Special announcement! GOALS welcomes Jolinda Hackett as new Executive Director

Jolinda, Kona and Board President Ken Sommers

Dear friends,
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am thrilled to announce that Jolinda Hackett will officially join GOALS as Executive Director starting January 1st.

Jolinda has been making a difference on the ground in Haiti for over three years now. Since joining GOALS in January 2012, she has proven to be an exceptional asset. She is fluent in Haitian Creole, extraordinarily impactful, and takes on oversized challenges with a smile. Not only has she weathered hurricanes with us (two, in fact!), but she worked alongside our coaches and players to lead clean-up efforts afterwards as well. (Read more in our 2013 Annual Report here).

As a program manager and then Country Director, Jolinda has been responsible for many of our proudest moments, including winning the Beyond Sport award in London, partnering with Coaches Across Continents for coach training and the Klinik Lasante for health services, and sending some of our most talented girls to the national youth football training academy.

Mixed-gender teams and matches are one way Jolinda has increased GOALS' capacity to empower young women through sport.

I can promise there will be many more exciting announcements to come in the upcoming months thanks to Jolinda's ongoing hard work to deepen our impact. Keep an eye out for news on a new GOALS community education center and an expanded rural outreach program.

As I wrote earlier this year, Jolinda has elevated our programs to a higher level. When I started GOALS in 2010, it was always my dream for the programs to be permanent and sustainable in Haiti,  whether or not I was physically present. Jolinda has been managing all in-country operations since April of this year, and her results speak for themselves.We're incredibly lucky to have her on board, and I am confident that with her leadership, GOALS will continue to provide opportunities for thousands of kids and their families.

While I'll be stepping down as Executive Director, I will continue to serve GOALS as a member of the Board of Directors, and I'm looking forward to working with Jolinda as we take  GOALS to the next level. To learn more about what else I personally have planned coming up, click here.

Please join me in officially congratulating Jolinda and welcoming her to the helm of Team GOALS!

Kona Shen

Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more updates and photos from our sport-for-development programs on the soccer fields of Leogane, Haiti.