Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for systemically marginalized young people and their communities. We do this by accelerating the impact of education leaders and organizations, informing and influencing policy and program design, and sharing what we learn. Bellwether is 12 years old. Our programmatic work is organized in two teams: Strategic Advising and Policy & Evaluation.
What we do
Our Strategic Advising team supports education organizations — districts, states, charters, non-profits, and foundations — to develop ambitious plans to increase their impact and solve their most critical strategic challenges. We develop highly actionable plans in partnership with the leadership teams who own and implement the plans.
What you’ll do
We are seeking a Partner, Strategic Advising, who will bring organizational leadership, strategic acumen, and an analytical mindset to guide executive teams in building compelling, actionable strategic plans that accelerate equity and excellence in the U.S. education system. In addition to day-to-day management of Strategic Advising projects and teams, the Partner serves as a member of a strong leadership team and brings a “business owner” mindset to the organization and supports Bellwether’s growth and functioning. Our work is national in scope, so our flexible working style allows our professionals to work where they have built their lives, which means Bellwether can hire the best person for each role, regardless of geography. Post-COVID-19 restrictions, approximately 25-30% travel may be required.
Your Key Responsibilities - the “What”
Partners bring a nuanced understanding of relevant issues in education, a keen strategic lens, a strong network in the field of education and an entrepreneurial spirit. This content expertise coupled with entrepreneurialism is particularly important given that Partners have accountability over time for business development and the success of the firm in terms of advancing equity and excellence, and financial sustainability of the organization. Your role will include the following key responsibilities:
· Build, sustain and cultivate strong relationships with our clients.
· Serve as a trusted resource and advisor, helping our clients to solve organizational or strategic challenges and build strong ownership of the plan across client teams.
· Lead iterative processes that enable joint problem-solving and inclusive decision-making with clients and teams.
· Ensure that clients’ needs are met from the beginning to the end of each engagement, and intervene if needed to course-correct during a project.
· Foster a culture that supports our core values, and cultivates a collaborative and healthy work environment.
· Guide our teams to ensure we are implementing Bellwether’s strategic planning processes effectively and tailoring our approach to each client’s specific needs.
· Ensure that Bellwether strategic advising teams help clients achieve outstanding results through rigorous, practical, actionable advice.
· Supervise, manage, and develop the Strategic Advising team’s leaders and managers to ensure strong functioning of project teams including the coaching, professional development and mentorship of strong, mission-aligned staff.
Development, Fundraising and Network Cultivation
· Tell Bellwether’s story in compelling ways, describing who we are, what makes us unique, and why our work is impactful to organizations.
· Collaborate with Bellwether’s partners on client development efforts, eventually increasing self-directed business development.
· Initiate, cultivate, and extend strategic relationships with an emphasis on developing new partnerships.
· Leverage and expand your personal network with senior executives, funders, and other leaders in the field.
· Represent Bellwether externally (as appropriate to your expertise) including but not limited to speaking at conferences, participating on panels, and writing.
· Serve as a key member of the senior leadership team, supporting the development of our own high-impact business strategies and the implementation of these plans with exceptional quality.
· Guide the strategic direction of the Strategic Advising practice area, including participating in annual planning and goal setting, leading critical internal initiatives, and engaging in equitable and inclusive hiring and onboarding to build a diverse team.
· Serve as a steward of the organization’s culture and shared values.
The skills you’ll bring with you - The “How”
· You model cultural fluency, sensitivity, and a strong equity lens to establish a culture of growth mindset around issues of equity and to meet the needs of our diverse staff and clients.
· You solicit, elevate, understand, and value--either through personal experience or empathy--the perspective of a wide variety of stakeholders.
· You seek out and build authentic relationships across lines of difference (race, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQ status, etc.) through self-reflection, empathy, and a clear personal identity.
· You are confident addressing matters of equity, race, and bias in decision-making with clarity, confidence, openness, empathy and historical context.
· You readily recognize race and power dynamics playing out within your organization at all levels and interrupt those inequities through honest and difficult conversations and actions.
Strategic Problem Solver and Learner
· You are a self-starter who likes to have several things going on at once. You are able to balance competing priorities.
· You enjoy developing innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
· You have an empirical mind, and you like to roll up your sleeves to understand what the evidence and data is telling you about the current state of your clients’ work.
· You are always reflecting on your work and your development as a leader, assessing your own strengths and growth areas and openly seeking feedback.
· You are a learner first, seeking to fully understand clients’ issues, seeking out new areas in the field, keeping a pulse on challenges that people are trying to solve. You’re constantly on a journey to expand your knowledge base.
· You demonstrate excellent execution and leadership skills, including acute attention to detail; the ability to balance overarching goals with detailed steps to achieve your objectives.
Extraordinary Influencer & Connector
· Connecting purposefully and intentionally with others in various ways is clearly a strength in your repertoire of skills as an executive and leader. You express yourself with clarity, respect, and awareness in conversations and interactions with others.
· You build trust and credibility through transparency and authenticity in your communication with staff and clients.
· You listen compassionately with an open mind - seeking to fully understand our clients’ needs before recommending any direction forward.
· Cultivating relationships has been a focus for you at every stage of your leadership journey. You recognize the power and exponential nature of connections.
· As a leader, your words and actions are consistent. You demonstrate trust and respect for others no matter what. You refuse to respond to external pressure in a way that is in conflict with your ethics. You understand deeply that trust must be earned.
· You keep confidences, accept responsibility, maintain transparency, and lead by example.
· You astutely assess team strengths and challenges, and foster a working environment that values all voices, elevates team members’ strengths, and ensures that team members are able to enjoy work while making a positive impact.
· You are known for your impeccable work ethic, accountability and follow through
Excited? We are too. You should apply if you have:
· Familiarity with the challenges and disparities in PreK-20 education and workforce readiness in the United States, especially with regard to students systemically denied opportunities based on race, ethnicity, or income.
· A commitment to our work to address policies and practices that lead to inequitable outcomes for marginalized young people.
· A track record of problem solving, strategic planning, and experience in an executive leadership role (within business, education, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector); bonus points for advisory or client services experience.
· A strong network of relationships with senior executives leading education organizations, funders and/or policy-makers in the field of education reform; bonus points for experience in business or client development.
· Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to tailor communications to the needs of a variety of stakeholders.
· A highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on leadership roles within project teams and the organization.
Bellwether is committed to building a team that reflects the varied backgrounds and experiences of the students we seek to serve. It is important to us that you use your application materials to clearly surface ways in which your background and experiences align with Bellwether’s core values, including our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Benefits & Compensation
Salary for this integral leadership position is competitive, and commensurate with prior experience and is typically in the range of $200 to $220k, with bonus potential of $50 to $70k. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the ultimate offer. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses.
Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status. Further, as described above, Bellwether is committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourages individuals from all backgrounds to apply.
How to Apply
Alma Advisory Group is honored to be supporting the search for this position. Please submit your resume and cover letter online at: https://apply.workable.com/almaadvisorygroup/j/70ABC57106/
Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for systemically marginalized young people and their communities. We do this by accelerating the impact of…