Organization: KIPP LA Schools

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Express Interest

About KIPP LA Schools:

KIPP LA’s history began in 2003 with the opening of our first two middle schools, KIPP Academy of Opportunity and KIPP LA Prep, in South, Southeast and East Los Angeles, respectively. In 2007, KIPP launched an expansion effort in Los Angeles with the goal of serving more students in the underserved communities of South and East Los Angeles, and KIPP LA Schools was formed. As part of that effort, KIPP Raíces Academy, the first KIPP elementary school in California, opened in 2008, and the KIPP LA School Success Team was formed to facilitate expansion. Since then, KIPP LA has grown to a region of 14 schools serving over 8,300 students and alumni.

KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) was founded in 1994 by Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin in a classroom in Houston. It began with a powerful idea: to create a classroom that helped children develop the knowledge, skills, character, and habits necessary to succeed in college and build a better tomorrow for their communities. The following year, they opened the first two KIPP middle schools (one in Houston and one in New York City), which quickly became two of the highest-performing public charter schools in their respective communities. In 2000, Doris and Donald Fisher, co-founders of Gap, Inc., partnered with Mike and Dave to create the KIPP Foundation, to train leaders and replicate the success of the original KIPP middle schools.

Our Mission

KIPP LA SchoolsKIPP LA’s mission is to teach the academic skills, foster the intellectual habits, and cultivate the character traits needed for our students to thrive in high school, college, and life.

Through the success of our students, the KIPP LA team and family will serve as a model of excellence and collaborate with others to raise the quality of education in Los Angeles.

What We Believe

We believe that ALL students, regardless of their zip codes or demographics, will learn and achieve if given the right opportunities and support. We are committed to serving the students who need us most and refuse to accept anything less than an excellent college-preparatory education for our students.

What We Do

KIPP LA’s teachers, leaders, students, and families are all united around a single goal: college graduation. Our curricula are designed to provide students a well-rounded education, with time dedicated to academics, the arts, enrichment, and physical education. KIPP LA’s educators are committed to continually improving their teaching skills and to giving students the support and motivation they need to make it not only to, but through college.

Why It Matters

The future of our country depends upon our commitment to providing all children with access to a great education. Nationally less than one in ten low-income students graduates from college. The data suggest the rate is even lower for students in South and East Los Angeles. KIPP LA is working to significantly increase the college-going and graduation rates in the communities we serve.

KIPP schools share a core set of operating principles known as the Five Pillars:

High Expectations: Clearly defined and measurable high expectations for academic achievement and conduct that create and reinforce a culture of achievement and support. We know that every student is different and we personalize learning based on a student’s needs, skills, and interests.

Strength of Character: Success in life depends on more than academic learning. We help students foster character strengths that are essential for their own success. And we empower them to express their voice with power and to improve the world around them.

Highly Skilled Teachers & Leaders: Great schools require great teachers and school leaders. We empower our school teams and invest in leadership and training rather than in bureaucracy.

Safe & Structured Environments: Physical and emotional safety is needed for students to take risks and learn from their successes and their mistakes. Our schools provide a safe, structured, and nurturing environment with minimal distractions so our students love school and maximize their learning.

KIPP Through College: Our counselors and advisors support students as they prepare for and select the right college for their needs and interests. After high school, we help KIPP alumni navigate the social, academic, and financial challenges they might encounter while in college.

KIPP LA Schools

The Opportunity:

KIPP LA is in the midst of an ambitious growth plan to increase significantly the number of students and alumni it serves. By August 2020, KIPP LA will operate at least 20 schools and support approximately 12,000 students and alumni as they journey to and through college.

This exciting stage in KIPP LA’s trajectory provides a compelling opportunity for the right leader to join an exceptional leadership team as KIPP LA’s Chief External Impact Officer (CEIO). This individual will directly oversee three direct reports and a team of approximately 15 across multiple distinct functions, including the teams responsible for advocacy and community engagement; marketing, communications and branding; and development and fundraising. The CEIO will have a critical voice in continuing to build KIPP LA’s brand and impact in the region, provide clear, actionable thought leadership around KIPP LA’s external relations and advancement strategies, and oversee successful implementation of these disparate pieces.

