National Youth Leadership Council Announces New CEO

Dec 07, 2010, 08:20 ET from National Youth Leadership Council

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Youth Leadership Council, an education nonprofit that helps advance the teaching strategy known as "service-learning," has selected Kelita Svoboda Bak as its next Chief Executive Officer.  


A strong advocate for youth, Bak has worked in youth development and public policy in Washington, D.C. for more than 15 years. She has held several leadership positions in national nonprofit organizations, most recently as the National Vice President of Advancement for Camp Fire USA.  

"Kelita is perfect for the job," said NYLC Board Chair Jim Scheibel. "She is passionate about youth and service-learning, knows the field, and is an outstanding manager."

NYLC founder and CEO Jim Kielsmeier, who announced his retirement earlier this year, echoed Schiebel's enthusiasm, saying that Bak will help "NYLC flourish."  Kielsmeier's future plans include continuing to support service-learning policy advancement, and writing and speaking on behalf of the movement.

Throughout her career, Bak has built and managed numerous partnerships and coalitions. Among those, she served as a lead convener of the policy network Service-Learning United, has been on the board of the National Service-Learning Partnership, and worked to secure agreement among service-learning leaders on provisions in the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Bak believes that service-learning "is necessary for all children and youth to have an opportunity to build their own confidence, to be educated, engaged, and contributing members of their families, their schools, their communities, and the world." She views the teaching strategy as "the best way for young people to gain these skills in a meaningful and cost-effective way."

Her prior experiences include serving as Director of Government Relations for Youth Service America and Vice President of a private consulting firm. She also served as a lobbyist for the 270,000-member American Motorcyclist Association and was a political media buyer for candidates in 12 congressional districts during the 1996 election.

Bak earned a master's degree in business administration from The George Washington University and a bachelor's degree in political science from American University.

"I am eager to work with the board, staff, funders, and external stakeholders to build upon NYLC's strong foundation and to lead this well-respected organization toward continued and expanded success," says Bak, who assumes the role Jan 4.

About NYLC: For more than 25 years, NYLC has led the service-learning movement from its St. Paul, Minn. offices, training adults and youth, supporting public policy initiatives, developing curricula, and convening the field each year at the National Service-Learning Conference.

About Service-Learning: Service-learning is a teaching method which integrates academics with hands-on projects that address pressing community issues and problems. To learn more about NYLC and service-learning visit

SOURCE National Youth Leadership Council