Tess Posner, managing Director, TechHire

Tess leads the national TechHire initiative of 72 cities, states and rural areas working to help underrepresented individuals start technology careers and close the talent gap. Tess and her team collaborate closely with TechHire leaders and key stakeholders including civic, business, philanthropic and learning partners to launch and sustain TechHire in their communities and nationwide. The TechHire team provides critical tools, partnerships, and funding opportunities, facilitates a learning network and communicates the TechHire message and impact to mobilize support locally and across the country.

Tess has spent her career on initiatives that increase equity and economic opportunity in the education system and economy. She is passionate about working towards a future where all people have the chance to access education, find dignified work and reach their full potential. Prior to joining Opportunity@Work, Tess was Managing Director of Samaschool, a social enterprise part of the SamaGroup that equips digitally excluded populations to enter the digital economy. Samaschool’s training bootcamps provide in-demand skills, resources, and the support for job seekers to be successful in the new economy and their careers. Tess built and launched the program and grew it from a pilot in San Francisco in 2013 to international adoption, a global online platform and diverse locations from New York City to rural Arkansas and in East Africa. As Managing Director, Tess led all Samaschool departments, fundraising, strategy, and expansion efforts, including the development and launch of an online training platform, now serving students in 70 countries. Samaschool’s approach to giving low-income populations 21st century skills to tap into the digital economy led it to be named one of the “13 most innovative schools in the world” by Business Insider, featured in TechCrunch, FastCompany and receive funding from organizations such as the Tipping Point Community, JPMorgan Chase, the California Endowment and the Robin Hood Foundation.

Prior to Samaschool, Tess led the employment and education programs at First Place for Youth, a nationally-recognized model that helps foster youth find housing, get their first job, and stay in school. Before First Place, she managed programs that taught competitive debate as a literacy and empowerment tool in underserved public schools in New York City. Tess holds a master's degree from Columbia University School in Social Enterprise Administration and a bachelor’s in liberal arts from St. John’s College.