MD, Chief of Staff (Flexible; NYC, Washington, DC preferred)
The Chief of Staff supports, catalyzes, and serves as a member of the Org-wide Learning and Strategy (OWLS) leadership team (LT) (the other members are the team Senior Vice President and the four subteam Vice President leads) in designing and executing all of the team's operations and strategic processes; building and maintain a thriving, inclusive team culture that inspires all team members to do their best work and bring their whole selves to the job; and tackling an array of special projects that are critical to the team's impact. In order to support the LT, the CoS will be actively involved in work across the team, lead and coach the heads of functional units within each subteam, manage the team assistant, and serve as a trusted advisor to the team's Senior Vice President and Vice Presidents. Given to the high-stakes nature of this position, this individual must model the core values, have exceptional judgment, and be excellent at solving abstract problems. This role will report directly to the SVP, OWLS.
The Org-Wide Learning and Strategy (OWLS) team is the national team charged with helping TFA grow into a world-class learning organization. OWLS does this by building a cohesive vision for a thriving, self-sufficient learning model encompassing the entire TFA network and then developing and implementing the strategy to achieve that vision. This means evolving data, analysis, and reporting to optimize learning and insights across the organization, creating the infrastructure and processes for all staff to actively contribute to shared learning and innovation, directly conducting research around TFA's most pressing organizational questions and creating a center of excellence in adult learning.
The OWLS team is responsible for the following key functions:
- Developing and driving towards a robust organization-wide learning model that ensures TFA is a true continuous improvement organization and operating at peak organizational effectiveness;
- Determining and effectively measuring key outcomes, shaping the technical systems to capture necessary information; conducting reporting and analysis to share outcomes and influence strategy decisions;
- Empowering all TFA staff members to bring forward innovations and knowledge as well as leverage the current data and learnings to accelerate progress toward our topline organizational goals;
- Building a world-class center of expertise in the art and science of how adults learn, adapt, and change in ways that align with TFA's mission and vision;
- Conducting "deep-dive" analyses of 8-10 TFA regions per year and analyzing the impact of TFA in our communities, the biggest opportunities we can leverage in our external landscape, and glean key findings that can lead to new strategies and innovations;
- Catalyzing organizational learning and development to accelerate progress toward TFA's strategic direction and ensuring regional and national teams are better equipped to shape and align strategy and resources; and
- Building robust knowledge management systems that capture and effectively share all of this knowledge with the TFA network.
Although the OWLS team brings together a mix of previously existing and new teams under one umbrella to align the entire organization around an evolving organization-wide learning agenda. This is a strategic component of a larger reorganization of TFA designed to move away from a centralized national learning model and, instead, leverage the scale and diversity of its network to focus on learning and innovation community-by-community across the nation.
