Jessica Yuen

Advisor to People-focused leaders

How does this work?

Serve as an executive coach and operational advisor to leaders at growing tech companies. Have supported multiple VC's portfolios including YCombinator's Growth program and Felicis Ventures. Former Chief People Officer at Couchbase and Gusto. Former VP International and Growth & Chief of Staff to Sal Khan at Khan Academy. Passionate about making the world a better, more delightful place through people and technology.

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Work experience

Nov 2017 - Present

various companies

Advisor to People-focused Leaders

Advise and coach CEOs and People/HR/Ops Leaders to scale their organizations and mentor their teams. Clients range industries across HR tech, AI, fintech, education, autonomous vehicles, security, non-profit and more, and are supported by the top VCs and investors including YCombinator, Andreessen Horowitz, Felicis Ventures, GV, General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed. Also serve as: Advisory board member to companies in fintech, HR tech, and learning (2017-present) Expert-in-Residence for Felicis Ventures (2018-2020) People Expert for YCombinator's Growth Program (2018-2019) Mentor, First Round's Fast Track program (2019)


Nov 2017 - Present

PeopleTech Partners


Advisor for a group of global senior people operators. Partners advise the newest HR technology companies, accelerating the growth of people technology start-ups in the PeopleTech portfolio through GTM and product strategy support. PeopleTech Partners have brought 60+ new HR tech companies to market. Also serve as a guest writer for PeopleTech's newsletter and their ThriveGlobal partnership.


Aug 2018 - Aug 2019



Write articles about office culture and career development for Quartz at Work.


Jan 2018 - Oct 2018


Chief People Officer

Couchbase was recognized on Wealthfront's Career-Launching Companies List 2018, Forbes Next Billion Dollar Startups 2018, and 2018 Deloitte Fast 500. Transformed the People team: • Rebuilt and grew the overall People team from 5 to 13 and created a united global team serving 350 employees across 16 countries and 20 U.S. states • Overhauled HR systems (including the ATS and HRIS), moving from spreadsheets to automated, integrated systems • Prioritized global compliance, establishing standardized policies and procedures, cleaning up immigration, sponsoring anti-harassment training, and ensuring investigation of ER issues • Empowered Head of Talent to transform hiring, including shifting from external agencies to internal recruiters, interviewer training, diversity + inclusion initiatives, and general operational rigor • Partnered with Head of Total Rewards to standardize compensation practices and transfer benefits brokers • Coached and mentored the People team and the Executive team to align business objectives with talent strategy


Nov 2014 - Nov 2017


Head of People

Gusto is known for its authentic and unique culture (no shoes!) and during my tenure was recognized as a Best Place to Work in 2015, 2016, and 2017 by SF Biz Times and named to Fortune’s Best Places to Work for Millennials and 100 Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for (#7). Spearheaded 10x growth to 450+ Gusties while keeping employee satisfaction high (eNPS > 90%) • Advisor to the senior leadership team; reported to the CEO • Led team of 28 (grew from 2), including 6 direct reports across recruiting, HR, L&D, office & facilities (incl opening a 2nd office in Denver), community, program ops, and onboarding • Scaled People strategy, approach, and processes that promoted Gusto’s values and prioritized its employees across core structures (compensation, performance development, tools, etc) • Created a consistent and delightful candidate & employee experience (supported through onboarding, leadership & feedback training, benefits, etc) • Successfully achieved goal to hire 200 people in first 6 months when company had 50 employees Gusto’s mission is to create a world where work empowers a better life. By making the most complicated business tasks simple and personal, Gusto is reimagining payroll, benefits and HR for modern companies. Gusto serves over 100,000 businesses nationwide and has offices in San Francisco and Denver. Gusto has raised over $300M from investors including General Catalyst, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and YCombinator.


Apr 2011 - Nov 2014

Khan Academy

Chief of Staff / VP International and Growth

International strategy and programs (2013-2014) Led global efforts to grow, deepen, and improve the learning experience for millions of learners in 190 countries. Drove international strategy, product management, user experience testing, business development, marketing, account management, community engagement for 15K+ volunteers, and translations for 25+ languages of ~3.5M words and 6K videos. For focus regions, saw 100% to 1500% YoY growth. Chief of Staff (2011-2013) As the sixth employee, played a jack-of-all-trades role across strategy, partnerships, exec operations, HR & recruiting, facilities, office management, legal, community engagement, grants / donor management, and press. Highlights included cultivating KA's core values and culture, writing grants for the first ~$10M in funding, and building the team to over 50, plus preparing Board updates to members including Eric Schmidt and Ann Doerr. On the side: Originated and wrote the LifeatKA blog (, twitter: @lifeatKA) for 2.5 years, garnering 2.5K followers.


Apr 2010 - Apr 2011


Global Business Strategy & Operations / Search Product Management

Worked on a high priority SWAT team that led critical short-term initiatives within Search. Experience highlights: • Awarded "You Rock!" Award for Leadership (2010); promoted in 10 months • Managed PMO for Search Integration and Growth initiative • Managed global rollout of new product features across APAC and EU • Led coordination of Finance, Marketing, Business Development and Product on urgent initiatives • Increased Y! Search page monetization by leveraging an interim technology transition to garner $500K in revenue and reduce execution time across Design, Product, Marketing and External Customers by 80% • Negotiated with mobile teams to increase search integration across properties • Ran series of product workshops across 150+ participants • Spearheaded recruiting to hire Directors, Managers and Analysts across North America and Bangalore

Aug 2006 - Mar 2010



Advised and partnered with executive clients to transform their businesses. Worked closely with clients to co-create a vision, align related stakeholders, iterate quickly to ensure feasibility and execute the strategy. Focused on operational and organizational transformations, as well as professional development (L&D).


2004 - 2006

Stanford University

MS, Electrical Engineering

Stanford Goodman Fellow American Association of University Women Selected Professions Fellow

2000 - 2004

University of California, San Diego

BS Electrical Engineering, BA Economics

UCSD Jacobs School Scholar (full merit scholarship); UCSD Regent's Scholar California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology Scholar President, Tau Beta Pi Phi Beta Kappa

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