Vice President, External Affairs
Hiring Manager: Evan Stone, Co-CEO, Programs
Location: E4E chapter locations preferred (New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; St. Paul, MN; Boston, MA; New Haven, CT) but remote applicants should feel free to apply; approx ~20% travel
Application Deadline: May 14, 2023
Role Tier: 5–Head
Our nation’s education system is leaving millions of students–including an overwhelming number of students of color and low-income students–unprepared for college, career, and life. While research shows that classroom teachers are the single most important in-school factor in improving student achievement, their diverse voices are consistently left out of education policy decisions. For far too long, teachers have been treated as subjects of change rather than as agents of change.
Founded by public school teachers, Educators for Excellence is a growing movement of 35,000 educators, united around a common set of values and principles for improving student learning and elevating the teaching profession. We work together to identify issues that impact our schools, create solutions to these challenges, and advocate for policies and programs that give all students access to a quality education.
What We Do
Our Theory of Change is grounded in two long-term goals that are inextricably linked: better outcomes for our students and the elevation of the quality and prestige of the teaching profession. We achieve these goals by changing policy at the district, state, and federal levels and transforming our teachers’ union to be more student-focused, democratic, diverse, and anti-racist. United around our Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs, we are building powerful movement to lead this change by:
- Organizing educators who share a common vision of equity and excellence in schools,
- Training and supporting teacher leadership, and
- Advocating for teacher-led recommendations at all levels of government, within teachers’ unions, and in the public conversation around education.
Educators for Excellence envisions an equitable and excellent education system that provides all students the opportunity to succeed and elevates the teaching profession.
E4E organizes anti-racist, student focused educators, builds their leadership capabilities and collective power through issue based advocacy campaigns, and supports them to take on positions of leadership in their schools, districts, and most importantly, in their unions. Over our nearly 13-year history, we have made incredible progress organizing teachers to take action to uplift their students and profession. Through E4E, tens of thousands of educators have signed on to a common vision for elevating the teaching profession and improving student outcomes; thousands of teacher members have successfully advocated for and won equity and excellence focused policy changes in their local communities; and hundreds have trained for and taken on positions of elected and appointed leadership in their schools, districts, and unions.
In the next year, E4E will be launching a new three-year strategic plan to build on our learnings from the last thirteen years of impact, especially as the organization adjusted its programming during and after the pandemic. This role will have a critical leadership role in designing and executing on E4E’s programmatic strategy which will focus on building teacher power both in person and online, to drive anti-racist and student-centered changes in our six chapters and nationally. We know that our work is more urgent and important than ever during this unprecedented moment in our nation’s education history, and as a result we are making strategic investments in our leadership team, infrastructure, and program model to continue to accelerate our efficacy and impact.
Reporting directly to the Chief Program Officer, the Vice President, External Affairs (VPEA) will sit on the Leadership Team and oversee all of E4E’s policy, advocacy, partnerships, and communications work nationally. The VPEA is charged with directly managing a large team of professionals who support local chapters in shaping policy positions and running effective grassroots advocacy campaigns on issues affecting teachers and students. Furthermore, the VPEA will oversee all of E4E’s national positions, research and policy surveys.
The VPEA will also work in partnership with the Chief Growth Officer and the Chief Program Officer to manage partnerships with other national organizations working on education policy, and forge coalitions with other external partners to drive towards E4E’s mission and goals. This role is critical to the organization fulfilling our theory of change and ensuring that teachers’ voices influence the decisions of key stakeholders at the local, state and national level.
With chapters currently operating in Los Angeles, New York, Connecticut, Chicago, Massachusetts and Minnesota, our organizing culture is grounded in our passion for impacting educational systems and revolves around an innovative, roll-up-your-sleeves spirit backed by a shared commitment to continuous professional growth.
Scope: What is the nature of the role?
Campaign Strategy and Execution:
- Set the vision and strategy for E4E’s Policy, Advocacy, and Digital Organizing to increase member engagement and leadership of our campaigns;
- Design and execute national advocacy plans, and coach and support the development of local advocacy plans that further the positions of E4E members;
- Create and manage a process for local teams and members to formulate national organizational policy stances on current education issues;
- Collaborate with the VP, Organizing and Field to support local, state and national organizing around these key policy stances; and
- Design and implement creative national programming for teacher-members related to national policy issues.
