Stephanie Kiesel joined zero8hundred, as CEO, in March 2018 from The University of San Diego’s School of Business where she served as the Senior Director of Graduate Student Services, from 2014-2018, providing executive leadership for all day-to-day operations and logistics of the University's graduate business programs. Joining the University in 2004, she began her tenure as the Director of their Masters in Global Leadership program - a business graduate degree designed by DoD especially for transitioning military officers and senior enlisted personnel.
Since taking over as CEO, Stephanie presided over the transition of zero8hundred, from being a fiscally sponsored project of Mission Edge San Diego, to being its own California corporation and federally tax exempt non-profit organization. This included bringing all financial, legal, operations and human resources activities in house ensuring greater day-to-day oversight and agility to respond more immediately to any emerging needs of the organization and its mission. In addition, Stephanie significantly increased the number of partners included in the Community Advisory Committee, and its role in collaboratively reviewing and addressing systemic obstacles and opportunities to serving our transitioning military personnel and their families, as well as transformed the membership, and participation focus, of the Board of Directors.
Stephanie has overseen the expansion of the zero8hundred mission reach, in facilitating enrollment in the program for any transitioning service member/spouse up to 12 months prior to military separation, with an online enrollment portal that allows those leaving the military to begin working with a zero8hundred Resource & Outreach Specialist earlier to craft and begin executing their individual transition plan. Stephanie also oversaw the conversion to a Salesforce CRM platform to more effectively capture and report data related to program participant case management as well as donor and community member engagement in the organization.
Since Stephanie’s arrival at zero8hundred, she has moved the focus of the organization from simply “assisting our military service members and their families facing the challenges of transition” to a comprehensive investment in changing the entire course of transition, for those moving from the military to civilian life. She seeks to ensure that today’s generation of new veterans never face the unemployment, homelessness and basic needs instability that has plagued generations before. Stephanie’s vision for zero8hundred centers on the belief that if our patriots are provided the holistic tools, opportunities and community support they need earlier and more individually, they will leave military service thriving as members of our workforce, civic leadership and community.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Stephanie graduated from the University of Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Communications; from the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University with a Masters in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management; and from the University of San Diego School of Law with a Juris Doctor. She was admitted to the California state bar in 2011. Stephanie loves to travel, hike and read and is married to CDR Marty Kiesel, who served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1993-2004, and has been a United States Naval Reservist since that time. They have one son.