Get to know Capacity for Health

Jacob Smith Yang

Jacob Smith Yang

Senior Director of Capacity Building

Jacob Smith Yang develops, oversees, and delivers training and technical assistance to community-based organizations and health departments. He also serves as an advisor on parent organization APIAHF’s agency direction and strategies. Jacob has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, organizational development, coalition building, and social justice advocacy. He is the former executive director of Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health. He served as the Chair of the Boston EMA Ryan White Planning Council, the Massachusetts Legislature’s GLBT Youth Commission, and on the Advisory Council for the Massachusetts Legislature’s Asian American Commission. Jacob is a graduate of the Brandeis University, where he received his BA in English and American Literature. He is a certified trainer of the Facilitative Leadership methodology through Interaction Institute for Social Change, and has conducted graduate-level coursework on Dispute Resolution at University of Massachusetts, Boston. Jacob has served on the Boards of Directors of the Ford Hall Forum, the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union, and the Massachusetts Public Health Association.

Expertise & Interests

  • Board Development and Leadership
  • Change Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Executive Coaching and Transitions
  • Program Design and Implementation
  • Community Planning
  • Conflict Resolution

Capacity building approach

“I have worked in nonprofits all my professional life—and there are many challenges and frustrations. I therefore get tremendous satisfaction from helping other nonprofits address big picture issues and come up with their own solutions to work’s thornier challenge. Staff members, volunteers, and board members of community based organizations bring incredible passion and dedication to their work. They always energize me.”