Chief Executive Officer at Citizen School


Our Why

Citizen Schools is a dynamic national nonprofit composed of education and industry leaders, each committed to building brighter futures for students in historically underserved communities and to creating conditions through purposeful partnership for every student to achieve success on their terms. Our organization’s focus is on providing academically engaging, socially responsive, and culturally rich learning experiences in the STEM arena that propel students toward the lives of their dreams and toward the careers of the near and far future.

What We Do

We believe that equity begins with opportunity. In an effort to close the opportunity gap and to ensure equitable access to a world-class education for all students in the communities we serve, we lead systems to change at multiple levels by coaching and training teachers to provide hands-on learning experiences at schools, and by sharing capacity, resources, and best practices with other communities. Our passion for the past 25 years at Citizen Schools has been – and continues to be – igniting curiosity, building confidence, and expanding horizons for our students and those who support them.

What You’ll Do

As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and leader of Citizen Schools, you will lead our organization as we implement key programmatic shifts designed to keep our organization moving forward in an equitable, sustainable, and research-based fashion. Reporting to the Board of Directors, our new CEO will advance our commitment to racial equity, foster a healthy and functional culture, deepen capacity in our stakeholders, refine and enhance our internal processes, and strengthen our community impact.

What You’ll Own

Visionary Leadership & Organizational Management

  • Ensure that the Citizen Schools mission and vision is well-articulated and well understood by our staff, partners and stakeholders
  • Model thought leadership that is inclusive, transparent, and empowering in a manner that breathes life into the organization’s vision and disrupts the status quo
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensure its overall successful immediate, short-term, and long-term operations
  • Ensure written and spoken communication is consistent with Citizen Schools’ goals and programs; engage policy advocacy in support of the organization

Development, Fundraising & Network Cultivation

  • Initiate, cultivate, and extend relationships with the organization’s portfolio of individual, foundation, and corporate supporters with an emphasis on developing new partnerships
  • Lead efforts to generate philanthropic support in collaboration with the Vice President of External Engagement, leveraging the Board as needed
  • Generate interest in engaged philanthropy with an emphasis on establishing and nurturing new partnerships with potential funders
  • Communicate with Citizen Schools partners and supporters to cultivate strong relationships and continued support for Citizen Schools’ mission and core priorities

Board Governance

  • Manage strong relationship and partnership with the Board, particularly the Chair, maintaining regular and ongoing communication with the entire Board, and providing support and guidance to members to support effective governance of the organization
  • Work closely and openly with the Board and its committees, ensuring ongoing communication of risks, issues, and successes
  • Implement Board policies and procedures and build support for Board decisions among staff

Financial Management & Administration

  • Spearhead, monitor, and ensure the fiscal integrity of the organization
  • Direct multi-state resources and expenses, and manage all financials prudently in conjunction with the CFO within budget guidelines and according to current laws and regulations
  • Ensure maximum resource utilization, budget management, and maintenance of the organization to put the organization in a positive, productive, and sustainable financial situation
  • Secure the organization’s financial stability and sustainability by maintaining healthy cash flow and adequate reserves

Community Partnership Building

  • Present and promote the organization and its mission, programs, partners, and members in a consistently positive manner
  • Create trusting relationships with community institutions and offer solutions that create value for students
  • Introduce a new paradigm for education that broadens commitment and responsibility for providing equitable opportunities for students

Senior Leadership Team Management & Development

  • Mentor and develop the existing senior leadership team ensuring functional areas continue to be led by strong, mission-aligned colleagues
  • Where and when needed, recruit diverse new leaders externally
  • Spearhead effective talent management strategies throughout the organization, including operationalizing a path to advancement that is open to all Citizen Schools staff
  • Coach and develop direct reports to be effective in their roles and in the management of their teams and functional areas


What Skills You’ll Need to be Successful

Extraordinary Influencer & Connector

  • Connecting purposefully, intentionally, and masterfully with others in various ways is clearly a strength in your repertoire of skills as a nonprofit executive and education leader. You express yourself with clarity, respect, and awareness in conversations and interactions with others.
  • You are committed to transparency and authenticity in your communication with stakeholders at every level. You invite, include, and engage at every turn in the spirit of equity and empowerment based on your deep skills as a relationship builder.

Advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • You contribute with intention and purpose to organizational relationships by challenging assumptions, understanding alternative perspectives and beliefs, addressing inequities, and employing a variety of strategies to develop trust across the organization.
  • You foster, promote, and drive a culture of inclusion in our organization. Implementing DEI performance indicators is a key aspect of your approach to assessing organizational health. You are intent on including the voices of those closest to the challenge we seek to address.
  • You are able to build authentic relationships across lines of difference (race, gender, age, socioeconomic background, LGBTQIA+ status, etc.) through self-reflection, empathy, and a clear personal identity.
  • You recognize race and power dynamics playing out within our organization at all levels and interrupt those inequities through honest and difficult conversations and actions.

Fearless Resilience

  • Your experience has imbued in you the capacity and willingness to speak your philosophical truth and share your organizational beliefs without hesitation. Your commitment to Citizen Schools’ vision and mission lives in your interactions in the field and with internal stakeholders.
  • You are willing and able to run into the storm of difficult conversations and necessary conflict with the genuine belief that it is in this essential crucible that change happens and progress is made.

Strategic Change Leadership

  • You have the ability to analyze conditions for change by considering education trends and geographical markets with a focus on stakeholder needs. You are confident in developing and communicating goals in support of Citizen Schools’ vision and mission.
  • Your propensity to lead innovative practice, entrepreneurial thinking, and organizational design efforts is evident in everything you do. You thrive on leading organizational effectiveness by initiating, sponsoring, and implementing organizational change. You are confident in developing strategy and leading the team toward Citizen Schools’ collective north star.

Guardian of Trust

  • As a leader, your words and actions are consistent. You demonstrate trust and respect for others no matter what. You refuse to respond to external pressure in a way that is in conflict with your ethics. You understand deeply that trust must be earned.
  • You keep confidence, accept responsibility, maintain transparency, and lead by example. As the CEO for Citizen Schools, your constant and consistent embodiment of this value means more to you than anything. Integrity and trust comprise the fulcrum upon which your success balances.

What You’ll Bring

  • 6+ years of senior leadership experience in nonprofit or education contexts at progressive levels of responsibility with evidence of successful development and organizational outcomes
  • Understanding of current education climate and corresponding response strategies in urban public school contexts
  • Experience working in conjunction with a board to identify priorities, establish goals, monitor progress, and produce outcomes in service to stakeholders
  • Ability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity in times of tremendous change, and to prioritize work efforts to achieve overall strategy as defined in collaboration with the Board of Directors
  • Active belief in our core values of teamwork, perseverance, curiosity, confidence, and DEI

The location for this role is flexible and can be located in one of Citizen Schools’ current cities with a preference for Boston, NYC, Bay Area, Dayton, OH, and Charlotte, NC.


Salary Range: $185-$260K annually.

The salary for this integral leadership position is competitive and commensurate with prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the ultimate offer for the identified sole finalist. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses. Citizen Schools is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from diverse candidates. Citizen Schools does not discriminate in any aspect of employment on the basis of race, color, ancestry or national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or age.