Director of Programs

Buck Institute for Education - Novato, California - Full time

Organization Summary

PBLWorks is the industry leader in providing professional development and support services related to Project Based Learning (PBL), and creates, collects, and shares high-quality PBL tools and resources with K-12 teachers and leaders. At PBLWorks we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. At the end of 2016, PBLWorks launched an ambitious new strategic plan that provides a clear roadmap for ensuring equitable, consistent, and positive student outcomes while also creating the evidence base for further adoption of PBL.

PBLWorks is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with headquarters in Novato, California. PBLWorks is an equal opportunity employer seeking to build a multi-talented staff who deeply understand and embrace the diversity of the students of today, and have awareness of the challenges in the world those students will inherit. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package; compensation is commensurate with experience.

Position Summary

The Senior Director of Programs (SDP) position offers an exciting opportunity for an experienced educational leader to apply their skills and background to help transform teaching and learning across the United States. The SDP will serve a key role as a national educational leader, offering insights internally to PBLWorks’ staff and externally to school and districts across the United States.

The primary role of the SDP will be to lead the implementation and scaling of all PBLWorks’ professional services offered to teachers, school and district leaders. The SDP will guide PBLWorks’ School and District Leadership team to support school and district leaders in their effort to create the conditions and structures necessary to support and sustain high quality Project Based Learning, especially for students furthest from opportunity. The SDP will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for growing PBLWorks’ professional services, but especially, district partnership services, and will assist with the development of new PBL School and District Leadership Networks nationwide.

PBLWorks seeks a dynamic, systems thinking leader who can draw on their own leadership experience working in or with complex school systems to help us increase the number of schools implementing high quality Project Based Learning around the country. In this role, the SDP will provide guidance and consultation to PBLWorks staff, superintendents, district and school leaders, as well as, education foundation and nonprofit partners. Experience leading the development and scaling of educational programs for other professional services organizations will be highly valued. The position will be part of PBLWorks’ Management Team, which drives the overall strategy for the organization. As such, this leader will be expected to represent PBLWorks on a local, regional, and national level, by presenting at conferences, promoting PBLWorks and our services through writing and meeting with key officials from district, state and national agencies.

The Director of District & School Leadership will:

Program Leadership & Management

●Lead the implementation and scaling of all PBLWorks’ professional services, including teacher and leader services to meet or exceed annual organizational goals.

●Lead the District and School Leadership team, including 5 - 6 Directors, to cultivate and deliver high quality services to a portfolio of 25 – 35 school districts or school networks annually.

●Monitor the quality of all services delivered by establishing and monitoring a continuous improvement process with key metrics to ensure individual, team and organizational goals.

●Assist with the development and implementation of a regional service delivery model nationwide.

●Collaborate with the curriculum team to inform the design and delivery of curriculum, professional development, and resources for use by teachers and leaders.

●Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance; perform annual performance reviews and goal-setting with direct reports.

External Relationships

●Lead the implementation and growth of all PBLWorks’ professional services

●Collaborate with the Director of Partnership Development to expand revenue-generating district partnerships based on PBLWorks’ district theory of action and logic model; cultivate existing relationships and develop new relationships

●Ensure annual revenue goals for district and school leadership work are attained

Knowledge Management

●Work with staff to develop systems that ensure consistent, high-quality project management

●Develop the necessary systems, processes, and tools to better support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge generated by PBLWorks’ services; foster the ongoing use of data to improve team performance

Contributing to PBLWorks’ mission

●Work with other PBLWorks team members to further our mission, vision, values, and strategic plan.

●As a collaborative team player, support PBLWorks colleagues, and the full processes established at PBLWorks.

●Share our deep passion for equitable access for all students to high quality education, and help to move our equity agenda forward.

●Participate in PBLWorks’ Management Team to implement our organizational vision (as established in the PBLWorks’ Strategic Plan), promote high-energy creative dialogue, and demonstrate sharing of knowledge and information

●Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth

Qualifications and Abilities

The Senior Director of Programs will be thoroughly committed to PBLWorks’ strategy and mission. All candidates should have demonstrable leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience and success managing business relationships. Additionally:

The successful candidate will bring this experience to the role:

●Master’s degree required; Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree preferred

●At least 10 years of management experience, particularly leading complex district or school network systems, or a professional services organization

●Experience working within a professional services organization, where S/he developed and operationalized strategies that have taken a program or organization to the next stage of growth (strongly preferred)

●Direct leadership of a variety of successful initiatives at a district, state, and/or national level.

●Strong commitment to educational equity and demonstrated cultural competence.

●Active leadership in the design, management and/or facilitation of school or district leadership development programs

●Successful recruitment, management, and development of a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and development professionals

●Strong demonstrable sales and/or fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders including advisory groups, coalitions, forums, trade associations, foundations, corporate sponsors, and practitioner groups

●Strong written and verbal communication skills. S/he will be a persuasive, credible, and polished communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills

●Unwavering commitment to quality programs and excellence in organizational and project management with the ability to achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget

●The ability to handle a variety of constituencies, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and thrive in a complex environment with multiple priorities

●Strong analytical skills; basic business intuition, and common sense

●Integrity, a positive attitude, , and self-direction

●A team player who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment

●Mission-driven, impeccable integrity

●Strong work ethic and demonstrated passion for PBLWorks' mission and commitment to working collaboratively with a management team of senior professionals

●Competent with Word, Excel, Google Apps, and at least some experience using Salesforce.

Reporting Relationships

The Senior Director of Programs reports to the Chief Program Officer. S/he will manage a team of 5 - 6 Directors, each of whom manages a portfolio of 5 – 7 district partners.


The job will be located at PBLWorks headquarters in Novato, CA (accessible by Sonoma-Marin Smart Rail, Golden Gate Transit, Marin Transit and with lots of free parking). Travel for this position may be extensive, sometimes up to 50%, based on the needs of partners.

Compensation / Benefits

The SDP role is a full-time position with full health benefits, (including medical, vision and dental), generous retirement contribution, life and disability insurance and cell phone stipend. PBLWorks offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package. PBLWorks is a dog-friendly working environment.

The Application Process

If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and a compelling cover letter. Please reference Sr. Director of Programs Application in the subject line of your email. PBLWorks will contact you if there is a match between the job requirements and your skill set.

We are actively seeking diverse candidates. PBLWorks is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities.

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Customer Implementation / Customer Success

Experience Level

Mid Level

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