Senior Director Research

RCG Talent Solutions - San Francisco, California - Full time

Opportunity Snapshot

The ideal candidate for this role is an experienced research leader who believes deeply in reimagining education and eliminating systemic inequities, putting students, families, and communities at the center of change efforts. You understand that driving durable change in schools requires long-term community partnership and collective power-building.

You bring critical research competencies – a grasp of education best practices, experience with research that supports systems change, familiarity with tailoring research for many different audiences, ability to engage in evaluation and community research, and perspective on effective research design that balances organizational needs and constraints. You have a track record of working with various education stakeholders to design and implement actionable research focused on educational equity and school systems improvement. You are an equity champion willing to disrupt dysfunctional power dynamics with humility and a servant leader committed to realizing transformational change with partner communities.

In this role, you will spend:

60% of your time working with Bay Ed Fund consultants, thought partners, and other organizations in the development and execution of school-district success measurement

20% of your time working with Bay Ed Fund staff to support measurement and evaluation efforts within their partner school system

20% of your time directly engaging education practitioners in partner school districts to understand and use data in their school system transformation efforts.

You will lead the Bay Ed Fund’s research work in its Bay Area school communities.

About the Bay Ed Fund

The Bay Ed Fund, founded in 2022, is taking a new approach to closing the opportunity gap and ensuring all students are prepared to thrive in the Bay Area. We begin with the voices and aspirations of students, families, and communities to create a local vision for how graduates will be prepared to thrive as adults in the Bay Area. We then commit to supporting the district and community over ten years to realize that vision through collaborative, transformative work at the district and school levels. The Bay Ed Fund provides community partners with the resources to be powerful partners with the district and district partners with strategic facilitation support, meaningful philanthropic funding, and capacity building in talent, change management, instructional improvement, family engagement, and resource allocation.

We are working in South San Francisco, East Palo Alto, and exploring a third community. We plan to expand our reach to other Bay Area communities in the near future.

The Bay Ed Fund’s work comes at a critical moment for our communities and country. Schools are being called to question the status quo in the wake of COVID-19, learning loss, and growing mental health challenges that are exacerbating pre-existing inequities. At the same time, AI and shifting job markets are elevating important questions about what it means to be “prepared.” While the need to reinvent is clear, too few districts are setting themselves up to change – to define and realize a future that is relevant for this generation and reimagine how public institutions partner with communities to deliver on a promise of education for all students.

Opportunity & Responsibilities

As an entrepreneurial action-researcher at heart with a grasp of education issues and school system change, you’ll use your experience across mixed-methods education research, the building of education data systems, and evaluation in educational settings to realize transformational change with our partner communities. You’ll offer your experiences and lessons learned from a deep understanding of the research in school system transformation and improvement, guiding the Bay Ed Fund team in its support of partner school district communities. Additionally, you will model our values, showing up daily as a humble leader, equity champion, and disruptor of historically dysfunctional power dynamics.

In this pivotal role, you will have four primary responsibilities that will shape the lives of thousands of students:

1) Lead the co-design and implementation of a field-leading data system for monitoring progress toward school system transformation focused on the Bay Ed Fund partner communities.

You will collaborate with Bay Ed Fund staff members, external consultants, research partners, and school district staff to lead the development and execution of a data dashboard that provides critical information about each partner community’s progress on key indicators. The Bay Ed Fund team believes that a key component of its ability to support partner school districts in sparking and sustaining long-term system transformation for students requires driving and adapting with data. This will include:

Building on an evolving roadmap, developing a data dashboard/system focused on key indicators of success in school system transformation.

Leading, executing, and overseeing both quantitative and qualitative analyses toward the build and use of the data dashboard/system.

Executing the build of the data dashboard/system through iterative feedback with internal and external partners.

Managing relationships with contractors and thought partners to enhance the Bay Ed Fund’s internal and external research activities.

Preparing regular shareable data, reports, and visualizations to engage partners in the key insights from the data dashboard/ system.

2) Found and develop the Bay Ed Fund’s research capacities, which include working with external research and consulting partners and developing in-house capacity to execute evaluation and action research.

You will roll up your sleeves to create the Bay Ed Fund’s in-house research capacities by identifying and procuring research systems and tools to support its progress monitoring and evaluation efforts. This will include:

Designing and procuring different systems and tools for collecting, analyzing, and sharing actionable research.

Leveraging existing statewide data and data generated by the CORE Districts Data Collaborative.

Overseeing or executing new data collections for all Bay Ed Fund partner school districts.

Developing an annual research agenda aligned with the Bay Ed Fund’s mission and critical priorities.

Codifying learnings and best practices to support other districts and communities in the future.

3) Engage Bay Ed Fund team members and partner school system leaders to build buy-in on the Bay Ed Fund’s data-driven approach to school system transformation.

Developing a multi-year approach for building buy-in and using data generated in the data dashboard/system.

Engaging in iterative cycles of feedback with Bay Ed Fund staff, community members, district and school-level leaders on key elements of the data dashboard/system that is accessible to all stakeholders

Incorporating feedback in redesigns and sharing of data dashboard/system insights.

