Our People

Margaret Yao

Senior Advisor for Leadership Development

Margaret Yao is Senior Advisor for Leadership Development at Democracy Fund, an independent foundation working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. In this role, Margaret is passionate about developing the leadership potential of all who are working in the democracy space. She leads our robust coaching program, provides individual coaching, and advises, facilitates, and supports organizational change and development efforts.

Since helping to set up the organization in 2014, Margaret has served in various leadership roles at Democracy Fund, most recently as Chief People Officer. Prior to joining Democracy Fund, Margaret served as a Federal executive and also headed a consulting practice of 16 years that entailed advising nonprofit and government clients on strategy, performance, and internal and public engagement. She and her clients won national recognition for innovative models of interagency and community engagement. She began her career as a journalist.

Margaret holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a coaching certification through the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She currently sits on the Board of Carlos Rosario International Charter School, which provides learning opportunities primarily to adult immigrants in the District of Columbia.