Organization: The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers

Location: Andover, MA

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About The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers:

The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), a Phillips Academy Outreach program, is changing the composition of the P-16 systems in order to build a more diverse cadre of teachers, school leaders, and professors who will elevate the quality, expand the scope, and enrich education at every level. Despite best intentions and numerous efforts, America’s educational system sadly lacks an adequately diverse pool of talented and passionate individuals who seek careers in education and who reflect the diversity of our students.  IRT recruits talented, high potential college seniors and graduates to its fellowship program who aspire to become teachers, principals, and administrators in public and private K-12 education, as well as professors and deans at colleges and universities. IRT provides comprehensive advising and mentoring through the graduate school application and choice process; Fellows go on to pursue graduate study en route to high impact careers in education. IRT alumni have enjoyed remarkable success as teachers, professors, and institutional leaders across P-16 education.

IRT was founded in 1990 by Dr. Kelly Wise, former dean of faculty at Phillips Academy, to address systemic issues of equity and access in higher education for talented, motivated students from diverse backgrounds. Working with 100 Fellows annually, the program has produced over 2,400 educators and educational leaders — an extraordinary record of success.  Over 900 have already received master’s degrees, 310 have earned PhDs, over 75 are ABD, and 30 are tenured faculty in higher education.  In the coming decades, many of these scholars will emerge as leaders in American secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

In addition, IRT has led the creation of a national consortium of 39 colleges and universities that are eager to recruit these Fellows to their institutions for graduate study. Consortium members include Duke University, Emory University, Columbia University, Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, and many more who find IRT to be an invaluable source of talented, motivated, and well-prepared students for their graduate programs. Approximately 90% of the participating IRT Fellows received a full tuition waiver and partial to full fellowship funding for up to six years of graduate study.


  • Diversity. IRT believes that a diversity of educators, pedagogies, and ideas elevates the quality, expands the scope, and enhances the richness of education.
  • Excellence. IRT believes creating a culture of inquiry that seeks to cultivate analytical rigor, high standards and innovation in approaches to teaching and learning as core attributes of our future educators is the most effective way to realize educational excellence in our schools, colleges, and universities.
  • Influence. IRT invests in the next generation of educators because it knows that a quality education provided by an effective teacher is the single greatest influence on student success.
  • Empowerment. IRT believes that providing diverse students with educational and professional advocacy and mentorship in higher education will expand their career options as well as equip them to inspire more students as teachers, role models, and innovative thought leaders in education.
  • Leadership. As an organization, IRT will act with intention and integrity in its decision-making, leadership, and governance through a culture of adaptability, assessment and introspection, and innovation. Fiscal sustainability is fundamental to its purpose.


Phillips Academy is a co-educational, non-profit, residential secondary school of 1,150 students from diverse cultural, racial, socio-economic, and geographical backgrounds. The academic program, which offers over 300 courses, fosters excellence in all disciplines within the liberal arts tradition. 210 faculty members guide students in mastering skills, acquiring knowledge and thinking critically, creatively, and independently.

Andover has long served as a resource for students and as a partner to educators nationally and worldwide, from collaborating with organizations such as Outward Bound and A Better Chance, to deeply embedding four major Outreach programs – (MS)², IRT, PALS, and Andover Bread Loaf – into the life of the school. In this manner, Phillips Academy works relentlessly to define itself as a private school with a public purpose, preparing its graduates for active and ethical civic engagement. The school strives to help young people achieve their potential not only intellectually, but also artistically and morally, so that they may lead responsible and fulfilling lives. Thirst for mastery propels the pursuit of academic excellence while application of such mastery for the greater good exemplifies non sibi (not for self), a core value of the school.

Led by John Palfrey, in his sixth year as Head of School, the Andover community is engaged in implementing a comprehensive, bold, and aspirational strategic plan, Connecting our Strengths. The Plan is supported by three pillars: equity and inclusion; creativity and innovation; empathy and balance. The academy is committed to establishing a community that encourages people of diverse backgrounds and beliefs to understand and respect one another and be sensitive to the differences of gender, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation. In its programs the school seeks to promote a balance of leadership, cooperation and service, together with a deeper awareness of the global community and the natural world.

For more information on the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers and Phillips Academy, please visit

The Opportunity:

IRT is at an exciting moment in the program’s trajectory.  Building off the success of the past chapter of leadership, the next Executive Director (“ED”) will provide strategic and innovative leadership to guide the organization toward increasing impact with Fellows, staff, institutional partners, donors, educators and beyond. The ED will focus on increasing the organization’s visibility and impact, fundraising, operational effectiveness and core mission delivery.

The ED is responsible for enhancing IRT’s position as a leader in educational access, policy, and advocacy, and for advancing collaborations that promote educator diversity and educational excellence. Reporting to Phillips Academy’s Director of Outreach and Summer Session and to an engaged Advisory Board, the Executive Director oversees all aspects of IRT’s operations.

Primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Work with the Director of Outreach and Summer Session and the IRT Advisory Board to achieve the strategic goals stated in IRT Vision 2020, while also collaborating to articulate the vision for the next chapter of impact;
  • Convene the powerful, vibrant, and fast-growing network of IRT alumni as partners to expand and deepen the alumni mentoring and recruitment programs and to develop an early career mentoring program;
  • Cultivate an educators’ leadership network that will connect IRT alumni, other educators, researchers and policy-makers to collaborate on redressing the quality of teaching and learning, faculty diversity, recruitment, and retention;
  • Examine and pursue strategic program expansion opportunities through the increased use of technology, leveraging the resources of the IRT alumni base to capture and disseminate the benefits of their impact in education, identify and develop new partnerships, and engage in the Phillips Academy community;
  • Enhance IRT’s fiscal base of sustainable financial resources through active partnership with Phillips Academy’s Office of Academy Resources to identify and pursue opportunities for funding, including donors, alumni solicitation campaigns, and private foundation grants;
  • Effectively communicate IRT’s mission with internal and external audiences as well as its impact on national public education;
  • Contribute to the advancement of effective educational policies and research on related topics through conference presentations, policy briefs and white papers, and the dissemination of rigorous scholarship relevant to IRT’s mission; and
  • Oversee the administrative functioning of the IRT office and its staff of six.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills and characteristics:

Strategic and Visionary Leader

The ED is a strategic, entrepreneurial and visionary leader able to develop and act on a vision for IRT’s next chapter. S/he can develop and promote the strategies needed to advance the work of a mission-driven organization, from funding to mission delivery. S/he can successfully leverage the skills and talents of an Advisory Board and marshal the resources of Phillips Academy to execute a strategic plan, while closely collaborating with IRT’s internal and external constituents on the plan’s implementation and evaluation.

Passion for the Mission

The ideal candidate is dedicated to educational access and possesses the experience and drive to strategically leverage current IRT programs into greater opportunities. S/he will embody IRT’s strong commitment to students, educators and academic institutions and will work to promote the organization throughout the community, accelerating its impact and brand recognition. S/he will embrace the organization’s affiliation with Phillips Academy and its mission, vision, and values. It is imperative that s/he treats others with respect and always stays true to the values of IRT. Moreover, the ideal candidate is an individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; someone who can be trusted without reservation.

Ambassador and Fundraiser

The ED is an “Ambassador” for IRT, with the passion and drive to share IRT’s mission and vision with the outside world, and as a thought leader in the education reform sector.  S/he is a savvy communicator and is fluent in articulating the value of the organization on a local, regional and national level to a broad range of constituents.  S/he is flexible, energetic, positive, creative and ambitious.  S/he inspires trust and confidence among donors (both new and existing) and Phillips Academy administrators, staff, and faculty. S/he enjoys fundraising and can successfully convey the objectives of IRT to potential donors, partners, and participants. S/he develops a powerful sense of shared purpose in others and motivates them to engage in the opportunities and future of IRT. S/he has demonstrated the ability to build partnerships with national institutions and leaders in the field of higher education to enhance IRT’s visibility and impact as well as its mission and strategic priorities.

Leading Through Influence and Relationship Building

The ED is skilled at building effective relationships at multiple levels within a layered institutional structure. S/he is experienced in establishing strong working relationships and collaborating with colleagues, and has exceptional interpersonal skills in order to build and sustain strong support across a wide range of stakeholders. Such stakeholders include IRT staff, Fellows, Phillips Academy staff and faculty, Advisory Board members, higher education partners, and donors.  S/he has a high level of emotional intelligence and can navigate the complexities that arise within educational institutions. S/he is a strong leader, communicator and collaborator who is skilled at listening to and learning from constituents. S/he is also a persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus among differing opinions and within a complex institutional context. The ED possesses a strong sense of confidence and a style that will resonate within the Phillips Academy community and beyond.

Experienced Manager

The ED is an executive with strong staff, operational and financial management experience. S/he will bring experience building and leading high performing teams of the highest degree of professionalism and guiding team members’ growth and development. S/he will have an abiding commitment to a diverse and inclusive team environment, one that is able to establish priorities, goals, and timelines to achieve quantifiable and qualitative outcomes. S/he will understand and implement best nonprofit management practices, including compelling communication messages and effective marketing strategies, while also ensuring that overall day-to-day operations are aligned with strategic goals. S/he understands the importance of a robust partnership with a diverse Advisory Board. S/he will also possess the knowledge and ability to ensure that the Advisory Board is achieving its primary responsibilities of best practice governance.


Alison P. Ranney and Anne B. McCarthy of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search firm that works exclusively with mission-driven clients.

To express your interest in this role please email Anne and Alison directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.