Oversee team-wide strategic planning, execution, and performance reporting (30%)
- Optimize portfolio systems and protocols to ensure a more strategically aligned approach to project intake, prioritization, selection, monitoring, and reporting
- Build systems to track progress toward quarterly and annual goals and to build clarity about work across the team
- Actively solicit input from across the team and partner teams
- Work with OWLS leadership to continuously revisit and edit the OWLS strategic plan
- Draft quarterly updates to illustrate progress toward annual objectives
- Primary point-of-contact for Finance and Human Assets teams
- Manage team assistant, who partially supports organizational performance work
Maximize the impact of the LT by leading the group's planning, communications, and operations (30%)
- Plan meeting and retreat agendas
- Facilitate discussion and create recommendations with the LT to address complex cross-team challenges
- Create systems to track decisions, next steps, and timelines
- Ensure team members are informed about important work and decisions
- Facilitate follow-up when there are implications and dependencies with other teams
- Advise and coach managers across the team
- Manage team assistant, who also provides calendar, travel, and expense support
Lead special projects (20%)
- As time permits, drive or support special initiatives related to OWLS team priorities
Lead culture and communication across the OWLS team (10%)
- Create and implement strategies to create and sustain a thriving culture on OWLS
- Assess the culture and needs of the team (via surveys, one-on-one communication, your own observations, etc.) in order to identify how well we're living into our aspirations for impact and culture, in partnership with the team and functional leaders
- Plan and manage team retreats, in partnership with LT, team members, and assistant
- Design structures and forums to establish effective communications that build understanding, foster open communication, and ensure all voices/perspectives are heard
Lead cross-team Learning & Development (10%)
- Create and implement strategies to ensure team develops, excites, and retains outstanding people
- Identify and implement opportunities for team to develop multicultural competence
- Work with VPs to ensure that each individual has clear learning and development goals that are visible and regularly shared with others
- Create structures and opportunities to ensure team actively helps each other learn and develop, shares strengths and skills, and identifies learning opportunities for others
- 7+ years of work/academic experience in strategy, project management, consulting, or similar roles with outstanding performance/impact
- Previous experience working to improve organizational performance through portfolio management a plus
- Distinctive impact/progression of increasing responsibility in previous work
- Bachelor's degree required, MBA or equivalent preferred
- Complex problem solving and advanced strategic planning
- You run toward problems before others ask you
- You quickly define problems and figure out how to analyze them
- You're comfortable drawing conclusions from quantitative and qualitative information
- You know the fine points of strategic planning
- You recognize strategic plans tell a story; thus, there's not a single "formula" for them
- You enjoy putting together a power point deck and writing a winning memo; you explain things clearly and succinctly
- Operational power house
- You notice and plan for important details
- You know how to move things forward; inaction or a lack of clarity bother you
- You like creating systems and routines; you love when others use the systems you design
- Culture and work leader
- You notice when something is wrong and you do something about it
- You don't shy away from sharing difficult feedback
- You see people's strengths and you strive to develop them
- Your colleagues consider you a coach or a mentor
- You view yourself as a steward of Teach For America
- You also know how and when it's time to move groups forward, even if there's not agreement
- Culturally competent
- Demonstrated cultural competence, critical consciousness, and ability to work across lines of difference
- You notice voices that are missing and bring them into the conversation
- You recognize the impact of your own voice and adjust your participation accordingly
- When you observe privilege or dominant culture holding us back, you do something about it
- Working with colleagues who are based all over the country – using remote technologies (e.g., WebEx)
- Able to travel about once per quarter
To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the link to the online application. For more information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers.
About the Organization
There are more than 16 million children growing up in poverty in the U.S., and less than 10 percent of them will graduate from college. These statistics are not a reflection of our children's potential; we know that children growing up in poverty can and do achieve at the highest levels. Rather, these statistics reflect the systemic lack of access and opportunity for children in low-income communities.
Teach For America (TFA) finds, develops, and supports an ever-expanding network of outstanding and diverse leaders committed to expanding opportunity for children in schools, school systems, and in every sector and field that shapes the context in which schools operate. Representing the diversity of America and sharing the experience of having taught successfully in our most challenging public schools, TFA corps members and alumni form a network of change agents inside and outside of education who are grounded in the tremendous potential of our most underserved children and connected to families and communities impacted by educational inequity.
Founded by Wendy Kopp in 1989, Teach For America has since expanded to 36 states and 53 regions, reaching more than 10 million students. Now 53,000 strong and growing each year, the TFA community is leading across all sectors, including as teachers, school and school system leaders, elected officials, policy and advocacy organizers, social entrepreneurs, and business and civic leaders. We support the individual and collective leadership of this network as they work hand-in-hand with students, families, and allies in the effort to realize educational equity and excellence for children across the nation.
Our Core Values:
Our core values define who we are at our best and guide our work together.
- Pursue Equity: We work to change practices, structures, and policies to realize educational equity for all children. As we do so, we actively examine our roles in perpetuating inequitable systems.
