Organization: Citizens of the World Charter Schools

Location: Washington, DC

Express Interest!


The Founding Executive Director of Citizens of the World, Washington, DC (CWC DC) is a visionary instructional and operational leader who will lead and grow our region of schools to build a pre-K to 12th grade continuum over time. S/he will have a sophisticated understanding of and experience with managing or leading an outcomes-driven, multi-site organization, directly impacting education reform and specifically, academic outcomes for students.

The Executive Director will create and maintain an organizational culture that challenges and motivates our diverse leaders, students, teachers, and families to achieve academic excellence, develop as people, and positively impact the communities in which they live. S/he will have a commitment to the educational philosophy of our school that includes a constructivist approach, project-based learning, and the mission and core purpose of our organization.

This is a full-time position located in Washington, DC. For more information on Citizens of the World Charter Schools, please visit

Candidate Profile:

Candidates will be responsible for the following:

Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

  • Work with the local Board, key funders and partners, and the leadership team to hone the strategic vision and develop the implementation plan to accomplish it.
  • Set clear academic, growth, operational, and financial goals aligned to CWCS goals and goals in the school’s charter; manage to these goals, adapting as necessary given changes in internal and external environment.
  • In collaboration with CWCS and the local board, ensure that the region has a viable long-term financial plan and a diversified and sustainable funding base.
  • Manage development efforts to meet ambitious annual goals by identifying, cultivating, and soliciting public, individual, and foundation sources of giving. In particular, ensure that schools are maximizing all public revenue sources.
  • Work with, and report to, network partners to set racial and economic diversity targets equal to that of each school’s neighborhood, and ensure that the targets are met.


  • Actively engage in understanding of the CWC Way and apply understanding to the development of a strong adult and student culture in the region and schools.
  • Ensure school alignment and/or progress toward alignment with organizational goals for diversity for staff and students.
  • Reflect on and adjust as necessary, practices that drive ongoing improvement and development of a transformative organization culture consistent with the CWC purpose, mission, core values, and operating norms.
  • Ensure that schools develop a culture that is centered on the core competencies of social-emotional learning, student collaboration and is accommodating of students’ diverse strengths and needs.

Instructional Leadership

  • Support, develop and evaluate school principals to ensure significant academic achievement, including successful implementation of the CWC academic model to ensure that schools meet all students’ needs.
  • Ensure fidelity to the CWC Academic Model, containing the core elements of social-emotional learning, teaching for understanding, Cognitively Guided Instruction, differentiation/personalization, data-informed decision making, readers and writers workshop, gradual release of responsibility, and project based learning.
  • Support teacher effectiveness by working closing with principals on teacher coaching and professional development.
  • Lead and participate in regular discussions regarding student data and outcomes; coach school leadership to utilize data to inform goal setting.

Team Management and Development

  • Recruit, hire, manage, and develop the regional leadership team and school principals, ensuring that hires are mission-aligned, qualified instructional and operational staff.
  • Advise and support principals on hiring other school-based instructional and operational leaders, as well as specialized support staff.
  • Build a culture of relentless self-improvement and adaptive leadership among the entire school.
  • Operationalize CWC’s performance management system for the regional team and all school-based 
  • Address concerns urgently and with mission-aligned, student-focused responses.
  • Ensure ongoing design and implementation of staff professional development.


  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders, including CWCS, CWC DC Board of Trustees, funding community, school-based leaders and staff, CWC DC parents, and community members.
  • Serve as the public face of CWC and seek to increase awareness of CWC’s mission and vision.
  • Develop a strong, engaged, and active Board in close partnership with the board chair and committee leaders.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in service of the mission and feel valued in their work.
  • Communicate the schools’ vision and goals in a way that ensures understanding and commitment from a racially, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse community of parents, students, faculty, staff, and board members.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of varied forms of communication with CWC DC families.
  • Maintain positive relationships with local and national advocates and charter organizations; serve as an 
active leader in the charter community, learning from others and sharing CWC School’s best practices.

Operations, Finances, and Compliance

  • Ensure compliant, effective, and efficient school-based operations that support an academically high- performing school environment.
  • Manage and support regional operations staff, who in turn support school-based operations teams.
  • Work with the Board of Directors, principals and Finance Committee to drive financial strategy, ensure sustainability, and make certain that the daily financial and business activities are compliant with the school’s fiscal policies.
  • Report on activities, organizational development progress, and student achievement to the schools’ board, 
CWCS, the schools’ authorizer, and other applicable state and federal reporting agencies.
  • Oversee operating budget, payroll, contracts, and all other financial and accounting operations, supervising the efforts of a third party back-office service provider.

