Terri Sorensen


Friends of the Children

Terri Sorensen is the Chief Executive Officer of Friends of the Children, a national nonprofit that is breaking the cycle of generational poverty. As national chief executive officer, Sorensen oversees strategic direction, fundraising, expansion, and evaluation for the network.

Since becoming chief executive officer in 2011, Sorensen has diversified funding streams and raised more than $85 million in private and public funds, opening the door for an aggressive national expansion campaign. In just five years, Friends of the Children has expanded from five to 15 locations in the U.S. and United Kingdom.

Prior to being appointed national chief executive officer, Sorensen served as the executive director of Friends of the Children – Portland, the founding chapter, for 11 years. Under her leadership, Friends of the Children has been named by Portland Business Journal as the most admired nonprofit in Oregon for four consecutive years in a row.

Sorensen was recently selected for Results for America’s Moneyball for Government Nonprofit All-Star Team. Friends of the Children won the 2014 Social Impact Exchange business plan competition. She is a member of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, a cadre of leaders who share a core commitment to high performance, and has served as a board member for Social Venture Partners and Oregon Mentors. She also received a 2012 Orchid Award for the 25 Most Influential Women in Business by the Portland Business Journal.

In addition, Friends of the Children has become a national leader in evidence-based mentoring with its rigorous evaluation: conducting a return on investment (ROI) study with the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon, securing a Social Innovation Fund sub-recipient award from Third Sector Capital Partners for a Pay-for-Success feasibility study, and engaging in a longitudinal randomized control trial of the model.

Sorensen holds a B.S. in accountancy from the School of Business & Public Administration at the University of Missouri, and is a Certified Public Accountant. Previously, she was controller for the American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter, held key managerial positions with Sprint Corporation, and worked in public accounting for Ernst & Young in Kansas City, MO.

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