Team and Membership Communication:
- Set a clear strategic vision for external communications and oversee all of E4E’s external communication channels to ensure a consistent student-centered and solutions-oriented brand and message that increases teacher power and elevates the teaching profession;
- Oversee the analysis of relevant national, state and district education policy news so that it can be communicated to members and stakeholders through E4E’s news blog and weekly newsletter and to staff through regular policy briefs, working closely with the National Communications, Policy, and Digital Teams;
- Develop systems for setting organizational positions, aligning talking points on key issues and coaching staff members to understand and facilitate conversations on current policy issues with teachers; and
- Develop and oversee systems to support and coach staff members to engage teachers in articulating their ideas on education policy issues through social media, letters to the editor, op-eds, blog posts, and other appropriate media.
Management and Enterprise Leadership:
- Directly manage the national communications, digital and policy streams through layers;
- As a member of the Leadership Team and manager of multiple national streams of work, support and coach local chapter staff and others around policy and communications;
- Lead E4E’s national policy and communications efforts with an innovative approach and commitment to continuous learning by norming on best practices and providing training, learning opportunities, modules and professional development to chapter teams and members;
- Work directly with the National Growth and Development team to help inform and identify cross collaborative growth and policy initiatives including overseeing program team execution of initiatives and grant deliverables;
- Participate in the budget development process and manage any applicable grant budgets pertaining to external affairs with a high level of fiscal responsibility; and
- Oversee the strategy for implementation of strategic plan initiatives both nationally and in each of our chapters.
Networking and Partnerships:
- Build and maintain relationships with national policy organizations, advocacy organizations, union and elected leaders, and other key stakeholders on behalf of E4E, identifying shared stances and strategic opportunities for E4E to collaborate with other organizations;
- Engage key elected officials, policymakers, union leaders, and district, state, and federal officials in the work of E4E members; and
- Plan and coordinate national policy events (such as panel discussions and guest speaker series) and support sites in planning and executing their local event series.
Cultural leadership: As a member of the National Program Team, the VP will be a champion of E4E’s Core Values and Commitment to Anti-Racism. This staff member actively embodies anti-racist practices in all aspects of their work, and pushes the organization and their colleagues to continue to grow and improve within these values by modeling a strong and inclusive culture for their team and the streams of work they manage. The VP will support a team culture where all people can thrive, grow and develop in order to further the mission of E4E.
Qualifications & Requirements
- At least 10+ years of professional experience.
- Successful track record of digital organizing and effectively designing communication & policy strategies.
- Political, advocacy, or issue based campaign experience.
- Experience managing multiple direct reports through layers and working across teams to drive organizational success.
- Skill and experience with setting strategy and managing teams to effectively execute on ambitious goals.
- Passion and commitment to E4E’s mission; experience working on issues relevant to our work; experience working in a policy/advocacy/systems-change organization preferred.
- Bachelor’s degree required. Advanced degree preferred (Communications, Policy, or Non-profit leadership).
- Exceptional organizational skills, high level of efficiency, and ability to manage operations and multiple projects at one time with precision. Experience utilizing project management software is preferred.
- Ability to produce and deliver clear, concise, formal and informal oral and written communications to a variety of audiences.
- Comfort and fluency with SalesForce, G-suite, Slack, Asana, and presentation formats like Powerpoint preferred.
- Comfort with different digital and web platforms.
Transportation: Often works out of the office (or home office), with ~20% travel
- Time will be divided between office meetings with staff within the organization, and self-directed execution of tasks.
- Must be able to work occasional weekends and evenings for programmatic events and other priorities.
- Must be willing to travel to meet with staff across the country.
Core Values: What beliefs do you embody? How do you approach your work?
- Deep Belief in Mission - We believe change is possible, so we equip ourselves to achieve it.
- Achieve Ambitious Goals - We strive to have a transformational impact on the staff, teachers, and students we serve.
