President – Position Specification

Position President
Company Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL)
Location Washington, DC
Reporting Relationship Board of Directors



The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has a deep 57-year history of partnering with and preparing leaders to advocate for justice by building relationships with communities across the United States. Through the years, IEL has helped shape policy, strengthen equitable practices, and amplify advocacy and leadership, in efforts to liberate communities from the destructive forces of structural racism, discrimination, and inequity. This journey has prepared IEL to meet today’s opportunities and challenges with an innovative approach, rooted in community wisdom. At this defining moment for our country, IEL is poised to boldly advocate for communities in need and nurture leadership and growth at all levels.

IEL is highly regarded by policymakers, administrators, practitioners, and communities as a catalyst that disrupts bureaucratic silos and removes barriers to improve outcomes for all young people and their families. With a multi-generational, multi-disciplinary, and cross-sector approach, IEL bridges connections between families, schools, and communities; defines national and state policies in education and workforce development; assists practitioners to implement best practices; and equips communities with valuable tools and pathways to self-advocacy and active leadership.

IEL is home to an array of programs and networks that continue to create impact in hundreds of communities including the Education Policy Fellowship Program, the Center for Workforce Development, the Coalition for Community Schools, and the Family and Community Engagement network, to name a few. The common threads running through all IEL’s work is the focus on inclusion and equity, their community-driven development approach, and their service to the most marginalized populations in the nation including communities of color, people with disabilities, and financially stressed communities.

Today, IEL is viewed as a trusted leadership organization that serves as a force for building learning and action networks that enable communities across the United States to thrive in the face of the significant challenges of today and those yet to come.



For IEL, this past year has been a journey of introspection, reflection, growth and lasting impact. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and our nation’s reckoning with social injustice, IEL has served as a true thought partner and leader in addressing inequities with low-income communities, communities of color, and people living with disabilities that have been disproportionately affected by serious disparities in education and employment. To this end, IEL has further invested in the development of racial justice initiatives; co-designed interventions with community-driven leaders nationwide; and defined IEL’s internal culture as one that strives for inclusivity, shared decision making and cohesion. Overall, IEL’s staff and board have strategically positioned the organization to be on stronger, more stable financial footing with more diversified funding in place and a resolute focus on the future.

To meet this moment in time, the next President of IEL will bring a visionary and forward-leaning mindset to partner with a unified and hardworking team of 24 that actively champions and strives to create the conditions for justice, equity, peace, and belonging in our country. As an education advocate, systems-change thinker, and creative collaborator, IEL’s President will forge a path forward that ensures IEL’s lasting community impact, a unified team and high performing team, and long-term financial growth.

Building on IEL’s legacy, the President will carry forward the organization’s steadfast commitment to excellence in preparing, mobilizing, and supporting innovative leaders within 400+ communities.

Collectively, IEL’s President, Board, and staff will create ecosystems of collaboration and will:

  • Broaden and deepen leadership development efforts, building on institutional knowledge, prioritizing community voice and needs, and fostering innovation.
  • Co-create community-driven solutions tailored to local contexts through collaborative and adaptive leadership practices that leverage community resources and opportunities for systems transformation and capacity building.
  • Oversee the organization’s $8M budget and work across constituencies to ensure coherent and robust strategy and implementation.
  • Diversify IEL’s funding streams, leveraging all potential avenues, including, but not limited to, philanthropy and fee-for-service models.
  • Cultivate inclusive and equitable policies and sustainable practices that foster better results for children, youth, and adults by working alongside communities through a place-based strategy.
  • Foster cross-sector collaboration through local, state, and national networks.



  • IEL scales promising practices through data, research, and evaluation of local, state, and national data and indicators to support local strategies and decision-making processes toward more equitable outcomes. For example, Project I4 is leveraging its work with a key group of school and districts leadership. IEL is pairing the data they have collected to combine the roles of instructional leadership and equity building.
  • IEL elevates and prioritizes family and community engagement in education by building relationships with leaders in over 250 school districts nation-wide through district leadership networks, learning labs, webinars, and other capacity building opportunities.
  • IEL supports a national network of over 10,000 education policy focused leaders through our nationally recognized Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP™), increasing leaders’ understanding of local, state, and federal policy making and implementation.
  • IEL emboldens collaborative community development through the Coalition for Community Schools which mobilizes local, state, and national leaders to scale quality Community Schools.
  • IEL incubates and leads initiatives focused on increasing access to the economy and economic mobility for youth with disabilities, through the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP); juvenile justice involved youth through Right Turn Program; and rural communities through our Appalachian network.
  • With funding from the DC Developmental Disabilities Council, IEL provides access to training through DC Advocacy Partners, a free nine-month leadership training program designed to develop and train self-advocates, family members of individuals with intellectual and/or development disabilities, and professionals working with people with disabilities in the policymaking, influencing and implementing processes.
  • IEL elevates youth voices in decision making at all levels, supporting entrepreneurship and leadership development through Leaders of Tomorrow, The Florida Youth Council, Youth & Civic Engagement Initiative, and national Next Generation Coalition.