As KIPP LA expands to at least 20 schools by 2020, the CEIO will be a key leader within the senior leadership team in executing on the current strategic plan and established goals. In partnership with KIPP LA’s CEO and alongside an engaged and active board, the CEIO will drive the overall external relations strategy for KIPP LA. The CEIO will play a critical role in amplifying and guiding the overall branding and messaging for the organization, and will proactively build strong relationships with the Board, the community, elected officials, media outlets, and peer organizations alongside KIPP LA’s CEO. This leader will have the capability to successfully navigate LAs political and cultural nuances, and will have a sophisticated ability to plan proactively for long-term success.

In addition, the CEIO will oversee KIPP LA’s Director of Development to ensure the development program builds its capacity to support the organization’s strategic objectives.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

  • Manage three direct reports overseeing an overall team of approximately 15, providing leadership for the vision, goals and strategy for key organizational priorities and areas of focus, establishing clear expectations, promoting rigorous use of data and fostering a culture of accountability.
  • Hold high standards for project management while empowering others to proactively and creatively problem-solve, and model versatility and collaboration for the organization.
  • With great empathy, is a consistent champion and proud member of their team. Encourages participation from all members of the team in ways that feel most comfortable to their team, and seeks feedback and ideas from team members at all levels in operating as a leader.
  • Recruits, mentors and supports a diverse and exceptional team of professionals. Diligently seeks opportunities for professional development, acting as a coach and sounding board, and serves as an organizational role model in cultivating a culture of high expectations and support.
  • Thoughtfully considers the impact of decisions, and facilitates resolutions that protect the organization’s interests and prioritizes student needs when conflict or disagreements arise.

Community & Family Outreach and Engagement; Advocacy and Impact

  • In partnership with KIPP LA’s senior leadership team, Board, and additional key stakeholders, provide input for KIPP LA’s Beyond 20 plan.
  • Oversee the Director of External Engagement and the engagement and advocacy team; driving all elements of the work to envision, create, build, implement, and execute KIPP LA’s efforts to extend impact beyond the walls of its schools.
  • Engage with senior stakeholders within KIPP LA and the broader KIPP community to help conceive, plan, and monitor emerging initiatives; serve as key partner to KIPP LA leadership in the exploration and execution of KIPP LA’s community sharing of ideas and practices.
  • Expand KIPP LA’s voice, influence and impact on key issues facing the communities KIPP LA serves, and partner with the CEO and others to lead work focusing on elevation of alumni.
  • Partner with KIPP LA leaders and academic leadership team in developing strategy around transferring KIPP LA’s earned knowledge, approach to curriculum, tools, and practices to other educational organizations across the country.
  • Lead and enthusiastically build relationships with Los Angeles’ major stakeholders and constituencies, including the media, community groups, elected officials, community leaders and other influencers.
  • Identify opportunities and develop ways to strategically maximize collaboration and coordination with external partners.
  • Represent KIPP LA, KIPP LA’s community and the broader organization as an ambassador, advocate, and partner within public forums and events.
  • Proactively engage with current and potential KIPP LA families and communities, as critical advocates and ambassadors for KIPP LA.
  • Create and oversee strategy, programs and services aimed towards increased parent and community engagement; and strengthen the partnership among parents, community and schools to improve student academic achievement and school success.

Marketing and Communications

  • Oversee the Director of Marketing and Communications in the development and execution of the overall marketing and communications plan for KIPP LA, in support of organizational goals to build awareness, engagement and support.
  • Provide thought leadership and guidance to the CEO in cultivating a meaningful and productive media and external engagement strategy; assess and strategize responses to all incoming media requests, and communicate with relevant media as a spokesperson when appropriate.
  • In overseeing the Director of Marketing and Communications, provide guidance over messaging, talking points, and strategy for all organizational communications, striving to build a stronger KIPP LA brand and ensure its seamless integration throughout KIPP LA.
  • Provide guidance for tracking, metrics and data integrity to ensure alignment and effectiveness of overall marketing and communications efforts alongside overall KIPP LA goals, and offers insight and strategy regarding overall effectiveness.


  • Establishes vision for KIPP LA’s engagement with donors, community members, families and other stakeholders, and leads KIPP LA in representing the organization’s mission to the broader community.
  • Oversees Director of Development and development team responsible for stewarding current donors and foundation relations, leading events and event planning, and supervising production of grant reports, prospect reports and other measures.
  • Lead engagement of the members of the Board’s external efforts, including giving, convening, and outreach to potential community and family advocates, champions and future trustees.