- High Quality Work - We ensure all deliverables meet our standard of excellence.
- Ownership - We take part in finding solutions for the problems we identify.
- Responsiveness - We keep each other in the loop to keep the work moving forward.
- Equity - We look for opportunities to redistribute power in response to inequity.
- Evaluation and Reflection - We look for opportunities to celebrate success & show growth in ourselves and in our work.
- Empowering Feedback - We constantly give observable & actionable feedback in a way that demonstrates belief in our people.
Positional Skills - What can you do well?
- Ensuring Diverse & Equitable Environments - Offer appropriate levels of transparency into decisions, advocate and make cases for promotion when applicable, and promote healthy conflict without fear of retaliation
- Setting Vision & Direction - Establishes a clear vision that is mission aligned, sets measurable goals and develops teams and activities to maintain alignment with this vision
- Leading Change - Identifies necessary shifts in a timely manner, involves key stakeholders in the planning process, promotes buy-in & follow-through, and adjusts course as needed
- Enterprise Leadership - Makes decisions in the best interest of the broader organization; constantly leveraging opportunities to advance or promote organizational goals and expand impact; addresses short term needs with the longevity of the organization in mind
- Building High Performing Teams - Hire high-quality, talent whose strengths match the needs of the work; develops an environment of camaraderie and collaboration that enables teams to meet & exceed goals
Functional Knowledge - What do you know a lot about?
- Broad knowledge of all functional areas of organizing (e.g. campaign organizing, building membership, movement building)
- Broad knowledge of all functional areas of external affairs (e.g. media & press, writing & public speaking, digital campaigns and marketing)
- Preferred: Experience with union organizing, union bylaws & collective bargaining
- Demonstrated knowledge of national and local education policy landscapes
Educators for Excellence (E4E) is committed to valuing team members holistically in appreciation of their contribution to the organization’s success and for the good they create for society as part of our mission. While there are many facets of the “Total Rewards” package that come with working at E4E, compensation is a significant factor in a team member’s decision to work here. As such, we strive to attract, retain and reward top talent by offering competitive salaries and benefits that are equitably and transparently administered. Therefore, we do not engage in salary negotiations - our first offer is always our best offer!
The salary band for this role is $150,000 - $175,000.
*based on NYC cost of labor and adjusted for candidates in different geographic regions.
Within this range, our competitive, non-negotiable salary offer will be based on a candidate’s relevant experience and credentials, role-related competencies assessed through our robust hiring process, and geographic location.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
All new employees are required to comply with E4E’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires all staff be fully vaccinated prior to the start of employment. An employee will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the requisite number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Employees may request an exemption as a reasonable accommodation due to a medical reason or sincerely held religious belief.
E4E abides by each state’s requirements, and acknowledges they may change over time. If you advance forward to an interview, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about this job requirement.
Benefits & Applying
Educators for Excellence (E4E) believes in providing employees with benefits to support self-care, wellness, and financial stability. We value the whole person and provide benefits such as; paid time off, health insurance plans, competitive salaries that include pre-tax benefits, and cell phone reimbursements. See more information about our benefits here
Applications should be submitted by our application deadline.
E4E is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or religious creed, mental or physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship, or other characteristics protected by state or federal law or local ordinance. E4E has a zero tolerance for discrimination, racism, xenophobia or misogyny in any form in our workplace. We strive to create a workplace where everyone feels a strong sense of belonging.
Accommodations: We are committed to creating an inclusive and accessible interview experience and will ensure that all candidates are provided with reasonable accommodations that allow them to participate in the interview process. To request an accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
EEOC questionnaire: We place a particular focus on recruiting staff members who share the backgrounds of the communities we serve. We encourage all applicants to complete our EEOC questionnaire as part of your application process (the form will be included in your initial application). Completing the questionnaire will help ensure our People & Equity team are attracting a diverse pool of qualified candidates for each of our open positions. Please note this information is not included with your application, and our hiring managers do not have access to race and other identifying information at any point in the interviewing or hiring process, including after a hire is made.