Vice President, External Affairs (Chicago, IL)

Please note: Applications for the Vice President, External Affairs role for Chicago/Northwest Indiana are being accepted through On-Ramps at . Please submit your application through that link directly.

The Role

Teach For America's Chicago-Northwest Indiana Regional Team seeks a Vice President, External Affairs to set the vision and direction for how the region will create and leverage partnerships (e.g., financial, private and public institutions, community support etc.) in order to deliver on its mission of ending educational inequity. In partnership with the Executive Director, Regional Board, TFA's National Development Team and a high-performing team of his/her own, the VP, External Affairs will design and lead a plan to raise $12M annually while also creating a sustainable fundraising pathway for the next 3-5 years. The VP, External Affairs will also partner with members of TFA's National Public Affairs and Marketing Teams (along with regional leaders) to define an effective communications strategy and re-articulate TFA's story; capturing the evolving nature of its theory of change and the dynamic interests of its external partners. As a member of the Regional Leadership Team, this critical role will also work closely with other local leaders to strengthen TFA's overall program and culture. This is an ideal opportunity for someone with a proven fundraising track record to expand the breadth of his/her work and become part of a team that's high- performing, inclusive, and united around the shared vision of eliminating educational inequity.

The Team

Teach For America's (TFA) mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize the nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence. The Vice President, External Affairs position is part of TFA's Chicago-Northwest Indiana Regional Team where there exists an ever-expanding local network of nearly 3,300 leaders, including 1,500 TFA teachers, 100 school leaders, and 70 regional staff members. The Chicago-Northwest Indiana Regional Team views talent as a top priority and has set a clear vision for its team: it will build a strong and enduring organization with a thriving, inclusive and unified culture among a diverse staff of talented leaders for educational equity who are effective, culturally competent and committed for the long haul.



Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Fundraising (~50% of time)

  • Create a multi-year development plan and annual operating plans in order to chart the course to TFA's fundraising goals
  • Set ambitious yet feasible revenue, donor retention, and acquisition benchmarks to achieve both immediate (current FY) and long-term (next 3-5 years) development goals
  • Evaluate and assess the effectiveness of donor stewardship strategies, and leverage best practices and other innovative solutions to improve donor retention and satisfaction
  • Partner with the ED and Regional Board to define and execute against key cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship priorities
  • Manage a portfolio of donors to increase donor renewal and upgrade rates by assessing motivations and barriers and leveraging key influencers to build a strong relationship between donors and TFA
  • Oversee regional grant reporting in collaboration with TFA's National Development Team
  • Develop systems to track progress, streamline communication, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of team execution (i.e., donor and stewardship tracking, data management, meeting prep and downloads, and gift processing systems)

External Affairs (~25% of time)

  • In partnership with the ED, creatively and effectively craft and tell the story of Teach For America's intent and impact in Chicago and Northwest Indiana
  • Collaborate with TFA's National Public Affairs team and the Manager, Communications to design marketing and communications efforts aimed to attract, engage, and retain regional partners, donors, and alumni
  • Engage key stakeholders (including alumni) as donors, volunteers and advocates to help create the conditions to attract and retain talented, diverse and committed individuals to work in Chicago and Northwest Indiana schools
  • Design and implement a government affairs strategy that results in sustainable public funding from Chicago, Northwest Indiana and/or the State of Illinois and the State of Indiana

People Management and Regional Leadership (~25% of time)

  • Manage a team of 6 full-time staff to execute operational plans and ensure achievement of goals
  • Coach and develop staff members to grow professionally and maximize their impact
  • Assess progress on goals regularly and adjust course as necessary
  • Serve on Regional Leadership Team tasked with setting strategic direction, performance management, cross-functional collaboration, and building the culture of the largest TFA regional staff across the country (70 total staff members)
  • Support region-wide initiatives such as corps member selection, regional events, and professional development programming


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

Prior Experience

  • Bachelor's degree required, master's preferred
  • 10+ years of work experience; a track record of fundraising multi-million dollar campaigns strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of the philanthropic landscape in Chicago-Northwest Indiana preferred
  • Experience with direct team management preferred


  • Exceptional strategic and critical thinking skills, specifically an ability to think big, generate ideas and implement solutions to complex problems
  • Ability to set and evolve team vision/direction and manage team execution toward high quality results
  • Track record of coaching and developing staff members and building a strong and inclusive team culture
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills with an ability to convey complex ideas concisely and compellingly to a range of external audiences
  • Ability to build strong relationships with others in challenging situations
  • A keen understanding of the beliefs, motivations and contexts of others as well as the ability to influence key stakeholders toward meaningful outcomes
  • Impeccable ethical standards and an uncommon level of personal responsibility in driving towards ambitious goals
  • Agility and endurance to navigate a large, complex national organization and competitive landscape
  • Passion for TFA's mission, believes deeply in the importance of inspiring/investing external people in TFA's work, and has high expectations for how TFA is viewed by external constituents

Apply Now

Applications for the Vice President, External Affairs role for Chicago/Northwest Indiana are being accepted through On-Ramps at Please submit your application through that link directly.

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

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:

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.

Meet Some of Teach For America's Employees

Aimée B.

Manager, Teacher Leadership Development

Aimée supports new corps members, helping TFA’s first and second year teachers navigate the classroom and successfully educate students.

Jace G.

Director, Finance & Strategy

Jace manages TFA’s expenses and fundraising, and he uses data to build spending and growth strategies that will maximize TFA’s impact for students.

Back to top