Courtney Headshot

Pasadena, CA – AbilityFirst, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities to achieve their personal best, recently welcomed Courtney Jurado as their new Chief Development Officer. 

Ms. Jurado has over 15 years’ experience leading programs, charitable giving campaigns and managing events. An accomplished scholar, among other degrees, she has a post-graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, helping lead the fight against Breast Cancer while building a strong culture of philanthropy throughout the organization. 

 “I’m a born networker who lives to connect the dots between what makes others light up and how that motivates their giving,” said Ms. Jurado. “I have spent my professional career leading program operations and supporting charitable giving campaigns, and I feel both well-prepared for and excited about my new position and journey with AbilityFirst.”

“Courtney's commitment and passion for growing charitable giving to important causes, like ours, is just one reason we are thrilled to have her join the executive team at AbilityFirst," said Lori Gangemi, CEO of AbilityFirst. "We are confident that the depth and breadth of her skills will help us further meet the growing needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families." 

Originally conceived in 1926 by visionaries looking beyond disabilities and seeing children and capabilities, AbilityFirst has long been comprised of pioneers and advocates for disability rights. Today, AbilityFirst is distinguished by: “evidence-based services, exceptional leadership and management, long standing experience and community roots, and outcomes-based program evaluation with measurable results.” 

The appointment of Courtney Jurado comes after an extensive search and recruitment process led by the AbilityFirst search committee, in conjunction with Envision Consulting--a nonprofit consulting firm based in Los Angeles, specializing in executive search, organizational strategy, merger exploration and executive leadership transitions. Envision’s commitment to DEI is integrated into its practices, including inclusive surveys and stakeholder interviews, focus groups, structured hiring processes, a focus on anti-biased decision making and more. In 2023, Envision was named by the Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy as a Top 10 Search Firm that Works for Women of Color. In 2022, Envision was named a Top 60 Executive search Firms Serving the Nonprofit Sector by Hunt Scanlon.