BHGH International announced on June 11th that Kristin Ostby de Barillas has been selected as its new President and eventual
Chief Executive Officer. Kristin was the organization’s Vice President of International Development and has led Boys Hope
Girl’s Hope’s operations in Latin America since 2005. Kristin has already assumed the role of President and will also become the CEO on January 1st.
Of Kristin, Fr. Paul Sheridan, S.J., said: “Kristin brings a deep understanding and commitment to the program, and a generosity of spirit to further its results. She is an extremely capable manager, well-respected by her team and our scholars. Her drive and intellect will ensure the success and expansion of the organization.” Paul Minorini, reflected similarly: “Kristin has been with BHGH for 11 years, and in that time has performed incredibly well, both in her passion for the mission and the development/growth of the international programs, as well as in her many contributions to the organization as a whole. Kristin has been my and the Board’s overwhelming first choice for a successor for many years, and we have worked to ensure that she has gained the experience, exposure and passion to rise to that level. In short, Kristin is a ‘first round draft pick’ who is poised and ready to take the next professional step in our organization’s leadership.”
Outgoing International Board Chairman of BHGH, Mike de Graffenried, was effusive in his praise for Kristin: “Kristin took charge of our small Guatemala program in 2005 and developed it into a program with nine group homes and a certified school– a program we never imagined it could become. We feel very confident that Kristin can lead the whole organization to new heights beyond the very successful position we have already achieved under Paul Minorini and Fr. Paul Sheridan’s leadership.”
While at BHGH in Latin America, Kristin has overseen the growth of programs in Guatemala, Mexico and Peru—Esperanza Juvenil, Ser y Crecer, and Casa Javier, respectively. Under her leadership, the Guatemala Affiliate has grown from serving 29 children in 2005 to serving 170 children in 2016. Kristin was also instrumental in opening the organization’s Affiliate in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2008, which now operates three homes for boys and an Academy program for boys and girls.
A widely respected organizational leader and strategist and fluent in Spanish, Kristin received her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2005, and earned a BA from Minnesota’s Carleton College in 1998. Prior to her work with BHGH, Kristin was on the Senior Leadership Team at Glide Memorial Church and Foundation, San Francisco’s largest social service agency. There she worked with the organization’s founders in leading a program to help faith-based organizations around the U.S. and South Africa empower people living in poverty in their communities and increase diversity in their organizations.
About her selection to replace Paul Minorini, Kristin reflects: “I feel honored that the Board of Directors has asked me to take on the role of President and CEO of BHGH. Paul Minorini has been a phenomenal mentor to me and I look forward to learning more from him as I step into this role. I also feel great appreciation for our founder, Fr. Paul Sheridan, whose vision forty years ago and continued commitment have allowed us to become the organization we are today. I believe deeply in the work we are all doing to change the course of the lives of the amazing children and youth in our care. The young people who are a part of our organization have a tremendous opportunity and we are very blessed to be their support team and family as they create their futures.”
Kristin’s personal profile includes growing up in Annandale, Virginia, outside Washington, DC, and Palo Alto, California. She is married to Benito Barillas, who grew up in a home for over300 boys in Guatemala and was in the U.S. pursuing his Master’s degree when he and Kristin met. They have lived for 11 years in Guatemala with their two young sons. Kristin will continue to be based in Guatemala while spending extended periods of time with BHGH’s 18 Affiliates and its headquarters.
Regarding the future, Kristin shares that her “goal is that over the next year we can step back, look at where we are today, and think critically about our plans for the next decade. We need to make sure our mission, values and common practices are in alignment and we have the right structures in place at the International Office and network-wide to support our work. We have made progress this year with our new Collaborative Leadership model. Now, we need to find ways to continue to have thoughtful input and collaboration across the BHGH network while respecting that the top priority of our local staff will always be the youth in their direct care and the Affiliates they operate. Together, we need to chart our course forward. Once we have renewed our vision, I know we will continue to work with great perseverance to generate the resources of strategic partners, opportunities for our youth, and funds to support our critical mission.”
Kristin is especially committed to diversity at all levels of the organization and intends to make sure “we use our diversity as the gift and asset it is” to advance the organization and its mission. “We need to take the time to hear each other’s life stories that shape our many ways of thinking, raise questions with each other and challenge each other respectfully when we’re missing key perspectives. We have a tremendous opportunity to be a fun, dynamic, diverse family that develops in depth and numbers and in our own personal growth. We are many unique people who make up one team pursuing one mission striving for excellence.”