Technology Director: Academic
Watershed Advisors is looking for an Academic Director to join our team supporting a portfolio of work with state education agencies, school districts, and/or other partners to design and implement coherent academic systems at scale, grounded in high-quality instructional materials. This includes supporting states in executing ambitious strategies to align standards, curriculum, assessment, intervention, and educator preparation, with a focus on implementation and impact.
As a fully remote organization, our team is set up to work collaboratively on projects across the country every day. This role can be based anywhere in the United States.
About Watershed Advisors
Building on the deep public sector leadership experience of its team, Watershed Advisors supports governments to design, implement, and scale transformative education plans. We match proven education and workforce ideas, investors seeking social impact, and bold governmental leaders across the country. We then embed teams of experts within government agencies, coordinating multi-year efforts to implement, communicate, finance, and evaluate ideas to impact generations of American learners and job seekers in need of access and opportunity.
At Watershed, Directors are core members of the team, who lead projects, manage analysts, and engage with clients on solutions that matter for students. Directors’ day-to-day work varies by project but will largely work on projects focused on academic strategy in states and districts. Responsibilities include:
- Contribute original thinking to build, shape, and evolve strategy and goals for Watershed projects
- Partner with senior leaders to define project strategy and goals
- Contribute to the organization’s learnings and continued codification of an approach to K-12 instructional coherence
- Develop materials, tools, and resources that form the foundation of the organization’s academic strategy work and can be tailored to individual client needs
- Lead project teams to build work plans and manage the day-to-day workflow or projects ensuring that goals are met
- Work collaboratively with analysts and senior leaders to draft deliverables (reports, presentations, briefing material, and other written communications) that communicate clear recommendations for clients
- Facilitate internal team and client meeting that have clear objectives, value the insights of all participants, and lead to actionable steps that support the project goals
- Build relationships and collaborate with clients, subcontractors, and other external stakeholders and use influence to steer projects towards desired outcomes
- Work closely with other members of the Watershed team to review work, provide feedback, and exchange ideas
- Actively shape and support the growth of a newly established organization
Skills and Characteristics
We are looking for people who care deeply about education and its role in society, and who are eager to learn about approaches to improving the United States’ system of public education, from birth to postsecondary to the workforce. At Watershed, we work with a wide variety of clients and are seeking team members with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We encourage people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, and others with diverse experiences to apply for this role.
Directors must have:
- Strong people and project management skills. Directors are able to manage and coach internal and client facing teams to ensure that all the goals of multi-faceted projects are achieved.
- Systems leadership, including ability to lead adaptive change initiatives with system-level leaders, identifying key levers for change and articulating roles in implementation at all levels of the system.
- Facilitation acumen. Directors must be able to facilitate client diverse groups, both internal and client facing, to solve complicated problems, and be able to give succinct, specific feedback that enhances the quality of products and the user experience.
- Knowledge of instructional practices related to science of reading, high quality instructional materials, academic standards, and their relationship to one another, including understanding of the instructional core and its influence on improving student outcomes.
- Relationship building. Directors are the day-to-day contact for clients and are in regular communication with all levels of the Watershed organization. Their ability to build meaningful relationships with all individuals is critical to their success.
- A growth orientation, including curiosity about new ideas and approaches to work, and openness to feedback and to learning new skills.
- An entrepreneurial mindset that leads to flexibility and creativity in pursuit of goals and resilience in the face of setbacks.
- A focus on outcomes, with a history of demonstrated success leading instructional improvement efforts across systems despite challenges.
- Strong organizational skills, including time-management systems and the ability to manage multiple projects and priorities.
- Collegiality. At Watershed, we work collaboratively, engaging others in decisions, exchanging and challenging one another’s ideas and assumptions, and providing deep feedback on all written material. We expect every member of the team to embrace this approach, and to operate with transparency, integrity, and a sense of humor.
- A personal commitment to social justice. At Watershed, we believe that systemic, longstanding bias within our nation’s institutions has too often harmed Black and brown Americans, low-income individuals and families, people with disabilities, and immigrants. Our work aims to build systems that serve all people and that bolster the prosperity and rights of those who have been excluded from educational and economic opportunity.
The ideal candidate will have deep, demonstrated expertise in public policy and will have laterally and/or vertically managed a group to achieve significant results. Candidates should also have at least four years experience in an instructional leadership role at the district or state level or equivalent experience leading instructional change in districts or states, and in-depth knowledge of effective instructional practice in English Language Arts and/or mathematics.
The salary for this position is $120,000 and includes a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, life and AD&D insurance, paid sick and personal leave, and stipends for work-from-home expenses and professional development. All employees are eligible for end of year bonus pay. Final salary will be determined based on experience and qualifications.
This position is fully remote.
Equal Opportunity Employer
Watershed is an equal-opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.