Executive Director

Oakland School for the Arts - Oakland, CA - Full time


Oakland School for the Arts (OSA) is a public charter school located in Oakland, CA that serves roughly 800 students in grades 6-12. Founded in 2002 by former Oakland Mayor (and current California Governor) Jerry Brown, OSA’s mission is to inspire its students to find their unique, powerful voices. The school provides a high-quality, integrated arts education to all students while also ensuring they fulfill the A-G requirements necessary to apply and be accepted to four year colleges. The OSA faculty is comprised of professional artists and academic teachers. OSA students are accepted based on the quality of their artistic auditions in their field of choice and they participate in formal and informal internships, professional gallery and museum exhibitions, and high-visibility performances at notable local venues. In 2015, 93% of OSA’s high school graduating seniors were accepted to colleges and universities. 

In the spring of 2016, the OSA Board and community adopted a new strategic plan, which included four goals to guide the school’s strategic priorities for the next three years. The goals outlined in the plan are as follows:

I. Serve the local community by attracting and retaining a diverse student body and by involving the community in the life of the school and the school in the life of the community.

II. Achieve and maintain excellence in academic programs leading to robust university acceptance and career success for students.

III. Achieve and maintain excellence in arts programs leading to robust university acceptance and career success for students.

IV. Ensure organizational stability by implementing mature financial, operational, organizational and development functions.


With OSA entering its fifteenth year of operation this fall, the school is seeking an experienced manager, passionate leader and dynamic Executive Director to lead it into its next chapter of growth and success. S/he will be responsible for the organization’s success in meeting its academic, artistic, school culture, fundraising, external relations and financial management goals. The Executive Director will be primarily responsible for supporting the senior management team and managing the progress of the school’s academic and artistic programs while also being the primary liaison between the school and its external audiences (including parents, the board, funders, chartering authorities, the surrounding community and arts program partners).

The ideal Executive Director candidate will be an effective leader and experienced manager of managers, with an eye for recruiting and retaining high-quality talent; a talent for strategic planning and prioritizing; a passion for arts education, diversity and social equity; a commitment to ensuring consistent, high-quality instructional practice throughout the school; the ability to foster relationships with a diverse array of constituents; and the ability to build and maintain high-functioning systems across a complex, multi-site organization. Excellent interpersonal and communications skills and experience working with similar communities to those that OSA serves are also essential to success in this role as is experience in education and youth development.


The Executive Director’s key responsibilities include:

  • Leading the vision for OSA’s success, including ensuring that its academic and artistic programs, school culture and climate, community engagement, and external partnerships are highly effective and tightly aligned to the school’s mission and goals;
  • Managing senior staff and school leaders, acting not only as a supervisor but also as a coach and consensus builder, remaining deeply committed to the values of developing and bringing out the strengths of all of OSA’s people while also holding them accountable for their goals and desired outcomes for the whole school community;
  • Partnering with the Board of Directors and funders to secure and allocate the resources and supports necessary for OSA to continue to grow in the depth, breadth and quality of its artistic and academic programs;
  • Serving as chief problem solver and strategic planner, remaining solutions-oriented and grounded in reality as needed while pushing the boundaries of what is possible to realize the highest levels of success for OSA’s students, staff and programs.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director will be:

  • An accomplished, seasoned leader (preferably in the education sector), with a minimum of 10 years demonstrated success as a school-based administrator, nonprofit executive and/or senior manager.
  • Inspiring in his/her management style, with experience leading leaders; one who sees the possibility in all staff and is willing to develop them while also holding them accountable to measurable results.
  • Passionate about arts education, believing in the promise of a highly developed program that blends arts and academics to help students reach their potential.
  • Culturally competent and a self-reflective leader who understands the effects of race, class, ethnicity, income, and other issues of difference in our society and has personally worked in similar urban communities to ensure all students have an opportunity to achieve their personal dreams of college and career success.
  • Skilled in strategic planning, project management, and organization; able to focus on big picture priorities while not losing sight of the details.
  • Dynamic and versatile, able to engage a variety of individuals and speak in a clear, compelling, and authentic manner about the school’s goals and priorities.
  • Adept and experienced at fundraising, especially in how to expand and diversify a donor base for a similar kind of nonprofit and/or school organization.


Please submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to the Oakland School for the Arts Executive Director Search Committee online at http://goo.gl/W7OTsv. More information about Oakland School for the Arts can be found at www.oakarts.org. For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Christina Legg Greenberg at cgreenberg@edgilityconsulting.com or at 510.575.9635.

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Experience Level

11 or more years

Oakland School for the Arts

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