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Kelley D. Gulley

Initiative Director

Kelley D. Gulley joined Irvine’s San Francisco office as a Senior Program Officer in 2016 and was named Initiative Director in February 2020. She co-developed and now leads Irvine’s Better Careers initiative and serves on the Foundation’s Impact Assessment and Learning (IA&L) team. Her primary focus on the IA&L team is leading Irvine’s feedback practice, which includes being a core funder of the Fund for Shared Insight national funder collaborative, where Kelley serves as co-chair.

Kelley has nearly 30 years of experience in community and youth development, workforce development, building capacity in the nonprofit sector, and leading initiatives that engage residents in communities of color throughout the country. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kelley served as Interim Managing Director/Director of Portfolio Management at the Thrive Foundation for Youth in Menlo Park, CA. There she implemented a national grantmaking strategy to support long-term mentoring programs operating in urban areas, resulting in high percentages of students graduating from high school and college, most as first-generation students.

Prior to Thrive, Kelley led two nonprofits as President and CEO: the Indianapolis Private Industry Council (IPIC) in Indiana and the National Community Development Institute (NCDI) in Oakland, CA. At IPIC, Kelley successfully served and partnered with Republican and Democratic mayors of Indianapolis to create a nonpartisan environment to fully implement the Workforce Investment Act in Central Indiana.

At NCDI, Kelley opened their first Midwest office, managed philanthropy-led, place-based initiatives and provided the leadership to build capacity for social change in marginalized communities across the nation.

Kelley’s faith-based work experience and volunteerism has included being the Strategic Initiatives Administrator at Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, as well as leading the Prayer Team and serving on the teaching/preaching faculty as an ordained minister at World Conquerors Church in Oakland. Kelley currently attends Victory in Praise Church in Stockton, California, where she serves on the ministerial staff, is Co-Founder of From Loss2Life Ministries, and is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of Leadership Public Schools.

Kelley received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, San Jose and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary.