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16 May 2021

Research and Policy Manager, Program & Investments

The Chicago Public Education Fund
 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States

Job Description

The Chicago Public Education Fund (The Fund) is a nonprofit that supports public schools by investing in the talented educators who lead them. We partner with Chicago Public Schools, the City of Chicago, the local philanthropic community, and school leaders to build and sustain a culture of strong leadership. Now celebrating our twentieth year of service, our programs, policy work, and data infrastructure have made a measurable, positive impact in schools and improved outcomes for students.

Current Opportunities at The Fund


We are currently seeking a manager to drive our strategy to develop and retain principals across Chicago’s public schools. These entrepreneurial individuals will collaborate with a small, cross-functional team to execute best-in-class programs and initiatives that engage more than 300 principals annually and contribute to The Fund’s top line goal of improving school quality through principal leadership.


The Manager will report to the Director, Program & Investments. Each Fund Manager is responsible for working with a cross-functional team to develop and implement the organization’s strategy for supporting or retaining principals.

The ideal candidates will have:

  • Evidence of a strong work ethic and a detail-oriented approach to project management;
  • Examples of exceptional written and oral communication skills across a diverse set of audiences;
  • A history of reasoned judgment and positive energy, including in high-stress situations;
  • A track record of successful project and people management (in professional or personal contexts);
  • Demonstrated ability to foster and manage strong and productive partnerships with external stakeholders;
  • A commitment to public education, and an interest in education policy; and
  • Prior experience working in or with public schools in Chicago.

Responsibilities for the Manager include, but are not limited to:

Portfolio Management

  • Manage a portfolio of Chicago public school principals and leverage a horizontal team to set, design, and execute a strategy to ensure that principals are improving and remaining in the role;
  • Serve as the primary liaison for The Fund’s direct-to-principal programming:
    • Drive annual recruitment and outreach cycle(s) for all programs both internally and in close partnership with CPS.
    • Develop and execute program project plans, logistics, and events
    • Develop and track program-related budget and expenses
    • Oversee internal and external communications related to the program
    • Track and analyze key program data to make near and long-term recommendations to The Fund’s team and Board of Directors
  • Oversee The Fund’s investment process for a specific portfolio, including due diligence around prospective investments, stewardship of existing investments and analyzing and reporting investment impact for multiple stakeholders, including The Fund’s Board of Directors; and,
  • Drive the creation of relevant reports, presentations, and materials to share The Fund’s perspective on sustainable approaches for principal quality in Chicago to share with internal and external audiences.

Partnerships and Communication

  • Support the Director and Vice President in managing stakeholders and partners toward meeting a set of collective goals and objectives for The Fund’s support of retention and development strategies;
  • Proactively prepare communications, updates, and recommendations for stakeholders including The Fund’s Board of Directors, Chicago Public Schools, the funding community and other partners focused on principal support and quality;
  • Manage partnerships with external vendors and partners, including but not limited to, identifying new partners, setting and ensuring delivery of service benchmarks, and ensuring contract fulfillment; and,
  • Establish and manage strong relationships with principals, educators, and other non-profits to inform The Fund’s long-term vision and strategies to ensure principal quality.

General Responsibilities

  • Serve on key teams:
    • As a member of a 5-person Program & Investments team that drives The Fund’s comprehensive plan to ensure that Chicago attracts, develops, and retains top principals;
    • As the leader of a 4-person horizontal team that drives The Fund’s specific strategy around supporting or retaining principals in their roles; and
    • As a member of The Fund’s Leadership Team that provides strategic and operational guidance for the organization.
  • Add value to organizational activities such as strategic planning, document production, recruiting, and other duties as assigned
  • Represent The Fund at external events and exhibit The Fund’s core values of collaboration, equity, excellence, innovation, integrity, and leadership


The Fund is seeking a highly-motivated professional with 5+ years of experience. Successful candidates will have:

Prior Experience:

  • Experience developing and refining a data-informed program strategy and managing projects to execute on and achieve results
  • Event planning and/or outreach & recruitment experience
  • Experience working in public education in Chicago preferred
  • Management experience preferred, but not required
  • Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) required

Skills and abilities:

  • Strong verbal and written presentation and communication skills, particularly with diverse audiences
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office and Google G Suite
  • Ability to develop and cultivate relationships and networks to achieve results
  • Ability to manage self and workload effectively, be flexible and adaptive, and follow through on execution
  • Ability to think through and manage many details, often on tight timelines
  • Outstanding organizational skills

How to Apply

Please visit and follow the links to navigate to the "Manager, Program & Investments" job description. Once there, use the "Apply" button to submit your application: resume, cover letter, and two writing samples in .pdf or .docx formats. For the writing submissions, we would like to see a) an example of substantive professional communication (e.g. a detailed email sent to external partners) and b) an example of an extended memo or other long-form written communication (newsletter, report, etc.). Questions regarding the job application can be sent to We regret that we will not be able to respond to phone inquiries about this position. The Fund employs and values a diverse work environment. We are also an equal opportunity employer. The Fund evaluates applicants for employment based on qualifications, merit, and work-related criteria without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, mental or physical disabilities, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Bureaus: Chicago. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Research and Policy. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.