4) Support the building of a high-performing and durable organization

In addition to your external-facing responsibilities, you will also have the opportunity to shape our organization. Our success depends on building a high-performing team that is passionate, driven, and dedicated to our mission. With your leadership, we will create an organization that is not only effective and impactful but also resilient and enduring. Your strategic leadership and ability to foster a positive and inclusive culture will be critical in building a durable organization that can sustainably drive educational transformation for years to come. This will include:

Playing a critical role in building a thriving team culture and a strong relationship with our board, as well as the management and support of internal teams

Proactively identifying and taking on internal roles to strengthen The Bay Ed Fund as an organization.

Supporting our communications and branding efforts for the Bay Ed Fund and across our portfolio of community and district partners;

Developing, deepening, and sustaining relationships with sector leaders, funders, and key partner organizations in the Bay Area

How We Will Work Together

This is a unique opportunity to lead and make a lasting difference in the lives of students, schools, and communities. If you are ready to inspire change, challenge the status quo, and build a better future through education, we invite you to join us on this remarkable journey.

Our culture and collaborative approach are critical pillars of our organization. As a strong candidate, you will thrive in an environment that embraces:

Transformative education for ALL students: We believe in the transformative power of education and are committed to ensuring that every student receives an exceptional learning experience. We challenge the status quo and strive to create new, innovative approaches to education that break down barriers and uplift all students.

Learning and unlearning in pursuit of our vision and outcomes: We recognize that growth is a continuous journey in pursuit of our vision and outcomes. We value feedback and actively invest in our personal and professional development. By fostering a culture of learning, we empower ourselves to constantly improve and deliver an even more significant impact.

Relationship building: Trust is the foundation of our success. We understand that authentic connections and strong relationships are vital for effective collaboration, both within our team and with external partners. Taking the time to truly know one another is not a luxury but an essential part of our work.

Simple solutions: We relish the process of problem-solving and seek elegant solutions that simplify complex challenges. We focus on empowering communities and directing our resources toward impactful investments in education. We strive for practical, efficient, and effective solutions that maximize student outcomes, experiences, and community agency.

Humble leadership: We prioritize the mission above individual egos or politics. No task is too small or beneath anyone on our team. We approach our work with humility, recognizing that the best solutions for students and communities are the ones that prioritize their needs above all else.


We recognize that qualifications extend beyond a checklist, and we encourage candidates who believe they could be a good fit to apply, even if they do not meet every qualification. We value diversity, inclusivity, and belonging, and we invite all to join us in driving transformative change in education.

  1. Extensive, Diverse Set of Research Experiences: With over seven years of professional experience, you have a proven track record of success in leading mixed-method research, developing of actionable evaluation systems, and working with education practitioners to ensure research is grounded in their practice as well as used to improve educational practice. You have experience in working with education system leaders – district leaders, principals, teachers, nonprofit staff, and philanthropy – on the effective use of data to inform educational improvement. Because of its research focus, this position requires graduate-level credentials. A Master’s in Education, Public Policy, Data Science, or other relevant fields is required. Experience in applied research (qualitative, quantitative, evaluation), advocacy and/or community engagement, nonprofit programming, and data system building make you well-prepared for this experience.
  2. Exceptional Leadership of Data Systems Building, Evaluation, and Mixed-Methods Research: You have the core skills needed to lead the development of data systems using both quantitative and qualitative approaches focused on measuring school and district success. You have the skills to lead and interpret school quality measures. You have experience overseeing and executing evaluations in educational settings, including quantitative and qualitative approaches.
  3. Insightful Analytical & Verbal & Written Communication Skills: Your excellent analytical skills and your creative problem-solving abilities enable you to tackle challenges with innovative solutions. Your verbal and written communication skills effectively convey complex ideas simply and compellingly to diverse audiences. You have a track record of externally published reports on key issues related to educational equity, school system improvement, and school quality.
  4. Efficient Project Management: You have experience managing complex projects with several team members and have a variety of roles and competencies. You manage tasks across team members well. You anticipate risks to the effective execution of projects and seek to mitigate those risks. You identify the right tools and effectively match talent to project needs.
  5. Strong Interpersonal Skills: Your interpersonal skills are well-rounded, enabling you to build strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, from elected officials and district leaders to students and families. You effortlessly collaborate with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and skillfully facilitate joint problem-solving with partner organizations, communities, and districts.
  6. Orientation to Action & Impact: You have a demonstrated ability to translate ideas and recommendations into action. Your well-developed influence skills allow you to facilitate change, build capacity, and achieve desired outcomes through collaboration.
  7. Self-motivated and Entrepreneurial: You possess a highly self-motivated work style and eagerly embrace leadership roles within our organization. Your proactive nature and initiative are catalysts for progress and growth- within our organization and partner communities.
  8. (Preferred but not required) Experience Living in and/or Working in San Mateo, Santa Clara, or San Francisco Counties: You have built positive relationships and reputation that you can bring to bear in our partnership work.
  9. (Preferred but not required) Adept at communicating in Spanish: You are able to engage a diverse range of community members, including many who are Spanish-speaking.

Additional Details & How to Apply

In this role, you would be joining a small and growing team. Bay Ed Fund currently has six staff members and plans to expand to 8-10 staff members in the coming months.

This role has a salary range of $150K-$175K based on experience. Bay Ed Fund offers a generous benefits package, including holiday and vacation time; health, vision, and dental insurance; and 401K matching.

Apply now to contribute your expertise and inspire a future where every student can achieve their full potential and thrive as an adult in the Bay Area. Together, we will make a lasting impact.

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Experience Level

Senior Level

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