Staff and Reporting Strategy

The Executive Director shall report to the Board of Directors of CWC DC and be supervised by Citizens of the World Charter Schools. The specific reporting relationship will be determined by governance structure as submitted and approved in charter authorizing process. S/he will work closely with other stakeholders, including the CWCS leadership team, the school’s authorizer, the US Department of Education, and other applicable regulatory agencies.

Qualifications and Traits

Candidates must have:

  • A track record of leadership, including at least five years of professional experience with success managing a high-performing organization.
  • Specific experience in a multi-site and/or start-up environment is a plus.
  • A background in elementary or middle school education. More specifically, experience in a high performing school or system of 
schools, and/or a successful nonprofit supporting schools or school reform efforts. Additionally, the ideal 
candidate may have experience as a senior leader, principal, instructional coach or director in a public school district or a CMO that has made significant academic gains.
  • Proven alignment with the Citizens of the World Charter Schools mission (CWC Way) and a demonstrated commitment to ensuring high academic achievement for diverse student communities.
  • Proven capacity for leadership, including the ability to effectively assemble and motivate a team of professionals to achieve ambitious and measurable results.
  • Experience developing meaningful relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • A track record of being able to strategize at a high level while also executing that strategy on the ground.
  • A willingness to develop and secure resources through philanthropy and other funding opportunities, strategic partnerships, and mobilization of stakeholders.
  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited, four-year university required; advanced degree preferred (e.g. MBA, MPA, JD, MEd).
  • Ability to communicate in writing and verbally in Spanish a plus.
  • Willingness to work on-site at the school(s), and occasionally travel to other CWC regions and the network office to share best practices and contribute to the development of network-wide culture and organizational and leadership development.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, organized and self-managed; capable of accomplishing many complex tasks with competing priorities; is dependable and has excellent follow through.
  • Strong leadership and team management skills; a self-aware leader who knows how to treat all members of the school’s community with respect, appraises his or her strengths and weaknesses accurately, and is perceptive about how he or she is regarded; has a strong personal commitment to ongoing learning and growth.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • A commitment to building a community of collaboration with a diverse group of stakeholders.
  • Alignment with the education philosophy and the school’s mission.

Compensation & Benefits:

CWC offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package. CWCS and CWC Washington, DC are separate 501c3 organizations and are Equal Opportunity Employers. As an organization that values diversity and aims to serve a diverse group of students, we work to reflect this diversity in our staff as well.


Citizens of the World Charter Schools has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy here.

About Citizens of the World Charter Schools:

Our purpose at Citizens of the World Charter Schools is to realize human potential by strengthening the bonds among us and developing true citizens of the world. In this work, we are guided by our core values of Excellence, Authenticity, Diversity, Community, and Change and our operating norms, which reflect a commitment to personal and professional growth, including operating as learners, and with curiosity, integrity, and humility.

The mission of Citizens of the World Charter Schools is to impact and expand the conversation about what an excellent education contains, requires, and accomplishes. Citizens of the World schools challenge students to realize their full potential and thrive in a diverse society.

We are tuition-free schools open to all, committed to serving diverse communities throughout the US, with schools currently in Los Angeles and New York, and soon, Kansas City and Washington, DC. We develop sophisticated thinkers who master content and have a courageous and compassionate sense of responsibility for themselves and all people. Our schools are in strong demand: in 2015, we had ten times more student interest than space available. Our classrooms are challenging and joyful learning environments that engage children through projects tailored to their personal experiences, strengths, and needs.

Our teachers take the time to get to know each child as an individual. We empower children to think critically and learn to engage respectfully and productively with fellow students by developing their capacity to enter into and understand the lives of others. Our goal is for student “success” to include mastery of both content and emotions, so that students can meaningfully connect with each other, be part of any community, and courageously decide who they are in the world and how they want the world to be.

In this work, we:

  • Prepare students to become citizens of the world in an ever-changing future.
  • Promote academic rigor and experiential learning to support and develop children’s natural intellectual curiosity.
  • Embrace a constructivist, project-based learning approach.
  • Develop each child’s potential to live as a learner, both in school and out.
  • Reflect, welcome, and celebrate the community’s diversity.
  • Strengthen the bonds among members of the school community and beyond.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits 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