Job Overview and Requirements
Character Lab is looking for a Director of School Partnerships. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, Sean Talamas, the Director of School Partnerships will support the development and maintenance of the Character Lab Research Network’s school partnerships. This is an exciting opportunity for a results-oriented, innovative professional to have a tremendous impact by ensuring Character Lab develops and maintains school partnerships to advance the science and practice of character development.
The Director of School Partnerships will lead the School Partnership team, develop and manage strategy for recruiting new districts, oversee budget and operations for school partnerships, and provide input on strategy for Character Lab Research Network. They will oversee all processes for research activities in schools (e.g., direct-to-student research activities, student and teacher interviews, teacher surveys, classroom studies) and work to improve efficiency across our organization. As a director, they will also provide input on the overall culture and strategic vision for the organization.
The ideal candidate has worked within a K12 school/district setting, has led teams and managed external partnerships, and has a deep passion for and understanding of school-based research. Prior psychology or social science education, and/or experience with school-based research (may include conducting your own), is highly preferred.
About Character Lab
Character Lab is a nonprofit devoted to advancing the science and practice of character development. We were founded in 2012 by two educators (Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph) and one scientist (Angela Duckworth) who see character development as essential to helping all children thrive.
Our research has shown that success and well-being depend on a multitude of strengths that are organized into three dimensions: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual. Interpersonal strengths like gratitude and empathy enable caring relationships with other people; intrapersonal strengths like grit and growth mindset enable achievement; and intellectual strengths like curiosity and humor enable a fertile life of the mind.
To advance the science of character development, Character Lab connects leading psychologists with middle and high schools across the country. To advance the practice of character development, Character Lab translates research findings into Playbooks, instructional materials co-created with scientists, educators, and designers. To learn more, see our most recent Annual Letter.
Our culture is both challenging (we’re never done improving) and supportive (one of our core values is excessive generosity). We are a small team of full-time designers, educators, and scientists (and one dog) under one roof. To learn more, read our Culture Book.
- Lead School Partnership team, setting and ensuring the team meets Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), quarterly objectives and key results
- Manage three School Partnership Managers and the Deputy Director of School Partnerships to recruit, onboard, and manage a growing portfolio of 50+ school partners as part of the Character Lab Research Network
- Develop and oversee district recruitment strategy
- Oversee Character Lab Research Network strategy (i.e., capacity of the network, products and services, timelines for research activities in schools, provide input on proposals from researchers, support matching researchers with school partners)
- Lead presentations to both current and potential school partners
- Improve experience and value of Character Lab Research Network for school partners
- Liaise with and foster strong relationships with potential and current school partners
- Travel on-site to meet with current and potential school partners (1-3 times a month)
- Oversee budget and operations for the School Partnership team
- Support the directors team in improving processes and systems for both Character Lab Research Network and the organization as a whole
- Additional responsibilities as assigned
- Bachelor’s degree and 10+ years of professional experience in education and 5+ years of experience leading a team. Direct experience as an educator a big plus
- Direct professional experience in a K12 school or district required
- Strong interest in and understanding of school-based research. Some experience with education research projects highly preferred (may include conducting your own)
- Prior education in psychology or another social science a plus (Master’s or PhD level preferred)
- Excellent team leadership skills
- Highly effective interpersonal communication, collaboration, presentation and writing skills
- Ability to think strategically and identify system improvements
- Excellent organizational and project management skills
- Proven success engaging and recruiting external partnerships
- Fierce work ethic and sense of purpose, with the ability to work well as part of a dynamic start-up
- Strong passion for helping educators and students
Physical Demands/Environmental Factors
- Prolonged and irregular hours of duty, as necessary
- Some light to medium level of manual labor (e.g., preparing mailings, moving boxes of materials)
- Regular (1-3 times per month) travel for work-related responsibilities
Compensation and Benefits
Competitive salary is commensurate with an individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.