Core Competencies:

Reporting to the CEO to provide leadership and guidance to Communications and Marketing, Development and Advocacy, the Chief External Impact Officer will be an accomplished, mission-driven advancement and external relations leader with a strong background in strategic planning and data-driven decision-making. The CEIO will be a proactive and tactical collaborator, providing thoughtful direction and feedback in these areas to the other members of KIPP LA’s senior leadership team and key stakeholders. This individual will have experience and comfort in cultivating relationships with key supporters and stakeholders.

A nimble and decisive problem solver with strong attention to detail, the CEIO will make sound decisions while prioritizing the long-term goals of KIPP LA and the impact on the communities KIPP LA serves. A creative, expert communicator, the CEIO will lead messaging, branding and marketing for the organization, guiding KIPP LA Schools’ brand in the community, including into future neighborhoods not currently served. The CEIO will forge strong relationships with important stakeholders in Los Angeles, including the media, city officials, peer and partner charter organizations, prominent community leaders, and families.

The ideal candidate will have at least 7 years of progressive responsibility in similar or related roles, and the following competencies and personal characteristics:

Strategic and Visionary Leadership

As a member of the senior leadership team, the CEIO will be a visionary and strategic leader, with the knowledge, foresight and clarity to inform decision-making around development, communications, community engagement, advocacy and marketing, in alignment with the overall goals of KIPP LA’s growth and impact. The CEIO will be nimble in adjusting to shifting priorities and able to balance multiple tasks efficiently and effectively. This leader will anticipate, analyze and interpret complex problems, achieving sustainable, creative solutions, with the flexibility and confidence to participate fully in important debates. With a commitment to constant learning and curiosity, the CEIO will utilize data to inform best practices and decision-making, and have a sophisticated ability to work with complex information to provide feedback, gain insight and develop solutions and tools. This leader will flourish in a mission-oriented, data- and process-driven environment and be energized by the prospect of developing and implementing new strategies and best practices.

Exceptional Collaborator and Manager

A persuasive, confident member of the senior leadership team, the CEIO will be an engaged, active listener, able to communicate effectively with a broad group of stakeholders and outlets – including KIPP LA students and families, team members, the Board and external outlets. The CEIO will demonstrate honesty, fairness, humor, a willingness to listen, and a keen mind, and will operate with humility and optimism. This individual will be an advocate for and mentor to team members and peer leadership, creating and identifying opportunities for growth and development. A natural consensus-builder, the CEIO will be comfortable with ambiguity and have the persistence to drive process forward through collaboration and dedication. The CEIO should be well versed in crisis management, including the quick assimilation of large volumes of complex material and speedy development and execution of plans in collaboration with others.

Relationship Builder and External Relations Expertise

Critical to success in this role, the CEIO will be an individual with strong relationship-building ability and the capacity to work effectively with Los Angeles’ political and community leaders, education institutions, and philanthropic community. This leader will be adept at building and sustaining excellent relationships with Board members, community leaders, and peer organizations in Los Angeles, and harnessing their professional networks in support of KIPP LA’s goals. The CEIO will be an experienced and successful leader in the field of development with a breadth of experience across multiple revenue sources. The CEIO will be an experienced marketing and communications leader with demonstrated success within a complex, high-profile organization undergoing substantive growth. The CEIO will be a passionate, proactive advocate for the organization and a key spokesperson with elected officials and other community leaders, and will create and identify key marketing and public relations opportunities.

Passion for the Mission and Vision

The CEIO will embrace and exemplify the values of KIPP LA Schools, including curiosity and constant learning, grit, and social intelligence. The CEIO will have a true passion for the vision and mission of KIPP LA, with an understanding and appreciation of the many issues facing communities that KIPP LA serves. This individual will have a high degree of integrity, humility and gratitude and a personal commitment to the success of KIPP LA’s students in Los Angeles, with a clear understanding of the cultural landscape. The CEIO should possess a commitment to shared governance and cultural diversity, and enthusiasm for embracing families and the community. This individual will have a pulse on the needs of K-12 education and the opportunities and challenges before education reform.


KIPP LA Schools has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle R.S. Bonoan and Sheila Hennessey.

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director

Sheila Hennessey

Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy:

KIPP LA seeks qualified, passionate individuals to educate our students and provide support services to our schools. We offer competitive compensation and benefits, as well as professional development opportunities through the nationwide KIPP network.

KIPP LA Schools is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation/gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, educational institutions, and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit