operating budget plus $1 million in nine months in a capital campaign to support the national expansion of an evidence-based sexuality education curriculum.

Prior work has included representing the 8th Suffolk District as a Massachusetts State Representative for eight years, during which she held numerous leadership positions, including assistant vice-chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, house chair of the Education Committee, vice-chair of the House Ethics Committee, and co-chair of the Caucus of Women Legislators.

An expert on women’s health policy, Walz is a member of the board of directors of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and previously served on the NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts board of directors.

She is also a member of the Kingsley Montessori School Advisory Council, served on the Advisory Council of the state’s Department of Early Education and Care, vice president of development at Jumpstart for Young Children, and assistant director of Human Resources at Boston Public Schools.

Amaechi said, “I'm excited to have Marty join us as Interim Executive Director. Marty's track of achievement and impact gives me confidence that she will provide excellent support, stability and leadership to the organization as we move into our next stage of growth."

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