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Managing Director, External Relations

Remote, USA
The Learning Accelerator (TLA) is a national nonprofit working to drive promising new and innovative educational approaches to the center of teaching and learning for every child, in every classroom, in every school in America. Underpinning TLA's work is a drive to ensure each student receives an effective, equitable, and engaging education that supports them to reach their full and unique potential. Our mission is to connect teachers and leaders with the knowledge, tools, and networks they need to transform K-12 education.
At a time of strategic growth and opportunity, TLA is seeking a Managing Director, External Relations to provide leadership in elevating TLA as an essential partner, field builder, and thought leader in the K-12 education space. Reporting to the CEO and serving on the senior leadership team, this hire will oversee all aspects of external relations – inclusive of strategic partnerships, stakeholder engagement, audience development, and high-leverage content dissemination  – working collaboratively with the TLA team and leaders across the K-12 education field to drive shared action and impact.

Specifically, as Managing Director, External Relations, you will:

Design, implement, and oversee a comprehensive strategy for external relations and field building
  • Evolve, strengthen, and articulate a strategic vision that leverages TLA’s unique position as a leader in the field of innovative teaching and learning practices.
  • Build and expand ongoing partnership and engagement with key strategic allies and stakeholders across the K-12 education field, inclusive of district leaders, school leaders, practitioners, researchers, think tanks, and education funders.
  • Serve as an internal consultant to TLA’s program leaders on dissemination of content to targeted audiences. Think expansively about networks and partners to drive broader distribution and greater exposure, as well as creative ways to package and market TLA’s knowledge and resources.
  • Lead media and public relations, pursue relevant sources and outlets, and maintain relationships with media, membership organizations, innovation hubs, and other influencers to pitch and place stories.
  • Guide CEO’s time and efforts spent on thought-leadership activities at the national level, including managing speaking engagements, press opportunities, and editorial placements.
  • Partner closely with program staff to elevate their work and exert field-level thought-leadership. Guide program leaders to develop their own platforms to amplify their subject matter expertise.
  • Pursue ways to convene the brain power of national organizations, coalitions, and other collective-impact initiatives to build two-way connections between TLA’s work and the broader education field.
  • Work hand-in-hand with the CEO and Board development committee to support TLA’s development function, helping to define messages for and build relationships with individual and institutional K-12 funders.
  • Translate brand and storytelling materials for fundraising purposes, helping to create clear and compelling cases for support of TLA’s work. Support the development of aligned materials, applications, pitches, and funder communications in alignment with funding priorities.
  • Develop, refine, and oversee systems to track engagement and impact, leveraging data to gain insights about what’s working and what’s not.
  • Become a knowledgeable ambassador for TLA with an understanding of the broader educational landscape. Keep a finger on the pulse of trends and news within the educational field, and ensure the TLA remains relevant and central in the broader conversation about the needs of the K-12 space.

Serve as a senior organizational leader and culture builder
  • As a member of TLA’s 4-member senior leadership team, collaborate with the CEO, Chief Operating Officer, and other senior leaders to drive the organization's vision, strategy, and cultural development.
  • Play an active role in creating organizational structures that support growth and sustainability, such as staffing structures and business models.
  • Support TLA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work, ensuring the operationalization
  • Maintain a “30,000-foot view” across a diverse portfolio of projects and programs in order to identify new opportunities to expand TLA’s reach and impact.
  • Provide leadership in strengthening collaboration between program and external relations functions; serve as advisor and coach to internal stakeholders on strategic communications activities.

  • An education advocate who is committed to TLA’s mission and values. You believe in connecting teachers and leaders with the knowledge, tools, and networks they need and driving systems-level change to transform K-12 education. You thrive in an environment that values impact, collective intelligence and action, joyful authenticity, humble persistence, nimbleness and entrepreneurialism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and – above all -- putting kids first.
  • A versatile leader and communicator who enjoys external-facing work. You bring 10+ years of relevant work experience, including 5+ in a leadership role, with demonstrated skill in external relations, thought leadership/content dissemination, strategic partnerships, and other approaches that elevate an organization in the context of a broader field. Demonstrated knowledge of the K-12 education sector is required.
  • A thoughtful relationship builder who inspires others to action. You bring success at forging lasting connections and working with and through people in order to create collective impact. You are cognizant and appreciative of asks for others’ time and talents. You bring a consultative approach in helping internal teams leverage their strengths.
  • A strategic thinker with the ability to implement tactically. You are skillful at seeing the big picture and looking across projects to integrate learning, make connections, and think generatively. You leverage the wisdom of others, along with best practice, resources, and insights from the field to inform communications strategy. You are action-oriented and maximize available resources in order to make the greatest impact both within your organization and the broader ecosystem.
  • An exceptional writer and presenter, with strength in conveying complex information clearly. You are skilled in analyzing, breaking down, and communicating complex ideas for lay audiences. You demonstrate an understanding of the context surrounding an issue area and create logical arguments that clearly articulate the “why” behind an organization’s mission and impact. Experience in funder-facing writing is a plus.
  • A resourceful, agile, and willing team player. You roll up your sleeves in a highly entrepreneurial environment, with enjoyment of working on a small-but-mighty team that pulls beyond its weight. You are comfortable working remotely and in a matrixed fashion to drive towards outcomes and impact goals.
  • A catalyst for diversity, equity, and inclusion. You hold an analysis of racial and social inequities within education systems. You are self-reflective about your own growth and learning, relative privilege, and positional power. You believe that diversity makes us better and that inclusivity is an active and intentional pursuit.

TLA is a national remote organization. The Managing Director will work flexibly from a location of their choosing. Occasional travel for programmatic work and team events (up to 10%) is expected.
This is a full time, salaried position with competitive benefits and the opportunity to work in a flexible, culture- and mission-focused professional environment. Compensation is commensurate with skills and experience; however, the anticipated salary range for this position is $140,000-$150,000.
If this opportunity calls out to you, please Apply Here to submit 1) a tailored cover letter that explains why The Learning Accelerator’s work excites you and why this particular role is a fit for you and 2) your resume. Please address your cover letter to Beth Rabbitt, Chief Executive Officer. We review applications on a rolling basis and strive to get back to applicants within two weeks. Start date is as soon as possible.

As an equal opportunity employer, The Learning Accelerator recognizes the power of a diverse community and strongly encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds. TLA considers applicants for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status (provided you are legally able to work in the U.S.), age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law. TLA aims to be an inclusive organization committed to accessibility; if you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.

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