Director of Strategic Literacy Initiative

WestEd   •  

San Francisco, CA

Industry: Government & Non-Profit


Not Specified years

Posted 168 days ago

This job is no longer available.

Position Description

WestEd seeks an energetic, entrepreneurial leader with a commitment to improving literacy outcomes, and with the vision and flexibility to take the work of SLI, a signature program at WestEd, to the next level of scale and visibility. The new SLI Director will lead a talented and dedicated team of 14 staff members, and oversee a roughly $6M annual portfolio of work including direct services to schools and districts and on-going R&D to improve services to the field. Working closely with this team, the Director will develop and execute the next stage of SLI’s mid-and long-range growth. The Director will lead SLI’s resource development efforts and be the primary national spokesperson representing SLI’s Reading Apprenticeship. In addition, the Director will manage staff who direct sales, program, research, dissemination and marketing. Qualities of nimble and strategic thinking and a strongly collegial approach to work with the highly talented and long-term current staff will be essential to success in this position.


  • Represent SLI nationally to increase visibility and secure funding from SEAs, LEAs, foundations and federal grant programs; this will include frequent travel to meetings with potential future clients, funders, and influencers, as well as presenting keynotes.
  • Take primary responsibility for coordinating and managing SLI's resource development efforts. Provide leadership in matching emerging needs from the field with funding opportunities.
  • Ensure ongoing excellence of all SLI projects and financial sustainability of the SLI program.
  • Supervise two Associate Directors who comprise SLI’s management team, together with the Director. Work with them on development of high-level business/sales decisions, deployment of staff for strategic growth and high-quality services.
  • Lead an inclusive and reflective process of continuing learning and iterative development of SLI’s long-range strategic growth.
  • Strategically develop partnerships inside and outside of WestEd to further SLI's mission.
  • As a program leader within WestEd, contribute to agency-wide strategic initiatives.


  • Passion for equitable education and high-level literacy achievement as a means to personal and societal advancement.
  • Successful experience collaboratively leading highly creative and productive, mission-driven teams.
  • Proven track record and recent experience in fundraising from various sources, including SEAs and LEAs, foundations, government agencies, venture capitalists and philanthropic organizations; ability to tap existing personal networks with decision makers.
  • Evidence of effective organizational leadership of non-profit education-related organization including fiscal and personnel management, strategic planning and resource development; 7+ years experience in this role preferred.
  • Ability to become fluent and be persuasive with multiple audiences about the theory and practice behind SLI’s work.
  • Proven ability to take initiative, plan, organize, direct, and complete work on multiple tasks with concurrent deadlines.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Masters or higher-level degree in relevant field required; PhD or EdD preferred.
  • Ability to travel nationally (approximately 2-3 times/month).

    Additional Qualifications
  • Expertise/teaching experience in adolescent literacy and/or adult professional learning.
  • Leadership position working in school districts and/or state level education agencies.
  • Familiarity with community college reform issues and faculty development and needs.