Position Description – Director, Coalition for Community Schools


The Director leads a national coalition involving an array of stakeholders from grassroots to grass tops that advocates for the community school strategy. The Director is a leader in the community schools field and is responsible for managing a team of professionals and partners in the implementation of the Coalition for Community School’s strategic plan with the goal of uniting family, school, and community to grow more and more effective community schools. The Director reports to the IEL President and consults with a subset of the Coalition’s Steering Committee.

Essential Duties

The Director is responsible for leading the Coalition’s adaptive strategy, managing Coalition staff, and driving the Coalition’s implementation impact. This work is organized into two domains: an external-facing focus on the field and an internal-facing focus on management of the initiative. Within these two domains, all essential duties are concentrated in seven specific strategic priority areas:

1. Field

Supportive Policy

  • Develop a policy strategy at the federal level in collaboration with lead policy staff.
  • Support networks of local advocates pursuing community schools policy at the state and local levels.
  • Build close relationships with senior policy staff in Congress, the Department of Education, and other federal agencies.

Broad Community Engagement

  • Serve as a national spokesperson for community schools.
  • Guide the Coalition’s communications strategy, media outreach, website, newsletters, social media, special projects, and other tools.
  • Ensure the Coalition’s materials are consistent with its core message.
  • Track and assess the Coalition’s impact addressing national issues that local initiatives are facing.
  • Grow the number of individuals, agencies, and groups that are advocating for community schools.

Capacity Building

  • Guide and participate in the development of tools and resources designed to assist local leaders to grow community schools and community leadership structures to develop and sustain them.
  • Support plan to share capacity building tools and resources with the field.

Collaborative Leadership

  • Develop strong working relationships with leaders of major national partners.
  • Work with partners to facilitate joint efforts to promote community schools and the work of partners across multiple sectors.
  • Oversee a set of learning and action networks (e.g., community school leaders, superintendents, United Ways, coordinators).
  • Establish organized opportunities to meet, facilitate discussions, develop relationships and plans, and provide continuous opportunities for feedback and reflection with leaders of national partners.
  • Direct staff in the development and implementation of key roles, responsibilities, and communications.

Research, Data, and Evaluation

  • Assist with the development of a research agenda for community schools and the creation of partnerships to support and implement research and evaluation projects in close coordination with the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Director of Institutional Advancement.
  • Support specific research projects consistent with the Coalition’s mission of creating more and more effective community schools.
  • Create policy and practice recommendations informed by relevant data, results, and stories from local community school initiatives.

2. Management

Finance and Resource Development

  • Develop and maintain—in coordination with the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Director of Institutional Advancement—contacts with foundations, corporations and other potential funders to ensure financial stability of the Coalition.
  • Secure and track the diversification of funding for the core components of the Coalition.
  • Develop financial plans for additional key activities for the advancement of community schools and alignment with IEL.
  • Develop and manage fee-for-services component.
  • Commit to meeting finance and resource goals and seek alternative funding streams as needed.

Organizational Effectiveness

  • Manage Coalition staff, including leading the team in goal setting with an eye toward accountability, measuring success, and tracking progress toward goals.
  • Build a strong team culture that emphasizes inclusion and engagement.
  • Ensure that all systems and operations function effectively and efficiently.


  • Seven to 10 years of experience in the public or private sector managing high-profile local collaborative initiatives.
  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in directly aligned fields of study.
  • Deep knowledge of community schools policy and practice, experience with the Coalition, and cross-sector collective impact approaches.
  • Experience with community schools at the local, state and/or regional levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage, lead, and act as spokesperson for the Coalition.
  • Experience in communicating effectively with elected officials and senior level policy makers as well as grassroots groups.
  • Demonstrated ability to create sustainability and financing plans and to generate financial resources from varied sources.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain movements.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of equity challenges, and experience in managing challenges in race, gender, LGBTQ identity, age, class, and religion—in both internal and external settings.
  • Ability to plan and organize large and small cross-sector meetings, convenings, and conferences.
  • Able to master the art of building and maintaining relationships with allied partners.
  • Excellent oral and writing skills.
  • Ability to balance listening and speaking.
  • Approaches work with a sense of humility and collaboration.
  • Mobile and willing to travel up to 25% of the time.


$140,000-$165,000 depending on experience and education with competitive benefits.


The primary duty station for this position is Washington, D.C.

To Apply

Email cover letter and resume to Keith Ferguson at FergusonK@iel.org before noon on June 7, 2017.

EEO Statement

The Institute for Educational Leadership is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We consider applicants equally without regard to age, race, gender, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, disability, political affiliation and national origin or any other non-merit based factor. We reasonably accommodate staff members and/or applicants with disabilities, provided they are otherwise able to perform the essential functions of the job.

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