The Research Partnership for Professional Learning (RPPL, pronounced “ripple”) is a collaborative of professional learning (PL) organizations, researchers, school systems, and funders. RPPL works to advance educational equity and student achievement by studying and sharing the specific features that make some PL programs more effective than others.
Guided by the learning agenda we jointly wrote in summer 2021, RPPL seeks to:
- Uplift the current evidence base
- Generate faster and better research on PL
- Create the research and collaborative infrastructure so we can get that better research into practice in thousands of districts, schools, and PL orgs across the nation
- Change who sets the research agenda
Since February 2020, RPPL has been a coalition of interested PL organizations, researchers, and funders who spent 2021 planning for our long-term work and writing our shared learning agenda. In 2022, we entered our first three-year chapter of research and collaboration, and brought on our Executive Director, Stacey Alicea, in September. We are now hiring a full-time Director of Operations to join the team.
Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy Position Description
The founding Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy oversees and runs the day-to-day operations of RPPL and all of its projects and endeavors. “Operations” includes all aspects of contracting, budgeting, and administrative/personnel policies and procedures. In partnership with RPPL’s Executive Director, they will help lead all aspects of operations, budget and financial management, fundraising, and communications and external affairs.
The Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy will be personally accountable for fundraising aligned to research plans, ecosystem management (including coordination among parties), budget management, ecosystem cultivation (including recruitment of new affiliates, members, researchers, and funders), and communications. They will be empowered to work across RPPL’s ecosystem members to build RPPL into a sustainable organization that serves the field in improving PL.
They will work with RPPL’s leadership team, including the Executive Director, the Chair and Vice Chair of RPPL, and the research team at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, to support the design and management of quality research and shared learning. The Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy is able to manage a large variety of workstreams and stakeholders. They are an adaptive problem-solver, enjoy the prospect of building RPPL as a new type of research-practice partnership, and are excited to build this organization. As is true for all RPPL team members, they believe in transforming teacher learning and practice to ensure that students in priority groups learn rigorous content and thrive in equitable schools.
This is a remote position; the Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy can work anywhere, with availability on CT/ET hours. Limited travel is expected, including quarterly leadership meetings and one annual event. This position is considered exempt for overtime status.
The Director of Operations, Finance, & Strategy will report to RPPL’s Executive Director. They will work closely with the Network Program Manager, RPPL’s fiscal sponsor New Venture Fund, funders, contractors, and member organizations.
- Run all systems, technology, event logistics, team set-up, and policies and procedures for RPPL
- Manage and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of RPPL’s support services (management reporting, information flow, business process, and organizational planning)
- Hiring & onboarding:
- With the ED, lead recruitment of new staff and contractors, anticipating staffing needs and working to fill those needs in a timely manner, including through finding temporary support in time-sensitive situations
- Prepare onboarding plans for each new team member and contractor
- Personally manage contractors across RPPL functions, including communications, project management, operations, learning engineering, data collection, and more
- Governance & membership:
- Ensure RPPL member and affiliate engagement and experience; problem solve and troubleshoot where additional support is needed
- Support the ED in new member and affiliate recruitment, applications, and onboarding
- Run the operations for RPPL’s quarterly leadership team meetings and annual in-person event
Budget & Financial Management
- Work with New Venture Fund to oversee financial management, planning, and systems; meet regularly to coordinate on HR, finance, legal, grant management, etc.
- Create RPPL budgets and partner with the ED to conduct budget management
- Manage project budgeting for subawards and contracts, and work with New Venture Fund to execute and manage all subawards and contracts
- Regularly enter expenses and financial information in NVF’s finance portal
- Oversee compliance for RPPL with NVF, ensuring accurate timekeeping and reporting
- Support the ED in fundraising operations for RPPL’s work, in particular for contributing studies, innovation pilots, shared learning, and RPPL central overhead/staffing
- Write and manage grant proposals, applications, and reports for RPPL and serve as the interface between RPPL, NVF, and funders
- Create fundraising collateral, such as pitch decks, one-pagers, and funder-specific write-ups
- Oversee and manage the fundraising workstream, aligning grant budgets to actual activities, and enacting operational structures/processes that improve estimates and planning
Communications & External Affairs
- Partner with and manage communications contractors on strategy and execution; oversee all of RPPL’s external communications, including emails, newsletters, publications/briefs, website, social media, etc.
- Support the ED with internal communications to members and affiliates
- Submit applications for conference presentations and support RPPL leaders/members in preparation
Candidate Qualifications & Traits:
- Bachelor’s degree required
- 5+ years working in operations, including logistics, fundraising, grant writing, financial management and reporting, and marketing and communications work
- Experience working in K-12 education preferred; ideally, in equity-focused research and practice organizations
- Experience working with a network of organizations and managing a variety and significant volume of stakeholders/members
- Experience managing/leading a team and/or contractors
- Experience with growth/growing an organization or team
- Extremely strong attention to detail, organizational management, and time management
- Able to troubleshoot on the fly and handle unexpected challenges with patience and grace
- Track record of driving work toward a goal
- Strong internal & external communication skills
- Experience with and enjoys managing/navigating many entities/workstreams that may pull in different directions
- Adaptive and flexible; can create standard operating procedures and systems in a fast-moving, growing, new environment; can stick to a plan but be emergent in strategy
- Confident in making independent decisions when given a set of parameters; able to prioritize work
- Quick study and learner; thrives when building from the ground up in a start-up environment alongside high-level leadership
- Equity-driven and equity-grounded
Hiring Process & Timeline
- Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until December 12, 2022. Please apply as soon as possible if interested.
- First-round interviews will be conducted December 1-22.
- Second-round interview panels will be conducted December 10-22 and January 3-10.
- Finalist interviews will be conducted January 11-13.
- Offer extended by January 16.
- New hire starts January 30, 2022 (ideal – no later than early February).
Compensation & Benefits
The salary for this position is $100,000-$140,000. A comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance; 3% automatic contribution and a 3% employer match on 401(k) contributions; pre-tax transportation benefits; and paid holiday, vacation, sick, and volunteer time off is offered through RPPL’s fiscal sponsor New Venture Fund, who will be the official employer for this role.
How to Apply
Please email your cover letter, resume, and a sample piece of collateral you’ve been involved in moving forward to RPPL’s leadership at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 12, 2022.
New Venture Fund Hiring Statement
The Research Partnership for Professional Learning is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.
To center the safety and well-being of its employees, New Venture Fund requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law by contacting human resources at HR@newventurefund.org.