Barbara Robertson, President and CEO of the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, will retire on December 31, and the Foundation is beginning the search to fill the position.
Robertson was appointed to the role for the third time in February 2020 and has led the organization through tumultuous and unprecedented challenges encountered during the coronavirus pandemic.
While adapting to the pandemic by creating virtual alternatives to events and continuing their work remotely, the organization was able to award more than $21 million in college scholarships during his tenure.
“We owe Barbara an enormous debt of gratitude for her calm and steady leadership during a time of unprecedented social unrest and uncertainty over the past two years,” said Scholarship Foundation Board Chair Matt Rowe. .
Robertson is ending a career in the area’s nonprofit sector that spanned more than 30 years. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1989, becoming tax manager for the Santa Barbara Community Housing Corp. In 1993, Robertson became director of finance for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what my team and I have accomplished under really difficult circumstances,” Robertson said. “The Scholarship Foundation is a true community gem, and it has been the honor of my life to have contributed to its 60-year legacy by supporting the educational aspirations of students and families across the county. I expect to see even more from this exceptional organization in the years to come.
After working at Santa Barbara City College and the Music Academy of the West, Robertson returned to the Scholarship Foundation in 2011 as Director of Operations.
She was then named chief operating officer in 2016, and previously served as interim president twice, from April to July 2015 and from February to September 2018.