Executive Director

Executive Director

EdSource

Oakland, CA,    |   December 1, 2020

About EdSource

Since its founding in 1977, EdSource has established its reputation as a highly respected source of education reporting and analysis, believing that an informed, involved public is necessary to strengthen California’s schools for the benefit of the state’s students, its civic life, and its economy. It has emerged as the pre-eminent multi-media education platform for the state, which with nearly 10 million students in preschool, K-12 schools and higher education, is the largest and most diverse public education system in the nation.

Over the past decade, EdSource has emerged as a model of non-profit journalism focused on education and now comprises the largest education reporting staff of any newsroom in California. EdSource works to engage Californians on key education challenges with the goal of enhancing learning success. It does so by providing timely, useful, and accurate information to key education stakeholders and the larger public; advancing awareness of major education initiatives being implemented in California and nationally; and highlighting effective models and strategies intended to improve student outcomes, as well as identifying areas that are in need of repair or reform.

Over time, EdSource has broadened its focus to include a wide range of education reforms, including early education, charter schools, school accountability, equity, school finance, and obstacles students face in making it from high school to college, and ultimately into the workplace.

EdSource’s programs and services include a suite of products using multiple platforms including:

  • Timely daily reports from our team of reporters on key education challenges distributed via a daily online newsletter and published in a range of other news outlets and online platforms.
  • Representative public opinion surveys on major education issues such as early childhood education, parent engagement, school discipline, and attitudes toward distance learning.
  • A weekly podcast “This Week in California Education.
  • The Education Data Partnership, which offers data on schools, districts, and state level issues in a user-friendly form so that educators, policy makers, lawmakers, parents, and the public have quick access to comprehensive data about K-12 education in California.
  • Presentations at statewide or national meetings
  • Statewide conversations and events convened on key education policies, through webinars and other partnerships.
  • Collaborations with other agencies and organizations.

For more information on EdSource, please visit www.edsource.org.

The Opportunity

EdSource is seeking an Executive Director to lead this unique, high impact organization, building on decades of highly respected reporting and analysis to advance awareness and information that strengthen California’s schools and ensures access to quality public education for all students in the state.

EdSource’s reporting has contributed to improvements in the state’s new school accountability system, greater attention to health issues like lead in school drinking water, and reforms of laws on school discipline disproportionately affecting African American and Latino children. The organization is relied upon by California parents, educators, legislators, and the general public for the most authoritative, independent, and nonpartisan reporting on education data and information.

The Executive Director will collaborate closely with a wide range of stakeholders – the Board of Directors, EdSource staff, local, state, and national education leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers, and educators – to ensure that EdSource’s reporting and analysis continues to inform and help drive education innovation in California – a state with the world’s largest and most diverse student bodies – and beyond.

Key areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to, the following:

Vision and Impact
The Executive Director will be a catalyst for new ideas and initiatives that continue to ensure that EdSource provides Californians with independent, credible, and expert information about their education system. They will work with partners and others in the field to understand emerging education policy issues and opportunities and collaborate with staff to develop investigative projects, partnerships, and communications vehicles to address these issues and opportunities.

Fundraising and External Relations
The Executive Director is responsible for the fundraising necessary to expand current commitments and the social entrepreneurship to develop EdSource’s multiple channels for potential revenue, including events, underwriting, advertising, as well as philanthropic support. The Executive Director will seek, develop, and maintain excellent relationships with donors (individuals, foundations, and corporations), with a particular focus on broadening these relationships. They will also serve as a key spokesperson for EdSource with partners and stakeholders in the field (as well as growing spokesperson capacity on the team), building and leveraging networks and effectively communicating and building support.

Leadership and Management
The Executive Director provides effective leadership for the entire organization, ensuring that the team and Board of Directors are engaged, informed, and aligned around mission, vision, and short- and long-term priorities. They will be a highly collaborative leader who provides coaching and mentorship, while also effectively delegating to build capacity across the team. Their strong management approach will serve to attract, retain, and grow talented team members. The Executive Director’s management approach will be informed and influenced by an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion that shapes internal culture as well as external work.

