After a decade with the org, CEO Kate Goodall is stepping down from Halcyon

Managing Director Dan Barker will take on the role starting Jan. 1, while the outgoing top exec will co-lead a new investment fund with CIO Dahna Goldstein.

Come January, cofounder Kate Goodall will no longer be the CEO of Georgetown startup accelerator Halcyon.

Goodall, who cofounded the organization with Sachiko Kuno in 2014, will be leaving her post to become the co-managing partner of a new investment fund. Daniel Barker, the current managing director of Halcyon, will take over as CEO starting on Jan. 1. Dahna Goldstein, the current CIO, will also be leaving her role to join Goodall as a co-managing partner.

Goodall told that this move comes, in part, from the transition to the next phase of Halcyon.

“I’ve been at this for 10-plus years, and I think it’s always good, once you hit that kind of milestone, to look around and, particularly if you’re at the helm, question if anyone could do the next phase better than you,” Goodall said.

In 2024, Halcyon will celebrate its 10-year anniversary of working with founders in DC. Goodall said that in the beginning, she and Kuno began with just eight founders in their first cohort; they now work with more than 70 every year.

A lot has changed in that time, Goodall added, including a growing appreciation for companies that prioritize social impact and responsibility.

“In the beginning, in 2014, I think making the case that impact companies could yield the same returns as traditional businesses was very hard,” Goodall said. “I definitely got locked out of rooms in 2014.”

In the time since the world has seen cultural changes like the Exxon shareholder revolt, she noted. Halcyon has also changed internally, building curricula to support founders from all over the country and the world. In 2022, it also closed its first fund, raising $5 million to invest in founders. Halcyon additionally created an angel network to support founders.

“I’ve really enjoyed it all, and I recognize how fortunate I am in saying that,” Goodall said. “I have had a job that puts me in direct contact every day with people who are brave enough to start a business, which is a small segment of the population. But they’re also all doing it for reasons bigger than themselves because they care about creating change in an important sector.”

Barker first joined the org in early 2022, but Goodall said she’s known him for much longer. He previously held roles at Deloitte, Mastercard and BlackRock. Goodall said that since he’s joined Halcyon, she’s been impressed with his leadership talent among the team and with partners.

In the new role, Barker said he’ll be revamping Halcyon’s residential program, which it already started recruiting for. The org will also be prioritizing how it can help in climate, health and equity technology in the near future as it marks a decade in 2024. He also hopes that in the longterm, Halcyon can deepen its ability to support previous and future entrepreneurs.

Being CEO, though, is a job that Barker said is a dream, and he’s eager to lead Halcyon into its next phase.

“The ability to work day in, day out with people who really just see the world differently and instead of seeing all the obstacles and the problems, see the opportunity and the ways to solve them,” Barker said. “I think that is the reason why I came to Halcyon to begin with and it’s the reason why I’m so thrilled to go on this job.”