Executive Director

POSITION DESCRIPTION

THE CHALLENGE

Over the last decade, the District has seen significant educational investments, including universal pre-K, high per-pupil funding rates, and a robust array of programmatic offerings across both DCPS and public charter schools. Such investments have led to important improvements in the lives of the District’s young people; however, we have yet to achieve system-wide progress. Still, too many children are entering school not fully ready to learn, are academically off track, fail to graduate from high school, or are inadequately prepared to succeed in college or in the workforce. As students bring to the classrooms the full weight of their lived experiences, we know that schools alone cannot meet their needs and that isolated efforts will not radically transform the futures for the children in DC.
 


THE OPPORTUNITY AND ORGANIZATION

Leading with the core belief that adults across multiple sectors bear a shared responsibility for student success, Raise DC spurs citywide action to improve educational outcomes for Washington, DC, children and youth, from birth through age 24. As a leader in guiding cradle-to-career change, the organization convenes public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders and uses data to guide effective practices that ensure every child has opportunities to succeed. Raise DC is a partner of the collective impact network StriveTogether, based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Greater Washington Community Foundation serves as Raise DC’s fiscal sponsor, supporting daily operations with human capital and infrastructure.

Raise DC's work throughout the city supports five citywide goals as DC youth transition along the cradle-to-career continuum. Raise DC envisions a District of Columbia in which:

  • Every child is prepared for kindergarten.
  • Every child graduates from high school.
  • Every youth who is not in school reconnects to education/training.  
  • Every youth attains a postsecondary credential.
  • Every youth is prepared for a career.

These five goals are ambitious, yet Raise DC and its numerous "grasstops" and "grassroots" partners have a shared responsibility to staying the course for DC's young people, implementing a blend of policy, planning, and practice to achieve these goals. On the ground, this work is guided by continuous improvement, through established core, contributing, and monitoring indicators that serve as ongoing metrics. The organization’s “Change Networks” – working groups comprised of private industry, philanthropic partners, nonprofits, and government agencies – meet regularly to coordinate efforts and track progress toward these indicators. The Raise DC Leadership Council, consisting of multi-sector public champions, monitors Raise DC’s progress; influences the alignment of resources; implements strategy; and addresses financial, policy, and structural barriers.

 

THE Position

Raise DC is seeking an Executive Director who can lead citywide change by guiding cradle-to-career growth through: outreach to and influence with an increasing number of high-level stakeholders, management and support of a growing team committed to citywide progress, and design and implementation of an expanded array of targeted interventions to drive greater impact.

 

Key Responsibilities

Fostering shared citywide accountability:

  • Creates and cultivates trusted relationships with community stakeholders, including leaders in education, business, nonprofit, philanthropic, and civic sectors to support the priority actions/strategies and common agenda of the collective impact partnership.
  • Builds strong professional connections with leadership at key agencies and organizations, including but not limited to: DC Public Schools (DCPS), DC Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB), the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME).
  • Grows close working relationships with full Leadership Council, in order to better leverage expertise and connections; ensures Leadership Council is equipped with the tools and information to serve as thoughtful and knowledgeable spokespeople for the work.
  • Cultivates connections and further develops already-strong relationships that allow Raise DC to become a voice in the education community.
  • Represents Raise DC and serves as the point of contact for national networks of cradle-to-career partnerships, including StriveTogether’s Accelerator funding and technical assistance.
  • Manages relationship with Raise DC’s fiscal sponsor, the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
     

Championing progress toward improved outcomes:

  • Ensures data access (whether through government or independent MOUs) to track citywide progress and inform strategies.
  • Creates and implements strategies and action plans related to advocacy – both for Raise DC as a whole and individual Change Networks.
  • Works with staff and leadership to develop high-level strategic plans for each goal-focused stream of work and the partnership as a whole.
  • Collaborates with Data Manager to develop benchmarks and track progress toward Raise DC’s goals.
     

Ensuring a strong core:

  • Manages a team of core staff that works in coordination with Leadership Council and co-chairs to achieve Raise DC’s goals and desired educational outcomes.
  • Plans, coordinates, and oversees the daily operations of Raise DC, including working with staff to develop detailed work plans and providing support and oversight.
  • Authors and executes an annual fundraising plan to secure backbone financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations; creates and executes a strategy for an adequate sustained and diversified base of donors; writes and tracks proposals and reports for all fundraising to ensure financial stability of the city’s cradle-to-career backbone function.
  • Continues to build Raise DC core staff to support and grow work toward its five high-level goals, including prioritizing needs, recruiting, hiring, supporting, and developing talent of staff.
  • Applies an equity lens to all operations.
  • Develops multi-year operating budget.

     

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of Washington, DC, and its many communities and neighborhoods, including assets, challenges, and historical experiences preferred.
  • Ability to build coalitions/systems to achieve specific community-level outcomes with a focus on equity.
  • Strategic decision-maker who generates innovative ideas and solutions with the ability to multitask, due to the wide variety of concurrent work streams and iterative nature of collective impact.
  • Demonstrated success in organizational development, continuous improvement, strategic planning, consensus building, and management of: people, change, projects, processes, and budgets (including within the $700K - $1M range).
  • Leadership experience, including staff teams, consultants, and participation in senior management teams, goal setting and performance assessment, planning and reporting, and staff development.
  • Stellar communications skills, including speaking/presentation and writing skills; ability to communicate complex programmatic information to multiple audiences, including funders.
  • A minimum of 5-10 years of experience, with increasing responsibility in working across sectors.
  • Good sense of humor; entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Compensation and Benefits

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. This position offers excellent benefits, including health and dental coverage; vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement benefits; and a flexible spending account.

 

Application Instructions

Please submit your resume and cover letter, including salary requirements, to edsearch@raisedc.org. No phone calls, please.

 

Raise DC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status, or other status protected by law.