Site Director

Level Playing Field Institute - Berkeley, CA - Full time

Level Playing Field Institute - Berkeley, CA - Full time

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SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called “Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields” is heading into its 15th summer, growing at a national scale and exposure. It is the flagship program of the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI), an organization committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

Founded in 2001, LPFI is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization. In addition to operating the Summer Math and Science Honors (SMASH) Academy, a year-round academic program that serves high school students, LPFI conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields. LPFI is funded by private donors, foundations, and corporate giving and is currently expanding in exciting ways.

Working at LPFI is about fast growth, personal commitment, and the tenacity to challenge the status quo. This is a pivotal time for LPFI as we begin building on the success of our education programs. We are embarking on an aggressive expansion strategy to achieve national impact. This is not for the faint of heart. But if you think you have what it takes to dare to change the face of STEM, join us.


Reporting to the Program Director, the Site Director (SD) will be responsible for building, sustaining, and improving the transformative educational experience that SMASH Scholars need to pursue, persist, and succeed in STEM. At the site level, seasonal instructional, residential, and operations teams will report to the SD, who is responsible for overall program delivery and performance. The SMASH UC Berkeley site serves approximately 100 rising 10th through 12th grade students. The Site Director, with the guidance of the LPFI Central Office, is responsible for hiring, training, and overseeing a site team of approximately 30 staff members, along with student recruitment responsibilities and admissions decisions. The SD provides leadership, vision, and direction to SMASH Scholars, their parents, and other community constituent groups aligned with the LPFI mission. In addition, the SD helps lead yearlong SMASH programming in the form of field trips, CS Saturday Academy, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. With LPFI’s latest growth strategy and impact initiatives, this person will be critical to the scaling of SMASH and placing it squarely on the map of national models.


Key Responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing all aspects of the SMASH Program at UC Berkeley, including developing program content, managing budget and site operations, supervising a large team, monitoring results, and ensuring high quality outcomes in all areas.
  • Providing visionary leadership and coaching to site staff and maintaining strong relationships with scholars, families, and community members.
  • Leading recruitment and selection efforts for SMASH program scholars and summer staff.
  • Building and managing strategic partnerships with university partners, community organizations, and corporate donors.
  • Serving as an LPFI ambassador at conferences and community events and keeping abreast of relevant trends to promote LPFI’s leading position among STEM programs nationally.


In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience in high quality program design and delivery in an educational and/or youth development context
  • A passion for educational equity and demonstrated effectiveness in working with youth from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • A significant connection to STEM, as demonstrated by an educational degree in a STEM field, experience in STEM education, or equivalent
  • Strong people management skills, including inspiring staff in a shared strategic vision, building an outstanding culture, and maintaining strong relationships across a variety of stakeholder groups
  • The ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial environment, including effectively adapting to changing priorities, juggling multiple projects, operating with a high degree of autonomy, and maintaining high levels of organization in a fast-paced environment
  • A clear orientation toward LPFI Organizational Values:

Focus on Impact

Strengthen Our Communities

Balance Passion and Practicality

Experiment, Evaluate, Modify, and Implement

Be a Strong Link in the Chain

Celebrate and Have Some Fun


  • This position is based in Oakland, CA, and includes a one month training residency upon hiring
  • Regular evening and weekend work is required, with a higher frequency during March - June leading up to summer program launch
  • A minimum 3-year commitment to role is desired


LPFI provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience and an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life/disability insurance, paid time off, 401k, volunteer time and flexible spending accounts (i.e. parking, transit, medical and dependent care). Our collaborative office is located in Oakland’s dynamic Uptown District. LPFI shares the building with several professional services and nonprofit organizations. We also hold community-building events and have a collegial atmosphere with a shared mission for social justice and educational equity.


Please submit your resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to the LPFI Search Committee online at Contact Christin Whitener at or (510) 575-9635 with any questions. 

In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/ harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/harassment based on "protected categories," Level Playing Field Institute also strives to prevent other, subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (e.g., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at Level Playing Field Institute.

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