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23 Feb 2023

Operations / Administration Principal, Coherent Instructional, Assessment and Accountability Systems

Education First

Job Description

Overview of the Opportunity

Education First is seeking an experienced leader to join the “Engaged Students” consulting team as Principal. The Principal position is a senior leader with extensive experience in one or more of Education First’s Coherent Instructional, Assessment and Accountability Systems focus areas:

  • College and career-ready standards, high-quality instructional aligned materials and curriculum-connected professional learning;
  • Reimagining intervention at scale for COVID-19 recovery of unfinished learning;
  • Summative, interim, diagnostic and formative assessments and/or accountability system design; 
  • Innovative approaches to assessment, including focus on whole child; and
  • School improvement and intervention. 

The Principal role helps shape and set strategy, cultivates strong partnerships, leads individual client engagements and contributes to the firm’s success and sustainability. They apply their understanding of current and future issues in the field to lead services and projects that produce immediate and long-term results, and contribute thought leadership to extend the firm’s reputation nationally in these areas. Principals should have diverse and outstanding networks with decision makers and influencers in the field, and they are comfortable cultivating relationships and coaching others. Principals also are deeply skilled in understanding and addressing issues of racial equity; overseeing the quality of research, work products and service to clients. 

What You’ll Do

  • Contribute to internal strategy-setting and execute service offerings for foundations, nonprofits, educational institutions and systems (districts, CMOs) and state education agencies 
    • Build long-term relationships with thought leaders, influencers and clients nationwide
    • Identify new clients, especially education institutions, systems and funders, with whom we should partner
  • Serve as accountable project leader on a variety of client engagements
    • Oversee successful projects, including building capacity, advising clients, and ensuring that project deliverables meet our excellence standard
    • Coordinate regularly with the project manager and client to ensure project success, including budgeting, planning and regular reporting against the contract, and providing and seeking feedback from the client and team members 
  • Mentor, guide and manage team members
    • Support project managers to set and monitor project work plans and drive the project to completion at or under budget 
    • Support inclusive project teams that challenge and empower all team members to grow and reach their potential 
  • Contribute and deliver content for the firm’s website, policy papers, newsletters, op-eds, press releases and public speaking engagements


Why You’re a Great Candidate 

Must Haves: 

  • You have extensive experience  designing, implementing and/or advocating for successful education policies and practices designed to improve preK-12 education outcomes for young people
  • You are committed to the vision of a more equitable education system in the U.S., including a willingness to examine the role of privilege, structural barriers, and inclusion in changing the trajectories of students furthest from opportunity
  • You possess strong, inclusive project management and system level strategy and planning experience, including juggling several complex projects at once, developing work plans, strategic plans, maintaining project budgets, managing risks and meeting deadlines and targets
  • Strong, inclusive project management experience, including juggling several complex projects at once, developing work plans, maintaining project budgets, managing risks and meeting deadlines and targets
  • At least 5 years of previous management or leadership roles in a school district, charter network, and/or state education agency, or providing technical assistance to these systems leaders 
  • Experience in designing and refining system level strategy and planning, especially developing strategic plans and/or implementing and adjusting strategies based on data
  • You can lead through ambiguity to create clear structures that deliver high-quality results to clients
  • You provide and receive feedback with ease
  • You lead by influence – establishing open lines of communication and understanding and including the perspectives of others


Nice to Haves:

  • Experience with consulting, providing technical assistance or leading strategy development
  • Master’s degree or equivalent experience in public policy, public administration, business, education, Juris Doctor or related fields preferred


The salary range for this position is $145,000 – $162,500. We typically set initial starting salaries between the market minimum and the 25th percentile of the pay range to ensure there is room for growth over time. There is also an opportunity to earn a sales bonus.  


  • 100% remote, U.S. based team
  • Firmwide in-person engagements a few times a year
  • Telework Subsidy
  • Professional Development Stipend
  • 20 PTO days and 11 holidays
  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance 
  • 401(k) match

Travel & Covid-19 Vaccine Policy

Education First requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have an approved medical/religious exemption. Proof of vaccination will be required upon acceptance of any offer of employment. You should be able to travel for in-person client meetings as needed (roughly 10-20% of the time). 

About Education First

Education First is a mission-driven education policy consultancy dedicated to ensuring that all students – and particularly students in poverty and students of color – are prepared for success in college, careers and life. We work with organizations that are shaping the future of P-16 education across the nation, including school networks and districts, state departments of education, policy and advocacy organizations, youth empowerment organizations, talent organizations and foundations. 


We help these system leaders catalyze change through our services:

  • Conduct research and analysis on policies and provide contextual recommendations and strategic support to translate findings into concrete, sustainable action
  • Develop and implement visionary, coherent strategies and strategic plans by prioritizing inclusive voices, focusing on the right problems, and providing space to explore
  • Plan and facilitate meaningful convenings for organizations and individuals to learn, problem solve, collaborate, and advance their work
  • Design actionable and equitable solutions that meet client needs, achieve program goals, and implement initiatives with clarity and quality
  • Support grantmakers, funders, and foundations to develop thoughtful, high-impact investment strategies that align with their goals, interests, and resources


We are a team of more than 60 former teachers, district and state education leaders, policy advisors, and grant makers who live and work virtually in more than 20 states and DC. Because of our experience, we approach the challenges our clients face with humility, realistic solutions, and a commitment to follow-through. Our culture is built on genuine care for our clients and for each other. We celebrate original thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and fun.

Our Equity Commitment

We recognize that in order to pursue our own organizational mission at Education First, we must approach our work by studying gaps and inequities, asking tough questions about structural racism and more deliberately engaging diverse voices in problem-solving. We’ve been building our own skills to deliver solutions that center racial equity, with particular attention to equitable ways of thinking and working, and we are committed to helping our clients do the same in projects that have a goal of increasing equity at their core. Within Education First, we have committed to building a race equity culture – creating the conditions to adopt antiracist mindsets and actions. 

We believe:

  • Black lives matter. We are collectively responsible to amplify and support Black students, families and leaders.
  • People are experts in their own experience. We cannot effectively support our clients to problem solve and innovate without centering the people they aim to serve.
  • Racism and inequity were designed, and can be redesigned. People make up the systems, policies and processes that govern our experience, and we must support our clients to explore their role in reimagining what could be possible.

For greater detail about our Equity Commitment, please visit our website.

Education First actively engages our team with a robust Race, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (RIDE) strategy to build our staff and organizational capacity to lead on issues of equity and to increase diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the firm. As a proud equal opportunity employer, we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all races, national origins, ages, religions, creeds, veteran or disabled statuses, sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions. 

How to Apply

Bureaus: New York. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration. Salaries: 100,000 and above.