About Education First
Education First is a mission-driven education policy consultancy dedicated to ensuring that all students – and particularly students in poverty and students of color – are prepared for success in college, career and life. We work with organizations that are shaping the future of P-16 education across the nation, including school networks and districts, state departments of education, policy and advocacy organizations, youth empowerment organizations, talent organizations and funders. We help these leaders:
- Develop powerful strategies and policies by supporting nonprofit strategic planning, policy analysis & development, and educator & stakeholder engagement
- Build collaborative networks by leading communities of practice, working groups and convenings
- Design and implement effective programs by supporting research & evaluation, program design, and implementation efforts
We are a team of more than 50 former teachers, district and state education leaders, policy advisors, and grantmakers in over 20 different states. Because of our experience, we approach the challenges our clients face with humility, realistic solutions and a commitment to follow-through. We also know that achieving our vision means asking tough questions about structural racism and more deliberately engaging diverse voices in problem-solving. Our Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) strategy details our commitment to building staff, organizational and client capacity to lead on issues of equity.
Our culture is built on genuine care for our clients and each other. We celebrate original thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and fun.
Education First is seeking a Consultant to join the Effective Organizations and Investments team, one of three teams aligned to our Focus Areas, to bring their unique perspectives and skills that will add to our culture as we grow. Consultants direct the overall work of client engagements, managing project teams and client relationships and ensuring on-time, high-quality deliverables. The primary responsibilities of the Consultant are:
- Develop and execute on project work plans according to client needs and budget constraints
- Adapt project plans to reflect changes in project requirements while adhering to the budget and meeting client goals and deadlines
Team and Client Relationships
- Build and manage inclusive project teams that support members in experiencing positive professional growth
- Develop relationships with high-profile clients in the education field and support district, organizational and state teams that may include CEOs, foundation grantee leaders, chief state school officers, district superintendents and other stakeholder group leaders as well as key implementation leads and educators
- Design and facilitate client meetings and internal project team meetings
Ensuring Quality Service & Deliverables
- Lead teams in providing a range of strategic services to clients, including:
- identifying and designing healthy organizational practices
- analysis of education policy options and directions
- strategic planning and strategy design
- grantmaking for impact, with a focus on serving students furthest from opportunity
- program design
- qualitative research and benchmarking
- Work collaboratively with project team members to produce client deliverables such as: presentations, policy memos, positioning and communications options, briefs, reports and strategy documents.
Experience & Qualifications
- 6+ years of experience in the education field, including working on school change, systems change and/or education policy to improve P-16 education outcomes (e.g. in non-profits, foundations, philanthropic organizations, state boards/departments of education, school districts, or other major education systems/networks)
- 2+ years of project management experience, including juggling several projects at once, developing work plans, maintaining project budgets, managing risks and meeting deadlines and targets
- Developed client service and client communication skills, including clear synthesis and analysis of complex information, development of clear and focused findings in various deliverable formats, and effective meeting facilitation
- Expertise in applying principles of anti-racism, inclusion, diversity and equity to organizational and systems change work
- Experience cultivating strong and trusted relationships among diverse team members, clients and other stakeholder groups
Who You Are
- You are committed to the vision of a more equitable education system in the U.S. and to examining the role of privilege, structural barriers and inclusion in changing the trajectories of students furthest from opportunity
- You are able to lead through ambiguity to create clear structures, resourcefully solve problems, anticipate and adjust for the unexpected, and ultimately deliver high-quality results to clients
- You take ownership of your own development and derive satisfaction from supporting others to grow professionally
- You provide and receive both positive and constructive feedback with ease
- You lead by influence–establishing open lines of communication and understanding, respecting and including the perspectives of others
Location, Travel & Compensation
The Consultant will primarily work from home but is expected to travel for in-person client meetings as needed (roughly 20% of the time).
Education First offers a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits package and professional development opportunities. Candidates in this position can expect a salary between $82,000 - $90,000 depending upon relative skills, experience and geographic location. For greater detail about the company, please visit our website.
We are excited to receive applications from a broad range of applicants as we grow our team to better reflect the diversity of the communities our firm is committed to serve. Enthusiastic candidates should apply online to submit their resume and their responses to each of the following prompts within the application portal, in lieu of a cover letter:
- What brings you to Education First and how does this role fit within your short term career goals?
- Tell us about a time when you were responsible for managing resources (e.g., people, time, money) for a project. What resources adjustments did you make? How did you communicate forecast updates?
- Tell us about a project that you managed that involved overseeing others’ work. How many people were on the project team and what were your responsibilities in relation to the other project team members?
- Education First has a commitment to RIDE (Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity) principles in how we operate internally and our work with clients. What are your reflections on how our RIDE commitment is reflected in your own personal values?
We do not expect you to spend a lengthy amount of time completing each question. Instead, we are looking for succinct responses (no more than 1-2 short paragraphs per question). Please submit all completed application materials by February 26, 2021.
We plan to conduct screening interviews on a rolling basis and share performance tasks with select candidates by early March. Interviews with top candidates will occur in mid-March, and we will make an offer by the end of March. Ideally, we’d like our new Consultant to start by mid-April. Please, no phone calls, emails or other inquiries.
Education First actively engages our team with a robust Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) strategy to build our staff and organizational capacity to lead on issues of equity and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the firm. As a proud equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all races, national origins, ages, religions, creeds, veteran or disabled statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions.