New Leadership Guides ESD Global Through its Next Stage of Growth

Updated: Dec 15, 2020

As we scale our violence prevention initiatives around the world and transition to an invigorating new chapter, we are thrilled to welcome Molly Singer in her role as ESD Global Executive Director. Molly's leadership guidance will further solidify our mission and our commitment to violence prevention and gender equity. We are excited to embark on our next stage of growth, expanding our efforts to build a world where everyone can live safe, violence-free lives.

President and Founder of ESD Global, Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman, believes that Molly will be a great asset in steering our organization into its next phase of growth. “Please join me in welcoming Molly in her new role as Executive Director. I am in awe and celebration of where we are after only three years. We are truly in a place of global influence and I can't wait to see what we do next! ” says Yudit.

Molly brings a wealth of experience, wisdom, vision, and heart to this position, with over twenty-five years of experience building effective strategies, programs, and teams to achieve ambitious goals to expand opportunities in communities! She comes to ESD from Washington DC where she was the executive director of Capitol Hill Village, a model and leader among the Village movement in the United States. During her time, she tripled revenues, services and clients in providing social and educational programs, civic engagement practices, volunteer coordination and care services for seniors.

Molly has a graduate degree in applied anthropology from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree from Drew University. She has served on a number of community and international non profit boards. Molly lives in Boston MA US with her family. She loves to bake, is a mediocre knitter and has lots of household, personal and world-changing projects that she never gets to.

Get to know Molly in this interview:

What is your vision for ESD Global's new phase of growth?

I think there are three parts to my vision. The first part is an internal one, and is to make sure that as a team and an organization, we run equitably and efficiently. This includes creating systems that make people's work easier, creating a sense of transparency around priorities and what's going on, and ensuring open and effective communication.

Then, as a global organization, my vision is to gain a foothold in ensuring that ESD plays a critical part in life skills development, whether we're applying it to public health, economic development, community building, or peace work. The best way to do that is by leveraging the excellent programs and staff that we already have.

The third part is gaining more independence and maturity around how we are funded, what our revenue streams are, and how we are collaborating with other global organizations and stakeholders to make sure that our ideas are swimming alongside other ideas and being seen.

What’s your management philosophy?

My management philosophy is actually called leading from behind. I like to work on supporting other people to be their very best. This includes setting up systems and removing hurdles.

My management philosophy is also very much around team ownership and individual responsibility. I think it's important that people define goals for what they want to achieve and that they are connecting to the rest of the team and working together. I often say that if people are not getting as much from their work as they're giving to it, it's not the right place for them. You have to continually be progressing and growing in what you're doing.

What are some qualities of a successful leader?

A successful leader has to be a good listener.

A successful leader knows how to leverage the skills of staff and teammates, even if those are skills the person doesn't know they have. A good leader can spot and cultivate them.

A successful leader has to be optimistic and see the positive side of things.

How do you see ESD Global growing in two years, and how do you see yourself promoting that growth?

In two years, I see a stronger ESD Global network that is connected to more organizations, both the social enterprise that ESD Global is creating and to other global nonprofits in public health or economic development, etc.

I want to see programs led and directed by individuals from the region they are serving. I think that the strategy and growth would come from the organization as a whole. ESD Global was birthed by an amazing visionary who has transferred a great deal of her ideas, expertise and enthusiasm to seed that growth around the world. I'm hoping that those seeds will bear fruit in the next stage of the organization's growth. I also look forward to diversifying funding.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


I actually used to have a business named dexterity. I'm very good at seeing many sides of a problem and addressing it from all angles.

What philanthropic leaders do you look up to?

I really look up to Yudit for her unique vision in creating this organization and her her ability to see all of the parts!

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