Director of Strategic Initiatives

Context

Over the past decade, New Orleans has witnessed unprecedented growth in student performance, including dramatic increases in ACT scores, high school graduation rates, and college enrollment rates. While we have moved beyond a state of crisis, New Orleans still has a long list of systemic challenges, gaps, and inequities. NSNO estimates that approximately 16,000 students in New Orleans are in unstable or low-performing schools. We must do better. New Schools for New Orleans’ (NSNO) mission — delivering on the promise of excellent public schools for every child in New Orleans — drives everything we do. To achieve this mission, NSNO invests in proven, promising, and new charter organizations to open new schools, turn around low-performing schools, or expand existing high-quality schools. NSNO uses data around academic performance and growth, system-wide capacity needs, equity practices, and other quality indicators to ensure that NSNO’s investments will have maximum, long-term effects on improving the life outcomes of New Orleans’ students.

Role and Responsibilities

The Director of Strategic Initiatives supports the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to manage a variety of projects, both internal to the organization and with external stakeholders, to ensure the organization is achieving its strategic priorities and staff are set up for success. There are three key functions of this role:

  • Complex Project Management: The Director of Strategic Initiatives will coordinate projects across all areas of NSNO’s strategic priorities (communications, schools, talent, policy and portfolio) to ensure goals. This work will be dynamic and constantly changing, based on priorities and organizational need. It will include project management across the NSNO team and with a variety of external stakeholders.
  • Internal Processes and Culture: The Director of Strategic Initiatives will also work with the COO on activities related to staff performance and engagement. These include, but are not limited to:
    • Managing the performance management process from goal setting through performance reviews.
    • Overseeing onboarding and off boarding of staff.
    • Leading the planning for organizational events (e.g., retreats, professional development, etc.)
    • Assisting in the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and projects.
  • Internal and External Communications Support: This role will also support in developing materials and communications for a variety of initiatives, including communications to external stakeholders and NSNO board members.

While NSNO is currently a remote office due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this position will eventually be required to be in person in New Orleans, LA.

Requisite Qualifications

  • At least five years of professional work experience and a 4-year college degree
  • Project management skills, especially including the ability to manage large projects with multiple stakeholders by effectively communicating and managing “up” and “across” the organization
  • A high degree of conscientiousness leading to excellent work product, strong attention to detail, and the ability to both set and meet internal and external deadlines
  • Comfort with ambiguity and the flexibility to work in a fluid, fast-paced, and highly entrepreneurial environment
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize time effectively
  • Demonstrated ability to build professional, trusting, and collaborative relationships with a variety of  stakeholders
  • The ability to think creatively when faced with challenges in the pursuit of meeting clear goals and outcomes
  • A commitment to NSNO’s core values of Solutions, Excellence, Passion, and Equity

 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in the New Orleans public education system
  • Design capabilities across a multitude of platforms, including PowerPoint, Word, and Canva

 

How to Apply

Please send a tailored cover letter and a resume to HR@nsno.org. Phone calls regarding this position or mailed applications will not be accepted.

New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and has a strong commitment to building a diverse and inclusive team. As such, it is the continuing policy of NSNO to consider all applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or any other categories protected by applicable federal, state, or local law, provided they are otherwise able to perform the essential functions of the job.

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