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Director / Sr. Director Program

  • Date Posted
    • 5.16.19
  • Organization
    • EL Education
  • Role
    • National HQ
  • Commitment
    • Full-Time
  • Location
    • New York City, Amherst, or Remote location; travel required (~30%)


EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) is expanding the definition of student achievement in diverse communities across the country. We create great public schools where they are needed most, inspiring teachers and students to achieve more than they thought possible.

Originating over 20 years ago through the collaboration of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, EL Education's research-based approach inspires teachers and challenges students, transforming education in thousands of schools and districts across the country through a unique combination of rigor and joy in learning. Our impressive results encompass high academic achievement and college readiness as well as pride in the mastery of complex, authentic work, and the passion and capacity to contribute to a better world.

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, we work with all kinds of schools: district, charter, elementary and secondary, serving populations that reflect the diversity of our country. We create powerful resources--including an open source literacy curriculum that has already been downloaded by teachers over six million times--and share an award-winning portfolio of educator-developed professional development and instructional resources with our 150+ school partners in 39 states, serving over 50,000 students. For more information, visit


The Director/Senior Director, Program oversees the creation, curation, and dissemination of program resources and supports the professional development of field staff. This position reports to the Managing Director of Program and supervises a team of approximately four full time staff plus consultants. This is a full-time position. Note: the final title will be determined based on the candidate’s experience and final scope of role.


Specific responsibilities include:

1. Develop program strategy (in partnership with internal stakeholders), set priorities, lead development, and oversee management of EL Education’s program roadmap that will allow us to achieve impact with partners.  

  • Conduct ongoing qualitative needs assessment with field staff and partners to identify strengths and gaps (e.g., analyzing trends from partnership satisfaction surveys).
  • Represent the work/perspective of Directors on other teams to inform Program Development.
  • Serve as a key coordination and integration point for programmatic coherence (resources created both within and beyond the Program Team).
  • Serve as equal voice at the table with field-facing senior directors when setting priorities and determining implications for field staff development.
  • Facilitate the Resources Coherence Team (cross-functional working group of key individuals who create intellectual property for EL Education).

2. Oversee, develop, launch, and manage portfolio of programmatic resources for diverse partner types

  • Analyze existing resources for strengths, gaps, and alignment with emerging strategy
  • Develop and evolve the program roadmap for network schools.
  • Manage development and curation of bundle resources for school partners.
  • Oversee development and curation of bundle resources for district literacy partners (led by the Associate Director, Program Development)
  • Collaborate with Director of Online Learning, who manages program-sponsored online learning for partners.
  • Collaborate with Associate Director, Program Offerings, who manages program-sponsored in person learning for partners.
  • Support keepers in the creation and revision of institutes, as needed.

3. Supervise, coach, and develop an inclusive, high-functioning, and accountable team of 4-5 staff members whose primary responsibilities are Program Development

  • Ensure that all staff develop high quality individual goals, participate in mid-year and end of year feedback/evaluation sessions.
  • Frame scope of work and supervise consultants whose primary responsibility is designing programmatic content (e.g., math specialist).
  • Consistently check in with direct reports about sustainability.
  • Effectively foster inclusion by addressing microaggressions on the spot and encourage dialogue amongst team members to gain awareness/learnings and disrupt patterns of exclusion or inequities.
  • Ask for feedback proactively from direct reports.
  • Build diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens into hiring practices.
  • Create a safe space for team members that encourages ongoing, open and authentic dialogue.
  • Ensure that equity and inclusion practices are included in team agendas and one on one check ins. Evaluate policies and practices with a DEI lens and adjust as needed; solicit ongoing input from internal DEI groups.

4. Manage the business aspects of program resource development

  • Manage the program resource development budget
  • Analyze and publish metrics on programmatic resource impact (customer surveys, etc.)  
  • Conduct external market research to drive program innovation

5. Serve as trusted advisor internally (including with senior leaders) on key cross-functional strategy teams, including the following

  • Field leadership team
  • Network Strategy team
  • Literacy Partnership team
  • Continuous Improvement Working Group
  • Measurement Team

6. Bridge Resource Development to Field Staff Development

  • Collaborate with members within and beyond Program team to identify, revise, or create key resources to serve as anchors for field staff development, aligned to strategic priorities.
  • Serve as the accountable decision maker regarding the content and format of these resources.
  • Serve on the field staff development design team.
  • As needed, collaborate with members within and beyond Program team to design exemplary professional development to EL  field staff.

7. Deliver professional development to high stakes school or district partners

  • With EL coaches, facilitate at least 15 days/year of partner-facing PD.


A successful candidate will have:

  • A Master’s degree in education, psychology, or related field, or demonstrated experience learned on the job
  • 5 or more years of relevant work experience, some district experience preferred
  • At least two years of leadership/supervision experience, experience working with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds strongly preferred
  • A deep understanding of EL’s model and K-8 Language Arts Curriculum
  • A demonstrated commitment to educational equity, and a proven track record of helping schools and/or districts deepen instruction and increase student achievement across the three dimensions of achievement
  • Demonstrated strategic thinking, envisioning and executing on long-term program roadmaps, and creating systems and structures to ensure quality at scale
  • A demonstrated commitment to live EL Education’s organizational norms (in particular considering diverse voices, ideas, and perspectives; addressing conflict directly, productively, and with compassion)
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, initiative, and a commitment to innovation and iteration
  • Strong project management skills; proven ability to prioritize and execute strategies/tasks under pressure when needed; demonstrated experience managing complex deadline-intensive projects
  • Ability to think flexibly (responsive to needs of partners and EL field facing teams)
  • Ability to embrace change, give and receive feedback, and apply a growth mindset
  • Proven ability to inspire and manage a team towards completing a project or goal
  • Proven ability to develop high quality professional development and supporting materials for diverse audiences in multiple formats (face-to-face and online)
  • Proven ability to facilitate high-quality professional development for diverse audiences
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively; excellent organization, self-management, relationship-building, and collaboration skills
  • Extraordinary verbal and written, relationship building, and interpersonal skills
  • Proficiency with multiple online learning platforms: Canvas and Adobe preferred
  • Fluency in Microsoft Office and Google Applications
  • Willingness to work in an office (NYC/Amherst) or from home (depending on location of person hired)
  • A passion for EL’s mission

Travel: This position requires some travel, up to 30%.


Competitive compensation and benefits package commensurate with experience.


The anticipated start date for this position is  July 15, 2019. 

Applications will be reviewed until filled. 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 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