The Education Trust, a national organization based in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to forever closing the achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from other students, is seeking an Executive Director for its California office, The Education Trust–West (ETW).
Based in Oakland and reporting to the President, Kati Haycock, the ETW Executive Director oversees all areas of the West Coast work. The position calls for a strategic leader with deep knowledge about education in California and a passion for the organization’s mission. The person must have strong managerial skills, be a proven fundraiser, have the ability to motivate and work with diverse stakeholders, and have the capacity to create and nurture effective partnerships and alliances.
The Education Trust
The Education Trust promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels—pre-kindergarten through college. Our goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign far too many young people—especially those who are black, Latino, American Indian, or from low-income families—to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
Regardless of where we work, the Ed Trust maintains a relentless focus on improving the education of all students, particularly those who have traditionally been left behind. The Ed Trust carries out its mission in the following ways:
The Education Trust has approximately 65 employees and an operating budget of $14 million.
- We work alongside educators, parents, students, policymakers, and civic and business leaders in communities across the country, providing practical assistance in their efforts to transform schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well.
- We analyze local, state, and national data and use what we learn to help build broader understanding of achievement and opportunity gaps and the actions necessary to close them.
- We participate actively in national and state policy debates, bringing lessons learned from on-the-ground work and from unflinching data analyses to build the case for policies that will help all students and schools reach high levels of achievement.
The Education Trust–West
The Education Trust–West was established in 2001 as a California-based arm of the Education Trust. Ed Trust–West currently employs 15 staff members who engage in analysis, advocacy, and outreach to schools and related organizations around the state. Ed Trust–West is a growing organization, with a current annual operating budget of $2.8 million.
Ed Trust–West has a talented, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff with experience in a wide variety of domains: K-12 schools and districts, postsecondary education, government, advocacy, and community-based organizations. Our insistence on high academic achievement for all students at all levels pre-K-16, our teamwork with local education and community activists, and our single-minded attention to what is best for students – especially low-income students and students of color – sets us apart from many other education advocacy groups.
The Ed Trust–West is divided into five primary operational areas:
The Education Trust–West also solicits input from its Allies for Equity Council, which consists of civil rights, education, public policy, business, and community leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to educational equity. Council members act as ambassadors, advocates, and allies to help expand and deepen the influence of the organization by providing access to new alliances and critical funding sources that help ETW drive forward with a bold education reform agenda that illuminates the magnitude of the achievement gap in education, challenges the status quo on behalf of children, and empowers our diverse California communities.
- External Relations, which sustains relationships with the press, statewide civil rights and education reform organizations, community-based organizations, business, supporters, and individual or family donors to better inform, empower, and mobilize stakeholders throughout the state;
- Research and Policy Analysis, which analyzes data and produces research reports and presentations, and examines state and local policy proposals and initiatives that affect low-income students, English learners, and students of color;
- Policy and Government Relations, which uses the Ed Trust–West’s research and analysis to advocate for state policy proposals that improve educational opportunities and close the achievement gap;
- Equity Initiatives, which works closely with school districts on the effective and equitable implementation of initiatives to improve student access to college and career; and
- Planning, Grants and Administration, which manages the strategic planning process, budget preparation and tracking, grant writing and administration for all major foundations grants, and overall operations.
California has some of the largest achievement gaps for low-income students and students of color in the nation. After years of catastrophic budget cuts, California’s education system is emerging from the downturn into a new era of growth. The passage of multiple initiatives including the Common Core and Local Control Funding Formula have the potential to help close achievement and opportunity gaps if implemented equitably. With its existing financial support and strong national reputation, Ed Trust–West has an outstanding opportunity to secure its position as a vital resource for the State of California during these difficult times; a trusted bridge between community leaders, educators, and policy makers; and a proactive resource for innovative, effective solutions for improving education through low-cost initiatives.
The successful Executive Director will become known as a relentless and effective advocate for what is right for California’s kids – especially those who are poor or of color – and a trusted peer to legislators, nonprofit leaders, and educators working across the state. By establishing a reputation as a thought leader with a clear, compelling message about the long-term social and economic benefits of closing the achievement gap, s/he has an opportunity to help government leaders and educators transform the education system and provide a uniformly outstanding education to all students in California.
Qualifications and Experience
- Effectively work with a range of partners – legislators, educational leaders, practitioners, and other advocacy organizations – to shape and influence policy and promote improved practices in education throughout California.
- Provide clear direction and effective oversight of a coherent and collaborative California team to ensure that the office’s work is aligned with its strategic plan as well as the strategic plan of the national office and state offices, where appropriate.
- Maintain good funder relations through effective project management and actively seek and obtain new sources of funding for ETW’s work.
- Oversee all areas of operation for Ed Trust–West, including leadership and development of staff; fundraising and budget management; and research, data analysis, policy development, and communications.
- Communicate effectively and regularly with the Ed Trust’s national office and state offices to ensure that all offices are informed and supportive of one another’s activities.
- Develop and sustain productive working relationships with state-level policymakers.
- Strategically guide the dissemination of ETW’s work for maximum impact through a variety of media.
- Effectively develop talent and ensure a healthy and productive organizational culture.
- Serve as an ambassador for The Education Trust and Education Trust–West at external meetings, conferences, events, panels and other messaging opportunities to continue to advocate on behalf of students.
- Lead by example through ongoing improvement in skills and abilities.
The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications and characteristics:
- Experience as a senior leader in a non-profit or educational institution.
- Extensive knowledge of policy, ideally focused on education, at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Passionate commitment to the mission of the Ed Trust–West.
- An ability to transform broad imperatives into organizational systems and policies and to define and articulate a clear plan to guide a growing organization.
- An open, respectful management style; a proven ability to work collaboratively with peers and staff members in a team-based environment.
- Strong attention to detail but also an ability to think strategically; exceptional decision-making, analytical, and planning skills.
- Strong understanding of communication tools available for disseminating messages across broad constituencies.
- A proven commitment to diversity and a strong commitment to staff development.
- Strong knowledge of California education and systems.
- The capacity to interact with and write and speak effectively to many audiences.
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.