Director of Education

Published 13 days ago

Organization Background

As the national leader of the urban debate movement, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) is a dynamic and rapidly evolving organization that works to support debate programming nationally and at local leagues in 22 cities across the United States.  NAUDL is committed to the concept that debate is an academic sport that builds reading, research, communication and critical thinking skills, all essential for closing the achievement gap in urban middle and high schools. 

Position Summary

The Director of Education (DOE) requires an experienced program leader with a background in K-12 education, preferably with exposure to debate leagues and an understanding of how to operate in an affiliate based national organization.  The goal of the position of the DOE is to advance and strengthen educational and debate programming, including developing, managing and evaluating educational programming across affiliates.

The DOE will support local affiliates (league partners) to enhance their sustainability, providing best practice training and technical assistance while strengthening NAUDL’s capacity for quantifying impact.  In addition, the DOE will support league partners as they seek to integrate debate within local school districts as a means of improving academic achievement for youth who attend under-resourced schools in metropolitan in areas.

The DOE will report to the Executive Director (ED) and work closely with the Director of Data Management, Director of Development, and Director of Programs and Communications to meet NAUDL’s strategic and annual priorities and goals.  

The DOE candidate must be entrepreneurial, results-oriented and demonstrate excellent planning, interpersonal and team building skills.  The DOE is service-oriented in nature, capable of influencing without authority in collaboration with multiple stakeholders.  Cultural competence and commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) are imperative in supporting NAUDL’s mission.  

Areas of Responsibility

Educational and Programming:  Informs all aspects of developing, implementing and managing the programs and services offered by the organization to ensure that they meet quality, outcome, budget and efficiency standards and are delivered with fidelity to NAUDL’s program model and theory of change.

• Continuously assesses needs and opportunities for program development; makes recommendations consistent with NAUDL’s strategic agenda and resource priorities

• Establishes quality standards for program operations, implementation, performance and accountability that support the program model and theory of change and achieve specific benchmarks and outcomes; communicates these outcomes clearly and consistently for staff, providing training as needed throughout the network

• Collaborates with partner leagues and staff to update and improve resources, materials and practice based on data; supports strategic league growth and provides technical assistance.  

• Develops and refines key resources hosted on Teach Debate, a secure site where NAUDL curates materials designed to enhance debate education.  Maintains Teach Debate site and user base.

• Supports the planning and execution of the Urban Debate National Competition (UDNC), Debate EXPO, I RESOLVE and other events.

Data and Learning: Responsible for ensuring that critical data collection around target population, program utilization, progress indicators, outcomes and KPI’s is maintained and leveraged by program leaders to inform continuous improvement and decision-making at the local and national levels.

• Provides key insights and support for the data team to ensure the timely, comprehensive and accurate tracking of key program data 

• Establishes performance expectations for all program staff across local leagues to regularly use data for inquiry, learning and continuous improvement

• Integrates the use of data as a tool to inform decisions and actions around program development and modification, to strengthen implementation and practice, and to improve outcomes and performance

• Partners as needed with external evaluators and researchers to support NAUDL’s efforts around improving fidelity, implementation and outcomes

Alumni Talent Development: Responsible for providing leadership and establishing standards and protocols for advancing NAUDL Fellows.  Provide direction and guidance for supportive volunteer recruitment efforts.

• Manages application and onboarding process for Fellows and league host managers. 

• Provides regular feedback to Fellows as they complete assigned projects; supports host managers with targeted coaching

• Enlists and engages corporate volunteers who participate in Roundtables

• Evaluates program success annually to identify refinement opportunities 

Strategy and Innovation: Provides support to the ED around emerging issues/trends in debate and urban education and how NAUDL can advance its strategic agenda, including raising awareness around the value of debate in urban education; champions entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation within the culture of NAUDL and among league partners to promote best practices in quality program delivery.

• Designs, creates, and monitors strategies for enhancing instruction 

• Provides technical assistance, guidance, training and oversight, in partnership with league staff to ensure high quality curriculum development and implementation in alignment with instructional standards 

• Develops and manages alternate strategies for disseminating curricula and instructional resources, such as web-based access 

Other Initiatives:  Provides support and leadership as needed to advance NAUDL’s strategic agenda and priorities.  Provide programmatic and educational context to support development of funding proposals and the tracking and fulfillment of required deliverables (e.g. designing program goals, metrics and evaluation methods and collaborating on reporting and status updates) for NAUDL or league partner programs.  Other duties as assigned. 

Required Qualifications 

o College degree

o 10+ years of professional experience

o Experience in the nonprofit and K-12 education sectors; experience partnering or working externally with key staff in urban public school districts strongly preferred

o Demonstrated track record of leadership driving strategic program agendas

o Demonstrated experience in supervising and developing professional staff

o Strong interpersonal, communication, collaboration and customer service skills

o Initiative with strong prioritization and time management skills 

o Commitment to high performance culture and values

o Experience driving consensus among affiliate organizations

o Understands data systems and reporting requirements

Organization Background

As the national leader of the urban debate movement, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL) is a dynamic and rapidly evolving organization that works to support debate programming nationally…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    August 23, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    August 20, 2021
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level


  • Paid time off
  • Medical health insurance
  • 401k Participation
  • Paid time off
  • Medical health insurance
  • 401k Participation

Level of Language Proficiency

Proficiency in verbal and written communications in English required.

Proficiency in verbal and written communications in English required.


Temporarily Remote
Work must be performed in or near Chicago, IL
Associated Location
Chicago, IL, USA

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