Jobs Board

Chief of Staff and Culture (Nellie Mae Education Foundation)

Company Name

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Company City


Company State


Job Location

Quincy, MA

Company Information

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, New England’s largest philanthropic organization focused solely on education, has worked for over 30 years to help our region prosper by preparing all its learners for success. We are proud of the milestones we have set, and the students and educators we have reached, since our founding in 1990. The Foundation has a rich history of partnering with diverse community actors, including grassroots and grasstop organizations, to improve student experience and academic attainment. We continue to champion efforts that prioritize community goals informed by research on practice and policy that challenge racial inequities in education and advance culturally responsive, student-centered public education for all New England youth. Nellie Mae Education Foundation works to ensure that all youth have access to excellent and equitable public education that prepares them to succeed and thrive in community. Headquartered in Quincy, MA, our team is comprised of professionals who share a commitment to putting youth and communities at the forefront of efforts to support and advance schools and school systems that promote racial equity and excellence.

Over the past few years, we have intentionally shifted our focus to work aimed at creating the conditions necessary to achieve educational justice and racial equity in alignment with our mission, vision, and values—ensuring a quality public education for each and every child regardless of race, class, indigeneity, or any other social or cultural construct. The Foundation’s multi-pronged strategy includes grantmaking that builds the capacity and sustainability of organizations and schools that work to promote racial equity in public education, together with grants that support broader network and advocacy efforts. Through racial equity lenses, we actively monitor how we amplify and understand voice; collect and analyze data; interrogate and make visible root causes of disparities we seek to eliminate; identify and advance solutions; achieve outcomes; and calibrate our privilege in the pursuit of educational justice.

To learn more about the Nellie Mae Education Foundation visit their website at:

Job Description

Organizational Leadership

  • In partnership with the President and CEO, lead the evolution of the Foundation’s strategy and outcomes framework, ensuring grantmaking operations, staffing, teaming structure, and professional development are designed to support staff and grantees to do their most impactful work in service of educational justice and equity
  • Manage organizational learning and continuous improvement processes within and across teams, with direct oversight and responsibility for ensuring strategic coherence across program and operational teams — Learning, Research & Evaluation; Grantmaking; Policy, Engagement & Partnerships; Communications; and Human Resources
  • Support the President and CEO to ensure the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Board of Directors are appropriately engaged and have line of sight required to advance its work
  • Serve as a cross-functional leader and connective tissue between teams and grantmaking program areas, ensuring ongoing communication and collaboration, while leading the implementation and refinement of the Foundation’s strategy development processes
  • Co-lead development and implementation oversight of annual operating plans, individual teamwork plans and grant portfolio budgets; oversee the Foundation’s strategy review process and alignment of grant budgets to objectives
  • Lead special projects on behalf of the President and CEO, Board of Directors, and/or organization

Strategic Coherence & Grantmaking Effectiveness

  • Manage the rhythm of business structures, cross-team planning, and professional development required to execute on annual and multi-year plans
  • Oversee develop and continuous improvement processes to strengthen management, implementation, and impact of the organizational grantmaking practices and strategy in fulfillment of the Foundation’s vision, mission, values, and commitment to racial equity
  • Ensure the time development of board materials and resources that clearly articulate a robust and compelling case for what, why, how, and with whom we invest resources to advance educational justice and racial equity
  • Collaborate with department leads to set strategic priorities and metrics for success, revisiting metrics regularly and evaluating progress against them
  • Cultivate and maintain dynamic relationships with Nellie Mae Education Foundation grantees, partners, and other community actors

Team Management & Cultivation

  • In close collaboration with the President and CEO, develop a vision for advancing the mission and values of the Foundation through teaming structures, individual roles and responsibilities, and organizational culture
  • Design and facilitate org-wide learning and professional development that strengthens individual and team skill, will, and knowledge to lead for equity and justice
  • Design processes and hold space to meaningfully engage as well as collect input from staff members on major decisions

The annual salary for this role will be based on a range, starting at $215-250K, commensurate with the candidate’s skills and experience. Nellie Mae Education Foundation provides health care, dental, and vision benefits, a 401(k) Retirement Plan with an employer match program, as well as a flexible paid time off policy.

Job Qualifications

Related work experience:

  • Formal academic preparation, including a bachelor’s degree or higher, along with higher level training and/or certification in fields related to education, philanthropy, and/or nonprofit management, or demonstrable lived experience commensurate with leading an organization of the size and complexity of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation
  • Minimum of ten (10) years in a leadership role with a track record of success designing and managing organizational change and innovation, with demonstrated results
  • Extensive experience in the field of education and in redressing education inequities; experience in systems change, public policy, public awareness, and engagement in the non-profit sector is a plus
  • Formal experience working at a management consulting or other client services organization with exceptional reasoning, problem solving and strategic thinking skills, and previous project management success leading teams to forward plan 1, 3, 5, 10-years out
  • Deep knowledge and experience in racial justice and equity work, including experience applying racial equity practices to organizational development and programs and experience working with a diverse staff, Board, and other stakeholders in addressing inequities
  • Senior leadership and management experience within a foundation or nonprofit organization coupled with a demonstrable record of success and experience in leading, implementing, and managing organizational and programmatic strategies that support a bold mission
  • A demonstrable commitment to the Foundation’s mission to promote accessibility, opportunity, quality, and effectiveness in education systems, especially for underserved communities in the six New England States
  • Experience working in philanthropy or a grantmaking organization preferred

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Deep knowledge of the education landscape and relationship with field drivers, with preference for those with vast knowledge of and relationships within the New England education ecosystem
  • Ability to translate mission and vision into actionable implementation plans, while seeking to understand and integrate others’ ideas and suggestions
  • Strong project management skills: ability to drive simultaneous, complex projects to measurable success and to align with the organizational strategy
  • Excellent management techniques as an experienced, collaborative, and energetic manager
  • Comfortable juggling multiple competing priorities, managing up, interacting with diverse leaders internally and externally
    Flexibility to adapt quickly, lead change management initiatives, and foster a harmonious working environment
  • Deep passion for and commitment to honest and candid conversations and as well as mastery to facilitate discourse on race, educational justice, and equity
  • Optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, compassion, and comfort to lead through ambiguity

How to Apply

Qualified Individuals, please apply here!

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