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Employment Opportunity: Executive Director at New Haven Promise


Announced in November 2010, New Haven Promise (NHP) is a visionary scholarship and support program for the purposes of promoting college education as an aspiration for all New Haven public school students, assisting graduating students from New Haven public schools to pursue education after high school and enhancing the growth, stability and economic development of the City of New Haven. NHP is the capstone of the New Haven Public Schools’ nationally recognized education reform initiative—School Change—and has three goals:

  • Cultivate an aspiration for college education in New Haven public school students
  • Build community and parental support for the program
  • Promote economic development in the City of New Haven

NHP is a unique community partnership between the City of New Haven, Yale University (the number one employer in New Haven), Yale-New Haven Hospital (the number two employer in New Haven), Wells Fargo Bank and The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven which houses and administers the program.

As a key pillar of New Haven’s School Change initiative, New Haven Promise is a part of a nationally recognized and heralded reform effort with the goals of eliminating the achievement gap, cutting the dropout rate in half and ensuring that every graduating student has the academic ability and the financial resources to attend and succeed in college. New Haven Promise is poised to become the national model for a successful education reform program with an emphasis on college matriculation and persistence. For more on New Haven School Change, see the New Haven Public Schools website at

To learn more, please visit the New Haven Promise website at


Reporting to the Board of Directors—comprised of Richard Levin, President of Yale University; John DeStefano Jr., Mayor of New Haven; William Ginsberg, President and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; and Dr. Dorsey Kendrick, President of Gateway Community College—the Executive Director will provide the vision and leadership to meet the goals of New Haven Promise and advance the organization as a highly respected and effective voice for college success. The Executive Director will manage an initial team of two, potentially growing to three in the near future.

This is an ideal opportunity for a results-oriented, dynamic leader who is passionate about closing the achievement gap and building a successful college matriculation and persistence model for New Haven and, potentially, the nation at large.


  • Work closely and collaboratively with the New Haven Promise team, New Haven Promise Board members and New Haven public schools to ensure Promise goals are met and programs are successfully executed
  • In collaboration with the New Haven Promise Board, continue to evolve the organization’s vision, strategy and goals
  • Represent the organization externally with a variety of constituents, including parents, students, educators, media and civic leaders
  • Work with the team to award and administer New Haven Promise Scholarships
  • Manage existing and develop new partnerships with local districts, schools, non-profits and corporations
  • Continue to build strong relationships within the New Haven community, particularly with parents, students and community based organizations
  • Coordinate an annual strategic evaluation of the New Haven School Change program, which is a key link between the Promise program and the broader School Change initiative
  • Develop and manage the organization’s budget, ensuring alignment with the organization’s strategy and goals
  • Manage and develop a team of two, growing to three, and develop a distinct culture of performance and impact
  • Cultivate existing and identify new funders to continue to fuel the organization’s growth

The successful candidate will be a highly motivated leader with the advocacy skills and personal savvy to effectively advance New Haven Promise’s mission and goals. S/he will be innovative, thoughtful and able to lead the implementation of Promise’s existing programs and strategies in a highly collaborative environment. The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • Senior-level leadership experience with a proven track record of success in leading, managing and organizational scaling in an education/education-related organization or nonprofit
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, networking, advocacy and public speaking skills; the capacity to clearly communicate vision, mission and concepts to diverse audiences
  • Powerful strategic messaging and advocacy skills to mobilize systems change and inspire investment and action, including skillful diplomacy to foster and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders and funders
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and a management style combining respectful collaboration with disciplined productivity
  • Excellent strategic, analytical and problem solving skills with the ability to overcome challenges through the development of thoughtful and creative solutions
  • An entrepreneurial nature combined with the ability to maintain the organization’s vision and programs while troubleshooting, connecting and aligning new initiatives with strategic goals and mission
  • The ability to effectively oversee day-to-day operations with a strong performance-based and results-driven approach in setting and implementing goals and maintaining accountability, while also celebrating accomplishments
  • Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to motivate and manage staff to achieve multiple and concurrent objectives in a dynamic and fast-paced environment
  • The integrity, wisdom and persistence necessary to address the practicalities of a dynamic program poised for significant growth; the respect and team orientation to diplomatically support high-performing staff and continued growth and direction of the organization
  • Passion for the mission, vision and values of New Haven Promise and New Haven School Change
  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree in education, public policy or a related field is preferred
  • Previous experience fundraising and working with a Board of Directors preferred
  • Substantive knowledge of public systems of education preferred

Competitive compensation, commensurate with experience

» Please consider me for this position.

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