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Person Behind the Place: Juliet Buder

July 27, 2021 - by Brooke Wilson

Person Behind The Place:
Juliet Buder

Executive Director | Bellevue Schools Foundation

After a nationwide search, the Board of Trustees and staff of the Bellevue Schools Foundation welcomed Juliet Buder on board as the Foundation's new leader. With over a dozen years growing broad roots in the philanthropic community, her cross-country move from New York City in July signals a new chapter in the Foundation to further expand educational access and revamp fundraising efforts. With Juliet at the helm, the Foundation continues to be uniquely positioned as a catalytic agent of positive change and advancement in Bellevue.

How has your background helped you cultivate inclusive engagement and investment in public schools?

I graduated from Duke University with a degree in Public Policy and learned the art and science of fundraising at Equal Justice Works, a legal nonprofit in Washington, D.C. After earning a Master’s in Social Work, I trained my focus on strategic partnerships for public, private, and community-based organizations committed to closing the opportunity gap.

How does BSF plan to address emerging priorities and issues in the community?

With over $36 million contributed to date, the Foundation has committed its resources to eight different educational investments for the 2021–2022 school year, including initiatives focused on equity, computer science, mental health, and early learning offerings.

What inspires you about the Eastside region?

I am delighted to join a community that believes in the power of philanthropy to create change and open opportunities. I look forward to harnessing the community’s support in order to secure a world-class education for all students in Bellevue’s public schools, regardless of socioeconomic status.

What kind of growth and development would you like to see for the Foundation and the Bellevue School District over the next few years?

As a whole, the BSF has yet to maximize its potential in the community, and we are excited to welcome new engagement and support from individuals and corporations who would like to further invest in the Bellevue School District. By sponsoring catalytic initiatives focused on mental health, early learning, computer science, racial equity and inclusion, innovation in the arts, and more, the Bellevue Schools Foundation ensures that all students in the community have access to a world-class education. In order to further expand our efforts, we need others to raise their hands, roll up their sleeves, and join us through fiscal or volunteer support.

When it comes to Downtown Bellevue, where are your favorite places to:

  • Grab a bite to eat downtown?

Ascend Prime Steak and Sushi offers such a great variety and has quickly become a staff and board favorite at the Bellevue Schools Foundation. Also, Duke’s Seafood has an excellent crab salad!

  • Enjoy a drink with friends downtown?

Earls Kitchen + Bar has a wonderful menu you can dig into at the bar if their tables are booked up. Oh no, my secret is out!

  • Any hidden gems folks should check out?

Taking a walk in the Bellevue Botanical Garden is such a wonderful and convenient retreat! As soon as I step foot inside the garden, I feel awestruck by the different fauna and flora abound.

For those interested in learning more about the Bellevue Schools Foundation and how to join in its mission, contact

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Photo courtesy of Juliet Buder, Executive Director of the Bellevue Schools Foundation

Person Behind the Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to champion local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery in the Downtown community. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening in the neighborhood.