In partnership with IEL’s passionate staff and dedicated board, the President will advance work centered on leadership and capacity-building in communities that ensures leaders have confidence to exercise their own power and collaborate across boundaries. IEL also helps to build movements and promote policies and practices that prepare children, youth, adults for learning, careers, and family and civic life.

The President serves as a thought leader in the space and represents IEL with national, state, and local education organizations and leaders, community-based organizations, national public and private organizations, business, and funder communities. With the Board and staff, the President supports and strengthens IEL’s strategic initiatives and expands the organization’s reach by creating new opportunities.

IEL’s next President will provide leadership in the following areas:


Collaborative, Participatory and Visionary Leadership

  • Provides visionary, inspirational and democratized leadership within a learning organization.
  • Promotes and models distributive leadership principles for a more transparent and inclusive organization.
  • Develops equity-focused systems and change strategies consistent with the IEL
  • Ensures team development by identifying and nurturing the unique talents of staff across all levels of the organization.
  • Practices and promotes open communication with all staff and builds a team culture that values relational trust and mutual respect.
  • Develops and regularly updates the IEL strategic
  • Facilitates cross-program collaboration within IEL to enhance organizational capacity and impact.

Fundraising and External Relations

  • With support from the Board, advances IEL’s financial positioning by cultivating strong relationships and securing gifts from individual, government, foundation, and corporate donors.
  • Leads overall institutional advancement efforts, including general support for IEL’s core functions and new IEL initiatives.
  • Supports senior IEL staff in raising funds to sustain and grow existing and new strategies, including alternate program models such as fee-for-service.
  • Cultivates relationships and partnerships across the field, inclusive of collaboration with peer organizations, with key leaders and with a wide variety of community members.
  • Represents IEL in key national forums and in significant national debates on education and education related policy.

Financial Oversight

  • Oversees financial policies and goals that maintain the fiscal integrity of the organization.
  • Ensures transparency and regular communication with the Board of Directors regarding financial planning, oversight, and financial decision-making.
  • Works with the Board’s Audit and Finance Committee to ensure fulfillment of all fiduciary

Board of Directors and Governance

  • Maintains a transparent relationship with the Board and works collaboratively to set IEL’s strategic direction and policies.
  • Serves as a liaison between Board and staff, and by extension, the communities that IEL serves.
  • Supports the Board in carrying out its fiduciary and oversight responsibilities.
  • Recruits new Board members in partnership with the Governance Committee.

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Cultivates new strategic partnerships and strengthens existing relationships in the field to support IEL’s mission and collective impact.
  • Enhances IEL’s human resource development and talent management function. Partners on leadership development strategies across the organization including the professional development of staff.
  • Increases the visibility of IEL’s vision, mission, and programs.


Joining IEL at a pivotal and exciting moment in the organization’s history, the President will bring an authentic passion for education, a builder’s mindset, and an innovator’s approach. This person will serve as the chief champion, spokesperson, and advocate for inclusive leadership in education.

They will lift up racial equity, disability inclusion and economic justice to realize IEL’s vision of full human belonging, the belief that love is essential and that we have the tools to work together to dismantle white supremacy and all other forms of oppression.

IEL’s President will be an individual that possesses the following:

  • Professional experience in education, cradle-to-career, workforce development and/or related field.
  • Proven track record for team building in a highly productive organization with success in attracting, developing, motivating, and retaining a diverse staff.
  • Ability to scale the organization to its full potential and beyond.
  • Proven management and business acumen within an organization of similar scale and complexity as IEL. A deep understanding of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization finance and operations is
  • Experience in efforts aimed at building equity, changing systems, and advancing policies and practices on anti-racism.
  • Deep commitment to disability inclusion across the US and passion for supporting leaders that will implement best practices and policy changes.
  • High level of cultural competency and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Entrepreneurial and forward-thinking mindset.
  • A passion for education or workforce development; thought leadership and credibility in the field, and the ability to work with diverse constituencies across education, workforce development, and complementary sectors from grassroots to grass tops.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a strategic plan.
  • Experience monitoring and measuring the impact of an organization’s overall strategy; knows how to achieve balance between strategy and
  • Exceptional relationship management skills.
  • Experience in successful fundraising and capacity building, ideally from a diversity of sources: government, corporations, foundations, and
  • Strong public speaking, community engagement, partnership building and a proven ability to engage and influence a wide range of individuals and diverse
  • Strong professional ethics, transparency, integrity, and accountability in all actions.


  • As research demonstrates that education requirements can be a deterrent for qualified candidates to apply and can perpetuate gender and racial disparities, we have made the decision to not require candidates to demonstrate a specific degree or level of academic certification. Instead, we encourage all candidates with the professional experiences, values, and skills outlined in this position specification to apply.


  • IEL is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity for all persons without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, disability, military status, marital or parental status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, source of income, place of business or residence, pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions, or otherwise as may be prohibited by District and Federal laws.


  • A competitive compensation package will be made available to the successful candidate.

Please email for inquiries or to express interest in the role,




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