Member of Board of Directors

Telecommute · San Francisco, California, United States · Governance


Appleseed Seeking New Members to Join the Board of Directors

Who We Are:

It’s hot, dry, and dusty. When students in Chogoria, Kenya take a break, they run to drink from an old tap delivering unclean river water. A local NGO has installed clean water tanks and educated students in 180 schools, yet only 8% of students drink from the new tanks. Health workers at the NGO were understandably frustrated. Why won't these kids drink clean water?

Asking students brings answers. "That water is always warm,” said a boy looking at the black tank sitting in the sun. A shy girl offered, “I don’t wish to get my uniform wet when I bend to drink.” Another girl ran away from us to go play with friends... far away from where the teachers and adults congregated.

Well, what if we moved the tanks away from adults, raised spigots for easier access, and painted tanks a light blue to help reflect the sun’s heat? What if teachers encouraged good behavior? Or posted "Do Not Drink" signs near the old taps? Could we change the students' water drinking behavior?

YES! Results from a pilot test at three schools showed a sustained increase from 8% to 60% of students drinking clean water daily. The local NGO is now scaling these changes to all 180 schools in the program, covering 45,000+ children.

This is Appleseed in a nutshell. Founded in 2015, we help world-saving organizations use behavioral marketing to make significantly more impact. Our approach centers on carefully listening to local communities and then using marketing for good to implement solutions that get results. Learn more at

Our Board Members and Executive Director

Our current Board of Directors is small but mighty and is comprised of professionals with expertise in marketing, public health, and law. Lily Yuan brings over ten years of advertising and marketing experience with Ogilvy & Mathers advertising agency and Google’s creative marketing team. Lily currently serves as the Brand Director for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Erica Mahgerefteh holds a Masters in Public Health and has almost 15 years of experience crafting social marketing campaigns to encourage the public to adopt prosocial behaviors. Adam Quinn, a JD/MBA and co-founder, assists with the legal and financial aspects of Appleseed in addition to guiding organizational strategy. Our newest board member is Liezl Van Riper, a business development and fundraising expert with 17 years experience, serving as Director or VP of Development for international and national non-profit social enterprises such as Kickstart, Kiva, and most recently, myAgro.

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Philip Kao, guides Appleseed’s vision and ensures that our programs and partnerships make the highest impact possible. After starting his career as an Accenture tech consultant, Philip left the corporate world to volunteer with NGOs. There, he experienced the disappointment of failed development projects that did not sustainably change behavior. Determined to change this, Philip joined a behavioral marketing agency in California where he learned to run campaigns and lead an organization. Years later, Philip founded Appleseed to foster change in the world’s poorest communities.

Learn more about our team at

What We Need:

Appleseed has a clear mission & vision, a proven approach, and a talented team: nearly all critical pieces in place for making tremendous impact on the world’s most pressing issues, like child malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and more. Strong board governance would propel Appleseed to sustain and grow to become a game changer in the developing world.

Board members further Appleseed’s mission by helping to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. The Strategic Question: Where should Appleseed be headed and what should it become over the long run? (values, vision, targets, strategies for diversification and growth)
  2. The Operational Question: What should Appleseed be now and in the short term? (mission, current programs, org structure, annual operational plan and budget, policies, Executive Director and his leadership priorities and targets)
  3. The Accountability Question: How well is Appleseed doing? (programmatically and operationally, financially, administratively, and in terms of public perceptions and relationships with the wider world?




This is a volunteer position with a two-year term.

If this sounds like a good fit, please submit your resume and tell us why you think Appleseed is the right place for you.


  1. Chance to change the world by unleashing the development sector's potential for impact.
  2. Great organizational culture and team that prioritizes impact, learning, and service.
  3. Opportunities to engage with some of the most passionate social innovators in the world.
Apply for this job