- Strengthen Community: We assume responsibility for our collective strength by developing relationships, building diverse and inclusive coalitions, and challenging one another to be our best. We act with empathy and extend grace to ourselves and others.
- Achieve Impact: We pursue ambitious, meaningful outcomes that lead to access and opportunity for all children. We hold ourselves to high standards, make data-informed decisions, and orient to long-term success.
- Choose Courage: We act on our beliefs and values, especially when it's hard. We center our efforts on the aspirations of our students and their families.
- Act with Humility: We acknowledge the limitations of our perspectives. We seek different points of view and historical context to evolve our thinking and actions.
- Demonstrate Resilience: We see every challenge as an opportunity to think expansively about solutions. When faced with obstacles, we deepen our resolve, adapt, and persist with optimism.
- Learn Continuously: We operate with curiosity and embrace new ideas to innovate and constantly improve. We take informed risks and learn from successes, setbacks, and each other.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness at the Center of Our Mission
At Teach For America, we aspire to embody the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness we envision for our nation. Unequal access to opportunity along lines of race, class, and other aspects of identity has deep roots in American history, and institutional racism and classism contribute to inequitable access to educational opportunity in our country today. Therefore, understanding race, class, and the intersectional nature of oppression along these and other lines is critical to eliminating educational inequity and creating an education system in which all students can flourish.
Realizing educational equity and excellence will take a broad and diverse coalition of people—of diverse races, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, political views, and other aspects of identity and spheres of influence—united around a common purpose and shared values. We know that the change effort must be shaped by those of us who are most directly impacted by educational inequity. We also know that progress is only possible if each of us works effectively across lines of difference—with students, parents, partners, and each other—and if each of us understands and leverages the assets we bring to this work based on our identities and life experiences.
This understanding guides our strategy as we pursue our mission, and impacts how we allocate resources to recruit, select, train, support, retain, and engage corps members, alumni, and staff. In all we do, we act on the following beliefs.
→ Diversity is crucial for successful change efforts and is one of Teach For America's greatest strengths.
→ The full potential of our diverse network will be reached only when we are an inclusive community.
→ The predictability of success or failure for our students or individuals in our organization should not correlate with any social, cultural or other identity-based factors.
In striving to grow as individuals who lead with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusiveness, we focus on:
- Understanding of self and self in relation to others. We examine our worldview and experiences to understand how they're influenced by power, privilege, oppression, and biases. As we deepen our understanding of self in relation to others, we seek out diverse perspectives and experiences to challenge our assumptions and expand our perspectives.
- Understanding and interrupting systemic racism, classism, and other forms of oppression. We understand that our society and education system have been shaped by multiple forms of oppression, in particular racism and classism. We understand the role and impact of unconscious bias in establishing low expectations for children's capabilities, and we also see this play out in the workplace. Therefore, we commit to work together `to envision and implement new ways of operating that disrupt these systems and practices.
- Working toward equity. We leverage this understanding to surface and interrupt inequitable practices in our schools as well as within our organization. In classrooms, we are committed to ensuring all students have the necessary resources, supports, and academic preparation they need to ensure full agency in their lives. In our organization, we're committed to allocating our resources and setting organizational policies, systems, and practices to reduce and eliminate gaps in experience and outcomes by demographic group.
- Building inclusive coalitions. We recruit and retain a corps and staff that reflects the inclusive coalition we need representing our nation. Simultaneously, we ensure those of us who have faced educational inequity shape our direction. We intentionally build authentic relationships across lines of difference; facilitate honest and productive conflict among diverse groups; create structures, policies, and processes that enable this effort; and value the diversity of ideas and perspectives required in this effort.
Benefits and Salary
Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. Learn more at www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/employee-benefits.
Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff: www.teachforamerica.org/about-us/careers/life-at-tfa/workforce-diversity-and-inclusiveness.
Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.
This job description reflects Teach For America's assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.
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