Closed for Review


Catalyst:Ed is looking for an exceptional leader to join our team as Director, K12 Initiatives. In this role, you will help leaders connect with targeted expertise and resources, support collaboration, and shared capacity building among cohorts of organizations, and analyze and synthesize lessons from those interactions into interesting and digestible artifacts for the field. You will also assist in the development and delivery of other new initiatives and work with leaders across the Catalyst:Ed team to build a strong foundation for us to sustain and grow our impact. 

The Strategic Initiatives team leads several content-focused efforts, such as:

  • An Exchange for grantees in the Gates Foundation’s Networks for School Improvement portfolio. Through this work, we support districts and organizations that are leading networked improvement communities with capacity assessments, project matching services, and thought leadership from our unique viewpoint of working across all of the grantees. We recently launched a public-facing resource, The Learning Lab for School Improvement Teams, to leverage the lessons learned from our work with NSIs to benefit schools and systems beyond the NSI portfolio. 
  • Support for the Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Intermediaries for Scale grantees with both an Exchange and backbone support for their community of practice. This means we regularly convene an advisory group, several working groups, periodic topic-focused conversations for all community members, and more. Additionally, we help the IFS develop action plans for their own capability-building efforts and provide project matching services. We also coordinate and convene a network of support partners. 
  • Development of a set of learning and support services for school and system leaders as they build plans for reopening schools, for leveraging and using the infusion of local and federal funds from the American Rescue Plan, and for ensuring that schooling in the future is significantly more student-centered and community-connected than prior to the pandemic.

Additionally, our work grows in new ways every year and these content areas of focus are likely to expand significantly in the coming years.

This position reports to Catalyst:Ed’s Partner for Strategic Initiatives.

Who We Are

Catalyst:Ed is an innovative and rapidly growing national nonprofit that is unlocking the collective expertise in the sector to help education leaders innovate, excel, and scale. 

  • Activate: We identify and activate expert technical assistance providers, building and nurturing diverse networks of expert talent that education leaders can tap into. 
  • Connect: We leverage networks, know-how, and technology to connect education leaders with the right expert support. 
  • Catalyze: We design, develop, and manage Expert Hubs in high-need, high-impact areas (see our DEI Expert Hub
  • Inform: We capture, synthesize, and disseminate critical information to deepen sector knowledge while fostering greater accountability and a focus on results.

Our team is purpose-driven, innovative, and inclusive, with a non-hierarchical and supportive culture where all team members have the opportunity to grow and contribute. Founded and led by a woman of color, Catalyst:Ed is committed to being a space where diversity is valued and all team members are able to bring their full, authentic selves to work.

What You’ll Be Working On:

In this role, you will:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of one or more of the SI-K12 Team Exchanges and Initiatives. This might involve the following:
    • Conducting consultations with grantees to help them assess their needs, and identify capacity-building projects where they can benefit from expert help; develop project scopes based on each organization’s needs, and; oversee the matching process.
    • Providing as-needed advice to grantees and expert providers during the project.
    • Capturing lessons and ensure accountability through the post-project feedback and reflection process.
    • Delivering against plans, with quality, on time, and within budget.  
    • Continuously connecting the dots between people, lessons, and insights to maximize organizational and field-facing learning. 
  • Support collaboration and shared capacity building among cohorts of organizations. This includes:  
    • Designing and executing a programmatic structure for communities of practice
    • Project-managing working groups, webinar series, or other content-related learning activities
  • Project-manage the SI K12 team’s research and knowledge codification efforts in partnership with Catalyst:Ed’s Organizational Learning team. This includes:
    • Developing memos, blog posts, or other papers that synthesize lessons and insights gained through our work supporting organizations capacity-building efforts;
    • Analyzing data from surveys, quarterly check-ins, and/or interviews with organizations and experts to provide guidance and insight into our work internally and externally;
    • Providing research and program development support for new partnerships and initiatives.
  • Be a strong and collaborative team member to help us continue to innovate and grow our organization 
    • Identify and take action to create synergies across the K12 and Postsecondary arms of the Strategic Initiatives team, as well as with the broader Catalyst:Ed organization.
    • Work with the team to solve day-to-day concerns, innovate solutions, and design improvements.
    • Support the leadership team in creating a vibrant and inclusive team culture, and developing the systems and processes needed to support the work.

Who We’re Looking For:

We urge you to apply if this mostly describes you:

  • Operational excellence: You’re able to plan, execute to plan, and get things done. You have experience leading complex projects with multiple work streams and tight deadlines. You demonstrate attention to detail and consistent follow-through. 
  • Strategic thinking: You can quickly analyze complex and ambiguous situations and challenges and determine what needs to be done and how. You have deployed this skill across multiple contexts, either in a consulting role (internal or external) or through your leadership experiences in different organizations or teams.
  • Service orientation: You seek ways to be helpful and add value to others and know how to build strong relationships. You have experience working with external partners or clients and can quickly establish trust.
  • Self-confident integrity: You are grounded in your values and are able to influence others without relying on hierarchy or positional authority. 
  • Strong communication skills: You communicate effectively and write with clarity. 
  • Ownership: You’re a highly motivated self-starter and have proven experience bringing projects from concept to completion, persevering in the face of challenges, and doing everything possible to ensure project success.

Education and experience:

  • 7+ years of professional experience with progressive levels of leadership responsibility
  • 3+ years of experience in K-12 educational contexts
  • The ideal candidate will have some of these experiences:
    • experience with K-12 school-facing support
    • experience supporting engaging and purposeful communities of practice
    • experience managing large and complex projects with multiple stakeholders
    • experience in a client-facing consulting role, ideally within the education, philanthropy, or nonprofit sector. 

Good to Know

  • Watch this video to learn more about the team and position.
  • Location: Catalyst:Ed works nationally, with an office in New Orleans. Partners can work from a location of their choosing. Occasional travel (once a month) may be required when travel restrictions and public health standards allow.
  • Compensation: This is a full-time, salaried position with full health benefits (medical, dental, and vision) and a generous 403(b) plan with up to a 5% match. Compensation is commensurate with experience. Salary range: $88,000-$100,000
  • Start date: ASAP (some flexibility for the right candidates).

How to apply

Applications are now closed for review. All applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Catalyst:Ed has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.