Director, The National Center for Rural Education Research Network

March 6, 2019

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Job Description

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University

Director, The National Center for Rural Education Research Network
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Duties & Responsibilities

At the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University (CEPR) our mission is to transform education through the power of quality and evidence. We believe that if we want to dramatically improve educational outcomes for all children, evidence must play a critical role.

The Director, National Center for Rural Education Research Network (NCRERN) will be joining our team and supporting a network of rural school districts in New York and Ohio to pilot and test interventions to reduce student absenteeism and improve college readiness, and college enrollment. NCERN is a federally funded research center, to be housed within the Proving Ground project. Proving Ground has been working with networks of urban districts and charter management organizations.

Duties & Responsibilities:
Core responsibilities include managing the day-to-day functions of NCRERN, maintaining and supporting network partners, managing contractors, working with the Proving Ground team to ensure tool and curriculum alignment, collaborating with staff across CEPR to meet key project deadlines, and managing the relationship with IES. Specific duties include the following:

Organizational Management
• Work with Proving Ground Director to ensure adequate resources to execute on NCRERN goals
• Manage staff, contractors, and external organizations to successfully execute of NCRERN goals
• Ensure that all contractual, operational and data management logistics are in place to facilitate full engagement by partner agencies and monitor Harvard and external parties adherence to all contract terms.
• Create and manage project timelines for both internal staff and external partners.
• Collaborate with the Proving Ground team to ensure that regional meetings, webinars, annual convening, etc., include the right analysis (as appropriate) and protocols (as appropriate).
• Manage expenditures to ensure that NCRERN is operating within its budget and adhering to federal grant guidelines.
• Manage development and execution of IES research requests.
• Manage relationship with IES program officer and complete required reporting requirements.
• Plan and manage advisory board meetings.

Network Management
• Work with NCRERN state network managers to create and maintain strong state-specific district networks.
• Develop, manage, and successfully facilitate regional meetings, annual meetings, and national meetings.
• Coordinate with Proving Ground team to create and manage delivery and content for network specific webinars.
• Curate and manage the content for the document management system.
• Collaborate with relevant state education agency (SEA) staff to facilitate on-line partner discussion to support joint learning.
• Collaborate with Proving Ground team to align tools and resources to support change management work.
Partner Relationship Management
• Serve as the lead point of contact with SEA senior leadership team.
• Build and maintain strong relationships with all partners.
• Develop reports and presentations to communicate project progress for all internal and external partners including school boards, superintendents, and principals.
• Collaborate with partners’ leadership teams and program teams to develop implementation plans for interventions.

Outreach and Communications
• Maintain open and clear communications with the Proving Ground team to facilitate effective work.
• Develop and present key partnership findings to internal and external audiences.
• Maintain connection with education sector thought leaders (both Harvard faculty and outside experts) in rural education.
• Support in the recruitment of new agencies to the network.

This position is a term appointment for one year from the date of hire, with a strong possibility of continuation. The NCRERN project has five years of funding from the federal Institute of Education Sciences.

Basic Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in public policy, political science, economics, or a related field.
• At least 7 years of professional work experience (in the field of data analysis, management consulting and/or school district management); relevant coursework may count towards this experience.
• Prior experience managing a staff
• Candidates wishing to be considered must submit a resume and a cover letter. Any applicant wishing to be considered for this position must indicate that they meet all the basic requirements in either the cover letter or resume.
• All candidates invited to interview will be asked to complete a comprehensive memo supporting their recommendation for an assigned task and present their recommendations during the in-person interview.
• Active driver’s license required
• This position requires up to 40% travel.

Additional Qualifications

• Demonstrated success managing completion of complex projects.
• Demonstrated capacity to synthesize and present findings to technical and non-technical audiences
• Proven ability to work under tight timelines, accurately assess problems, and develop solutions
• Experience working with (or in) education or the public sector, particularly in rural education, preferred
• Change management, systems management, or management consulting experience a plus
• Master’s degree preferred

Additional Information
Please attach your resume and cover letter as one document.

We regret that the Harvard Graduate School of Education does not provide Visa sponsorship.

Job Function
General Administration

Sub Unit

USA – MA – Cambridge


Time Status

00 – Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Salary Grade

Pre-Employment Screening
DMV, Education, Identity

M-F 7 hours per day

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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