President and CEO
Eric Gurna joined LA’s BEST in 2015 as the second President and CEO in the organization’s history. He brings a deep commitment to positive youth development to his work at LA’s BEST, and a national reputation for thought leadership in the Expanded Learning movement. He also brings a nuanced understanding and appreciation for how children learn and develop, and a passion for staff and program development.
Prior to leading LA’s BEST, Eric was the founder, President and CEO of Development Without Limits, where he designed and facilitated staff development, curriculum and other resources for community organizations and schools nationwide. While at Development Without Limits, Eric created Please Speak Freely, a podcast where he interviewed leading thinkers, artists and others to shed light on key issues and explore different perspectives about youth development and education. To listen to Please Speak Freely, please click here.
In the late ‘90s, Eric also served as LA’s BEST’s first Director of Staff Development. In that role, he was immersed in LA’s BEST values and operations, and codified the organization’s values, youth development principles and staff development practices.
Eric has presented keynotes and workshops for dozens of organizations and conferences nationwide. In 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Eric to the California Department of Education’s Before and After School Advisory Committee, and he is a member of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance Steering Committee
Eric holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of California at Irvine and an M.S. in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from the New School for Social Research in New York.
“I work in afterschool because it is a movement dedicated to putting the needs, hopes, dreams, opportunities and experiences of all children at the center of our culture’s focus. I work at LA’s BEST because it gives me the privilege of being part of a team of creative, kind, brilliant people who care about kids most of all.”