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Chief People Officer

  • Date Posted
    • 2.14.23
  • Organization
    • EL Education
  • Role
    • Executive Leadership
  • Commitment
    • Full-Time
  • Location
    • Remote


EL Education is redefining student achievement in diverse communities across the country, ensuring that all students master rigorous content, develop positive character, and produce high-quality work. We create great public schools where they are needed most, inspiring teachers and students to achieve more than they thought possible.

EL Education’s portfolio of instructional materials and coaching services draws on decades of deep partnership with schools and districts in our national school network—those implementing our school model—and in our family of literacy partners—those implementing our Language Arts curriculum.

Based on our founding principles of meaningful work, character, and respect for teachers, EL Education’s offerings transform teaching and learning to promote habits of scholarship and character that lead to high student achievement. In addition to success on standardized tests, EL Education students demonstrate critical thinking, intellectual courage, and emotional resilience; they possess the passion and the capacity to contribute to a better world.

EL Education, a 501c(3) nonprofit, was founded in 1992 by Outward Bound USA in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

For more information, visit


The Chief People Officer role at EL Education is a critical role for the organization. This role was created as part of our commitment to becoming an employer of choice for talented individuals who are looking for a place to share their talents, passion and mission-aligned values in service of changing the trajectory for students and teachers across the country. It is an exciting opportunity to be a part of the evolution of our organization’s culture as we continue our human-centered approach to our work with internal and external stakeholders (students, teachers, staff, donors, partners, and alliances, among others.). This role will manage our traditional human resources and talent functions..

The Chief People Officer reports to the COO of EL Education.


The Chief People Officer’s primary responsibilities will be:

Overarching Talent Strategy & Leadership

  • Work with the COO and senior leadership team to set a strategic vision and priorities for all talent work, ensuring the organization has an eye on what it will need in the coming 3-5 years, including an explicit equity lens, and what it will take to get there.
  • Participate at the executive level in decisions about strategic priorities and planning, ensuring talent management is fully integrated.
  • Ensure that equity and inclusion is woven into all talent-related activities.
  • Develop and support all managers to become highly-skilled “talent champions.”
  • Create and set a vision and structure for EL Education’s learning and development team.

Culture/Employee Engagement

  • Oversee the implementation of the annual staff engagement and DEI strategy and manage any surveys and/or employee input opportunities.
  • Working with Senior Leadership, define the employee experience expectations and coach and guide leaders on how to incorporate into their teams.

Human Resources Operations

  • Oversee a high-quality HR operation, including development of HR policies and competitive benefits and compensation programs.
  • Develop and launch new compensation strategy, including updated policies for promotions.
  • Serves as an organizational representative in complex matters related to employee relations.
  • Own special projects, as needed, to identify and source the right technologies to support our talent initiatives.

Recruitment and Hiring

  • Actively promote the organization as a great place to work, building our “employer brand” with potential hires.
  • Increase the success rate of new hires AND decrease the time and energy it takes from other team members to find them by:
  • Continuously building and managing a diverse pool of outstanding candidates for current and future potential positions;
  • Developing systems to more deeply assess likely performance for prospective new hires;
  • Ensuring “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” are spot on and effectively assessed in hiring processes.
  • Manage partnerships with external strategic alliances (industry associations, talent agencies/recruiters, colleges/universities, etc.) to source outstanding talent

Talent Development

  • Develop and launch new staff onboarding program to ensure consistent high quality staff experience
  • Manage talent management processes including: Annual performance management cycle - Ensure evaluations are timely, equitable and reflective of the organization’s values and expectations
  • Annual development and career pathway planning - Ensure annual development plans are in place and implemented for all employees, focused on both immediate and longer-term organizational needs (both training on technical skill and stretch opportunities for growth and assessment).
  • Annual talent assessments - Ensure assessment mechanisms are in place to support all employees in their development and identify team members with greatest future potential.
  • Build a coherent and equitable competency and role structure for the entire EL organization.
  • Ensure talent development efforts are implemented equitably with no difference across race or other dimensions of identity.
  • Develop focused engagement and retention efforts, including leadership development plans and talent and succession planning across the organization.

Learning & Development

  • In collaboration with the Executive office, this role will also work to build out a new centralized learning and development function for the organization that serves a diverse set of roles across the organization and develop standard and differentiated learning and development strategies that maximize individual and team outcomes.


The ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Commitment to EL Education’s model, mission, and equity journey;
  • Systems orientation and experience with successfully taking an organization from startup to established/medium-sized;
  • Experience balancing strategy with implementation, with a focus on being agile and creative in a complex, ever-changing environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to stabilize through the implementation of lasting structures and systems grounded in latest research and practices;
  • Talent mapping expertise, including but not limited to succession planning and performance and talent management design;
  • A background in learning and development and/or talent acquisition to acquire, retain, and develop new and existing staff;
  • Fluency with having identity-based conversations across various levels of seniority and identity groups;
  • Adaptive, relational, and able to lead through influence;
  • Emotionally intelligent leader who can address and repair crises while holding space for joy and healing;
  • A background in education is not required; business sector experience is a plus.


  • At least 10+ years of talent leadership experience, with progressively increasing management experience in the context of a growing organization or business, including at least three of the functional domains of the CPO role.
  • Demonstrated success in juggling multiple projects and competing priorities across multiple teams of people with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated passion for issues of equity and race.
  • Demonstrated ability to create cultural shifts grounded in community while centering and uplifting marginalized voices.
  • Demonstrated success in driving individuals and teams with a focus on equity and racial justice.
  • Bachelor's degree required.

This position is remote, with a 15% travel requirement.


EL Education offers a competitive salary commensurate $200,000 - 225,000 with experience and a wide variety of benefits, including paid-time-off, 403b match, maternity/paternity leave, medical/dental/vision insurance, etc.


Please submit your resume and one-page cover letter in MS Word or PDF format by applying on our website. In your cover letter, identify the position you are applying for and how you heard of the job opening and EL Education.

No phone calls please. EL Education will respond only to finalist candidates.


Candidates of color are encouraged to apply. EL Education is committed to equity across the organization: in services to our partners, in our workforce composition and practices, and in our organizational culture. EL Education provides equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees and prohibits discrimination with respect to the hiring or promotion of individuals, conditions of employment, disciplinary and discharge practices, or any other aspect of employment on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, disability, or any other factor which cannot lawfully be used as a basis for an employment decision. EOE

VEVRAA Federal Contractor