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P21 Executive Director - Job Description

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Job Description Summary

The Executive Director is a full-time, Washington DC-based position that leads the activities of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a leading national non-profit education organization.  The Executive Director is responsible for development and implementation of policies established in conjunction with the Executive Board and Strategic Council, including an annual strategic plan, as well as the financial, program, and administrative management of the organization.  The Executive Director will manage a team of senior staff and consultants with expertise in 21st Century Education, advocacy, outreach, and policy development.


  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in public policy development and advocacy at the state or federal levels, preferably in K-12 education – advanced degree preferred
  • Experience overseeing not-for-profit management
  • Experience working with a Board of Directors or other governing body
  • Experience in coalition management


  • Is an innovative, inspirational leader with the experience and ability to lead the 21st Century Skills national movement
  • Has an exceptional reputation among his/her peers and an influential professional network
  • Understands and has the ability to influence politics at the federal and state level
  • Has experience in building and maintaining strategic partnerships in the for-profit and non-profit sectors
  • Has experience in growing and engaging membership as well as leveraging collective interests
  • Has experience in building diverse revenue streams
  • Is an excellent communicator, collaborator, problem solver, and critical thinker
  • Is committed to 21st century skills movement
  • Has the ability to problem-solve creatively and effectively
  • Has the ability to meet and manage deadlines
  • Is an effective organizer and motivator
  • Works well with diverse organizations and personalities to promote a common vision while recognizing and acknowledging essential differences
  • Responds appropriately to politically sensitive challenges
  • Can manage effectively in a fluid, fast-paced environment and build diverse revenue streams
  • Collaborates effectively with team members and board members located nationwide
  • Maintains confidentiality and exhibits sound judgment
  • Possesses a sense of humor
  • Has the ability to travel 30-40% of the time


  • Serves as the public spokesperson for P21, in close collaboration with the Board Chair, including contributing to publications, making speeches and other presentations as part of the P21 Speakers Bureau, and through personal communication to influential audiences.
  • Provides leadership in developing programmatic, organizational, and financial plans with the Executive Board and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the Board.
  • Ensures long-term financial sustainability by cultivating multiple sources of funding.
  • Utilizes private and public sector experience to skillfully and tactfully communicate the organization’s approach and philosophies to entities or individuals, empowering them to include 21st Century Skills in educational structures.
  • Is responsible for recruiting and maintaining a vibrant Strategic Council.  Effectively manages a diverse organization and works with individuals to collectively create a consensus.
  • Promotes the organization to key external parties of interest, potential Strategic Council members, state partners, the media and governmental agencies.
  • Develops a strategic approach to the State Partner Program, to include recruitment of additional States and support of the current States in the program.
  • Influences the development and implementation of federal and state policy initiatives, to include collaboration with members of Congress, US Department of Education, the White House, and other relevant state and federal governmental agencies.
  • Stays abreast of trends, practices, laws, and other related aspects of education policy.
  • Leads the organization in accordance with P21 bylaws and policies to ensure that the Board of Directors carries out its legal responsibilities and serves the needs and interests of the P21 membership.
  • Administers overall operations of the organization, including:  reviewing and evaluating the results of program activities/deliverables, ensuring contractual obligations are fulfilled, and allocating resources for greater program effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Manages annual strategic planning process to ensure the organization has a long-range strategy that achieves the organizational mission towards which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  • Responsibly manages the financial operations of the organization, including the development and implementation of the annual budget, in collaboration with Finance and Audit Committee.
  • Supports of all activities associated with the Strategic Council, including staffing for all meetings, logistics and development of agenda and meeting materials.

Please submit resume, cover letter, and salary requirements by COB October 1, 2012 to: 
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (email preferred)
P21-ED application
c/o Partnership for 21st Century Skills
One Massachusetts Ave NW,  Suite 700
Washington DC 20001