Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Engagement - Schools Team

Summit Public Schools - Redwood City, CA - Full time

Position Overview:

The Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Engagement leads the passionate, dedicated team that oversees the broader government affairs, communications and engagement strategies for the network for 10 Summit Schools across California’s Bay Area and Washington State. As a senior leader on the Schools Team, the Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Engagement will partner with the Chief of Schools to provide leadership and vision for the ways in which the Schools team communicates internally and externally and engages with families and community partners to strengthen the ability of the organization to meet its mission. S/he is responsible for developing, supporting and holding accountable directors who lead teams focused on government affairs, media relations, internal communication, development, parent and family recruitment and engagement, and community engagement.

Summary of Responsibilities:

Develop and Oversee Directors and Managers on the Schools Team

  • Coach, support and retain high performing leaders of high functioning teams who manage government affairs, communications development and engagement for Summit schools
  • Implement frameworks and tools for evaluating performance of directors on the team
  • Collaborate with Chief of Schools to establish accountability and performance measures for each school by setting clear goals and managing towards them; adapting as necessary
  • Collaborate with the Chief of Schools and senior leaders across the organization to develop a robust pipeline for future leadership development
  • Actively recruit top external leadership candidates
  • Implement frameworks, tools and processes for selecting exceptional talent

Strategy, Growth and Government Affairs

  • Set vision and oversee strategy for overall advocacy efforts and particular campaigns, including new school approval and renewals, leveraging opportunities, considering broader context and anticipating pitfalls.
  • Cultivate and manage relationships with strategic advocacy partners and key stakeholders regionally and statewide. Collaborate with Senior Directors of Schools to ensure each campus is engaging effectively with key local stakeholders including authorizers, community leaders and organizations with supporting missions.
  • Oversee team to monitor statewide and national policy landscape and review new policies for impacts to our schools in California and Washington.
  • With Summit Public Schools leadership team, develop vision and strategy for new school growth.
  • Collaborate with senior leaders and strategic partners across the organization to lead greenlighting and development process for new school growth.

Communications and Media Relations

  • Lead the vision and strategic planning process for a comprehensive, integrated communications strategy designed to expand Summit Public Schools’ voice across a diverse array of internal and external audiences.
  • Oversee the development of messaging and content for the Schools team’s key initiatives and programs.
  • Develop, promote and protect the integrity of Summit’s brand with a specific focus on Summit schools.
  • Monitor the quality and efficiency of marketing and communications tactics and channels including consumer research, market analysis, digital advertising, as well as reports and publications, newsletters and case studies, in addition to other print and digital collateral.
  • Cultivate, engage and manage strategic partnerships with key stakeholders - both internal and external to Summit - across a variety of industries and fields.
  • Work closely with strategic partners across the organization focused on development and communications to formalize a program that empowers Summit Public Schools parents, educators and faculty to be effective messengers and ensure they have the ability to communicate about Summit’s mission, values, academic approach, and vision for public education in America.

Family Engagement

  • Ensure Summit has an aligned, integrated and targeted recruitment strategy for new families
  • Lead the development of strategic initiatives focused on strengthening family engagement and knowledge of Summit and its mission
  • Systematize structures for supporting campuses’ efforts to build strong parent organizations and to engage families in their school of each school
  • Collaborate with senior directors across Schools team to ensure the family perspective is included and that decisions and are communicated effectively
  • Oversee the management of data collection systems and the ways in which best practices are codified and built upon


  • Ensure Summit has an integrated, targeted fundraising strategy to support the growth of Summit schools. This includes the cultivation and stewardship of donors.
  • Systematize structure for supporting campuses’ efforts to build fundraising campaigns across various stakeholder groups
  • Oversee the management of current and potential grant opportunities and create the systems required for effective grant management

Key Qualities and Skills:

  • The fundamental belief that all children can succeed in college and life
  • Deep commitment to continuous improvement
  • A track record of success in leading teams to high levels of performance
  • Ability to manage groups through fast-paced iterative design cycles
  • Strong management skills, with the ability to motivate, inspire, develop and collaborate with a diverse group of leaders, teachers, staff members, and community members
  • Ability to focus on outcomes and think broadly and precisely about how to adjust structures to meet desired outcomes
  • Proven ability to build and manage relationships with diverse stakeholders, including teachers, school leaders, board members, parents, and students
  • Ability to provide honest, actionable and timely feedback that results in improved performance
  • Self starter who takes initiative to solve problems
  • Strong analytic skills
  • Outstanding communication skills


  • 5-7 years of relevant experience in an advocacy, marketing and/or communications role. Experience in education or non-profits preferred.
  • Bachelor's Degree required
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing, communication and presentation skills
  • Exceptional project management and organizational skills with good attention to detail
  • Ability to analyze and assess quantitative and qualitative data and explain the assessment in written reports
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines
  • Demonstration of empathy and ability to apply understanding of an audience to deliver desired products and/or services
  • Demonstration of flexibility, tenacity, resourcefulness, humility, and a growth mindset
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, as well as experience in website systems. 

Apply Now

Experience Level

6 or more years

Summit Public Schools

Summit Public Schools is a leading charter management organization serving diverse communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington State with currently 11 schools serving over 2,400 students. Summit’s mission is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to not only attend, but succeed in, a four-year college or university. Driven by our unwavering commitment to our core values, Summit works every day to ensure our students are receiving a world-class education. We seek phenomenal individuals with the talents needed to transform children's lives, as well as those who are interested in working on the cutting edge of education.

  • 99 percent of Summit students have been accepted to one or more four-year colleges, and its graduates are completing college at double the national average
  • Fast Company named Summit Public Schools atop 10 most innovative organization in education
  • Our two flagship schools, Summit Prep and Everest, are named among
  • US News & World Report's Best High Schools of 2015, and also ranked among America's Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post
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