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26 Mar 2021

Operations / Administration Director, Program

Read Ahead
 New York, New York County, New York, United States

Job Description

(Temporarily Remote)

About Read Ahead

Since 1991, Read Ahead has connected public elementary school students with caring mentors from leading corporate and community partners. During weekly Read Ahead sessions, our volunteer mentors form meaningful relationships with their mentees, and help children to grow their literacy skills, confidence, love of reading, and other skills essential for success. Over 98% of teachers would recommend Read Ahead to a colleague, and our program impacts the lives of over 750 children each year.

The need for Read Ahead is especially urgent in the wake of COVID-19. To meet this moment, Read Ahead has developed a completely virtual program for the 2020-21 school year. Combining our 30 years of experience with new technology platforms and an educator-designed curriculum, Read Ahead continues to match children with supportive mentors for fun, live program sessions that build connection, confidence, literacy skills, and more.

With the development of our new virtual program, and anti-racism and anti-oppression commitments (, Read Ahead has an opportunity to deepen our impact for students. We are committed to ongoing improvement as an organization, and are eager to take bold new steps to create better outcomes for the students, families, and schools we serve.

Read Ahead provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or veteran status. We seek to build a diverse staff representative of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Position Overview

As Read Ahead adapts to a post-COVID landscape, the Director, Program will play a pivotal role among senior leadership at Read Ahead during a time of transformational change. The Director, Program will drive all aspects of Read Ahead’s virtual program, which focuses on building students’ literacy skills with the support of caring and trusted mentors.

This role provides the right individual with a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues across the organization as we evolve our program model to have a greater impact on students and advance Read Ahead’s pro-diversity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression goals. The Director will also be instrumental in expanding Read Ahead’s program offerings beyond our current volunteer model, to include staff-led programming as well.

As a member of Read Ahead’s Senior Leadership Team, the Director will be a driving force in furthering Read Ahead’s work to become the type of anti-racist, anti-oppression organization we strive to be. The successful candidate should be excited to collaborate with a mission-driven team to build out a host of inclusive and equitable practices throughout the organization.

The Director, Program will report to the Executive Director.


  • Champion the high degree of talent and diversity that exists among members of the Program Team.
  • Lead the Program Team members in delivering Read Ahead’s virtual literacy and mentoring programming to 750+ elementary school students across 8 partner schools.
  • Achieve high levels of program satisfaction among all stakeholders including school leaders, mentors, mentees, families, and partner companies.
  • Lead, train, manage, and professionally guide 3 full-time program staff and 10 part-time program staff members.
  • Serve as a key voice and trusted colleague on Read Ahead’s Senior Leadership Team, along with the Executive Director and the Senior Director, Development and Communications. The Senior Leadership Team sets and advances org-wide priorities and goals.
    • Play a key role in the next strategic planning process to revise Read Ahead’s mission, vision, values, in line with our commitment to pro-diversity, anti-racism and anti-oppression.
    • Ensure that the next iteration of Read Ahead’s program model effectively focuses on both literacy and supportive relationship-building.
  • Oversee program development, implementation, and quality control with a focus on training, facilitation, and student/mentor recruitment and retention.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Leadership and Program Teams to define key metrics, set benchmarks, and collect data to ensure program success.
    • Ensure that program success metrics (quantitative and qualitative data) are well-captured so that Read Ahead can successfully report on program outcomes and share with funders.
    • Support the Program Team in developing a shared understanding of program goals and outcomes, and ensure that program narratives are communicated to staff across the organization.
  • Serve as an effective organizational ambassador across stakeholder groups, with the ability to listen, understand, empathize, and take action.
  • Partner with staff to create and maintain an even greater culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging within the organization.


  • Passion for Read Ahead’s mission.
  • Experience working with New York City public schools, families, and communities.
  • Experience with and committed allyship to communities and students of color.
  • 8+ years of experience implementing direct service youth programs in the nonprofit and/or public sector.
  • 3+ years leading and managing high-performing team members with a range of backgrounds/experience levels.
  • Passion to lead, coach, and support staff to grow professionally.
  • Ability to think strategically, to collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, and to implement vision.
  • Ease with engaging in open, productive disagreements with colleagues, with a firm commitment to a decision once made.
  • Highly organized administrator with flexibility, strong attention to detail, the ability to both create and improve processes and systems, project-management skills, and a love of problem-solving.
  • Practices a growth mindset, along with a deep commitment to genuine learning and self-improvement for themself and others.
  • Highly self-aware and reflective with the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Familiarity, comfort, and ability to thrive within a small, dynamic team.
  • Experience working with elementary-age youth preferred, but not required.
  • Experience with youth literacy and/or mentoring programs preferred, but not required.

Application Deadline: Friday, April 30

Start Date: ASAP

Salary/Benefits: Competitive salary commensurate with organizational budget and competitive benefits package. Read Ahead is committed to equitable hiring practices and will review the salary and benefits package in first round interviews.

How to Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to Kristen Baldwin at In your cover letter, include why you are interested in working for Read Ahead and why the Director, Program role is a good fit for you.

Bureaus: New York. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration. Job Tags: books, Kids, mentoring, program, reading, Remote, retirement, school, and teaching.