The Executive Director will be responsible for leading efforts to establish a vision and strategy for the organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work in a highly diverse state and the community the organization serves. This important work will be aligned with EdSource’s overall strategic direction and its culture, mission, and values as an organization deeply committed to ensuring equity and inclusion on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and disability.

The Executive Director will be a strong partner to the Board of Directors, ensuring an engaged and positive relationship by providing timely updates and information and actively participating in board discussions and decisions.

Candidate Profile

While no candidate will bring all of the following skills, experiences, and characteristics, ideal candidates will bring most.

Culture & Values Alignment

  • Authentic passion for the EdSource mission to improve access to and quality of learning for all children by providing timely, useful, and accurate information to key education stakeholders and the larger public; advancing awareness of major education initiatives being implemented in California and nationally; and highlighting effective models and strategies intended to improve student outcomes, as well as identifying areas that are in need of repair and reform.
  • Results-oriented mindset and a strong personal commitment to developing and deepening the EdSource mission and goals.
  • Experienced senior manager with a passion for education policy discovery and development.
  • Strategic and visionary leadership capacity.
  • A high level of integrity, a commitment to excellence, and a clear understanding of and commitment to EdSource’s trusted position as an independent and fair source of information.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with strong cultural competency that is exercised internally and externally.

Credibility in the Field

  • An ability to involve and mobilize a wide variety of partners, including leaders from academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors.
  • Expertise and knowledge of California education issues and relevant relationships and connections.
  • Respect for journalistic integrity; while a background in journalism is not a requirement, an understanding of the role of a free press, and the importance of thorough, fair, and balanced journalistic competency in reporting is essential.
  • Demonstrated record of success as a proven leader in policy analysis that informs and shapes public policy conversations.
  • Ability to maintain the respect of Board members, and individual funders, and the confidence of leaders in public education.
  • Creative vision and insight into new services and projects that add significant value to the organization’s initiatives.
  • An understanding of new technologies and platforms and the ability to foster a tech-forward culture and environment.

Leadership & Team Management

  • Experience inspiring innovation and entrepreneurial approaches to nonprofit or other public service work.
  • Experience collaboratively leading a multi-dimensional non-profit organization with a focus on transparency, inclusion, and clear, consistent communication.
  • A diverse background that may include previous experience in the public, for-profit and/or nonprofit fields, is desirable, as is a track record of significant achievement and advancement.
  • Proactive, collaborative, and strategic approach to management, with the ability to identify potential challenges early and address issues in an action-oriented and timely manner.
  • Energy, intellect, dedication, and drive required to lead and grow an innovative non-profit journalism organization.
  • Previous experience working in partnership with Boards of Directors with an understanding of how to build effective Board-Executive Director relationships.
  • Honest and open communication style and the ability to make sound judgments and decisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to build team capacity through effective hiring and growing top talent.
  • Visible, involved, and assertive individual who works closely with their team to expand their horizons and motivate them to success.
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and implement innovative ideas, strategies, and directions.

Revenue Development & External Relations

  • Track record of successful fundraising from a range of sources, particularly foundations and institutional funders, including the ability to identify and cultivate new funders; grant writing experience is a plus.
  • Temperament and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully build funder relationships.
  • Ability to effectively represent EdSource and its work with a wide range of stakeholders, from donors to policy makers to educators.
  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to deliver effective presentations that connect with a variety of audiences and inspire support and action.

Financial & Operational Management

  • Experience overseeing organizational operations and finances.
  • Ability to manage organizational finances and provide budget oversight.
  • Ability to effectively lead in a fast-paced environment with a focus on high quality, rigor, and timeliness.

EdSource has offices in Oakland and Los Angeles; the Executive Director must be based in California and able to go to offices regularly once it is safe to do so.

Contact

Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Founding Partner, Molly Brennan, and Vice President, Nadine Coleman are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

EdSource is committed to promoting and upholding diversity, equity, and inclusion in all we do. We believe that the composition of our staff, board and partners should reflect the diversity of California and the country. EdSource provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.