Jon Marker

Jon believes at his core that communities only reach their full potential when every voice has a seat at the decision-making table. When his family moved to San Rafael, California in 2012, Jon was working in education philanthropy and was thrilled when Youth Leadership Institute (YLI) returned his call to volunteer for their local programs. For two years he volunteered in his evenings as his family grew beyond his partner Jess, to their dog Kit, and children Cole and Caroline. Their family loves to take in nature through hiking, gardening kayaking, and camping.


In 2015, Jon was asked to trade in his volunteer role to be Youth Leadership Institute’s CEO, a role he has held since. In that time, and while maintaining the incredible leadership team that existed prior to his arrival at the organization, Youth Leadership Institute has grown from serving 1100 youth annually to 2000, from 20 staff to 50, and a 136% growth in annual revenue to $5.2 million. This growth has allowed youth in YLI’s programs to pass and change more than 122 laws across the state of California, and to train 220 communities across the country in how to elevate youth voice. Jon uses his experience as a youth organizer in Maryland for student voting rights on school boards, a community organizer for Marriage Equality in Massachusetts in the early 2000s, one of the first 50 staff on Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for President, an 8th grade US History teacher, and manager of District and School Partnerships across the Washington DC Region for an education nonprofit to guide his work in being relational, strategic, and results-oriented.


Jon holds degrees from Boston University and American University and sits on the boards of Marin Promise, Marin Kids, Rodef Sholom, and Funding the Next Generation.