Founding Director - Renton Innovation Zone Partnership

Job Type

Full Time


Minimum: $90,000
Maximum: $110,000
Details: The salary range for this position is $90,000 - $110,000 annually, depending on experience.



Start Date


Application Deadline



United States



Just over one year ago, the Renton School District superintendent convened community stakeholders interested in working together to improve outcomes for students attending Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill, Highlands, and Lakeridge Elementary Schools, or living in the adjacent neighborhoods of Skyway/West Hill and Sunset. This convening was the result of a transformative vision underway at the Renton School District (RSD). Since 2011, the RSD has done considerable work and made significant investment to improve student performance. This initiative began at Lakeridge Elementary School and more recently expanded to Bryn Mawr and Campbell Hill Elementary Schools - both also in Skyway/West Hill. Highlands Elementary was added to the initiative in the 2017-18 school year and complements the significant work of the City of Renton to revitalize the Sunset/Highlands area.


Throughout this expansion, one overarching theme expressed by RSD has been the need for help from an array of community partners and for much stronger family engagement. The district strongly believes that schools alone cannot effectively serve all students. From this spirit, and gathering of stakeholders devoted to children and families, the Renton Innovation Zone Partnership (RIZP) was born.


Since the first convening in the fall of 2017, much has been accomplished. Initial funds for Partnership work were provided by the Ballmer Group to Community Center for Education Results (CCER) - the non-profit that staffs the regional Road Map Project and which has been supporting the RIZP start-up. In the first year, the RIZ Partnership Steering Committee (PSC) was formed, comprised of community leaders and stakeholders committed to the RIZ’s children and families. The PSC set initial five-year targets and developed an improvement plan with the help of the RIZP Action Teams: Early Learning, Quality Out of School Time, Basic Needs, and Community & Family Engagement. These teams looked at the data on student performance and the state of various delivery systems to identify systems and services that need to improve. The Partnership Steering Committee also put a major focus on the need to build in strong family and community engagement as a regular way of doing business. In addition, grant writing support was provided to numerous non-profits in hopes of securing funding for much needed direct services. As a result of several successful grant applications, a wide range of new services for children and families now exist in the RIZ, and expansion efforts will continue under the Partnership’s direction.


As the RIZP was forming and developing the Improvement Plan, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was also looking for a community in which to pilot new collaborative approaches with schools, service providers and families aiming to improve Kindergarten readiness, early math, and the Social Emotional health of children. In August 2018, Gates selected the four RIZ schools as their first pilot. Implementation of local improvement and learning networks will begin this fall. This will be an exciting complement to the Partnership’s efforts to see improvement in schools and service delivery and a new way to build skills related to continuous improvement.


The Opportunity

Looking ahead into 2019 and beyond, CCER - on behalf of the RIZ Partnership - has been able to secure a multi-year funding commitment to build on this early momentum. This funding will help the RIZP hire its founding director, charged with hiring a small team to elevate the community’s support for building a better future for the children growing up in the Skyway/West Hill and Sunset neighborhoods. CCER will serve as the fiscal sponsor to start and will be the employer of record for the Founding Director. The RIZP will move to independent status, which is anticipated to occur by the late spring of 2019. The Founding Director will work on these priority issues with the Partnership Steering Committee, the RIZP Executive Committee, and CCER.


The Renton Innovation Zone Partnership seeks a visionary leader with exceptional organizational skills to build on the current momentum and take the RIZ Partnership to the next level. The Founding Director will lead efforts to execute and support the Renton Innovation Zone Partnership Improvement Plan. This is an ideal opportunity for a strong leader who is ready to roll up her/his/their sleeves to do what it will take to ensure the successful launch of this exciting collaboration.



The Founding Director will lead the RIZ Partnership through a thoughtful, strategic implementation process of the RIZ Partnership Plan. The Founding Director will also lead the creation of the structure for the ongoing work of the partnership. This role includes considering options such as merging with an existing non-profit or launching an independent agency in 2019. This grant-funded position will report jointly to the Executive Committee and, in the first months, to the Community Center for Education Results. 


  •  Hire and supervise a high-functioning team that can achieve the RIZ Partnership vision
  • Establish a strong, positive, and collaborative organizational culture grounded in shared values
  • Ensure timely, relevant implementation of the Renton Innovation Zone Partnership Improvement Plan
  • Cultivate positive relationships with funders to build a long-term sustainability plan
  • Ensure that the RIZ collaborative forums and teams (such as Basic Needs, Early Learning, and Community & Family Engagement Action teams) have strong facilitation, access to data, and ability to make progress on key strategies toward five-year targets
  •  Develop organizational budgets, track grant reporting requirements, and report to Partnership Steering Committee on fiscal status of organization and on progress toward five-year targets.
  • Lead the organizational transition process, such as establishing a 501(c)(3) or integrating with an existing non-profit
  • Build strong communication messages and systems to promote RIZP, and to maintain strong communication with members and stakeholders (e.g., parents, students, and community members in the RIZ neighborhoods)
  • Attend community gatherings/ events and represent RIZ Partnership
  • Partner with organizations in the West Hill/ Skyway and Highlands/ Sunset neighborhoods that have received Best Starts for Kids or other grants to support the RIZ improvement plan
  • Work to expand financial support for direct services for children & families

Attributes of a Successful Applicant

  • Demonstrated strong personal commitment to racial equity and demonstrated experience working in partnership with, by, and for communities of color
  • Strong organizational leadership and development skills, including ability to lead within a transitional organizational structure, helping to create role clarity and legal structures in 2019
  • Ability to work as part of a cross-sector leadership team
  • Strong management, communication, writing, and presentation skills
  • Strong commitment to work with a dynamic team of individuals with a passion for the success of children in the Renton Innovation Zone Partnership service area
  • Knowledge of Skyway and Renton communities and strong base of relationships
  • Proven entrepreneurial ability to envision, articulate, and operationalize a new future
  • Expectation to work evenings or weekends as needed to participate in community or other events


Desired Qualifications

  • Leadership and organizational experience starting organizations and/ or building teams in mission-driven organizations
  • Willingness to do what is necessary to get the organization started
  • Fund development experience
  • Background in the fields of education, non-profit management, child development, and/ or social work


While employed by CCER during the initial phase of this work, Founding Director will be covered by CCER’s excellent benefits package, including health, vision, dental, and life insurance as well as a 401k plan with employer match.

Level of Language Proficiency

Bachelor degree desired, with preference for a Master degree, or commensurate relevant experience, such as prior work with diverse student groups, multi-lingual and/or multicultural or other key skills and assets

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please send an eMail to with the Subject Line: “Founding Director of RIZP” (Your Last Name)” with a cover letter and resume / CV and include where you learned about this position in the body of your email.

Preferred application date is Friday, 10.19.18, but position will remain open until filled.