Executive Director – Washington, DC

Reading Partners is changing the education landscape. We are a leader in working to solve the literacy crisis in our country by leveraging community volunteers in under-resourced schools. Our diverse and expansive volunteer base provides one-on-one tutoring to students twice weekly, and our program is proven to help children master the reading fundamentals they need to unlock their potential as successful, happy and confident readers in school and in life. Our people are our heartbeat and our greatest resource; we are all passionately rallied around our mission to help children become lifelong learners by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction that works. Join our stellar team leading the charge to deepen our impact and expand our service. Watch this video to learn more about Reading Partners.


The high level:

Reading Partners is seeking a professional, dynamic, self-motivated leader to be our Executive Director (ED) of Reading Partners DC. The ED acts as the lead local fundraiser, external representative, strategist, and budget and operations leader. The ED spearheads the region’s partnerships with DC Public Schools, charter school networks, and other strategically-aligned partners. The ED also sets the vision and the course for continued innovation and expansion within the region for the years to come. The ED manages the DC leadership team, overseeing the program, development, and community engagement functions. The team is currently comprised of 16 staff, 30 AmeriCorps members, and works in partnership with 1,200 community volunteers. The Executive Director will be the primary face of Reading Partners managing fundraising and community partnerships, and have full bottom line fiscal responsibility for the entire region.


The ideal candidate is a social entrepreneur and exceptional manager who has deep connections with the K-5 educational and/or nonprofit sector(s) and with local officials and philanthropic leaders who can support Reading Partners’ regional operations and future expansion. This person is passionate about our mission and will roll-up their sleeves to lead the entire region, acting as the primary contact to both internal and external stakeholders. This person is driven by a commitment to create educational equity for all students, communities, and families. This person has experience with building and leading racially diverse teams and is skilled at building an internal culture that is constantly striving to be inclusive and equitable for all employees by mitigating implicit and explicit bias, and actively dismantling systems of oppression. This person has a commitment to addressing racism and sees literacy as a tool to combat forms of systemic oppression. 


What you’ll do:

Lead and manage the DC leadership team to direct staff and AmeriCorps members toward highly successful program implementation, community engagement, and fundraising targets. Oversee growth strategy and all regional business operations.

  • Set and achieve programmatic, fundraising, and other goals aligned with the regional and national strategic plans.
  • Build fundraising and organizational infrastructure and capacity to support future growth.
  • Provide executive oversight of all program operations: compliance, quality assurance, and program efficacy.
  • Oversee all business functions (accounting, HR, IT, legal, etc.), with support from the national accounting, HR, and IT departments.
  • Partner with the program director to recommit current schools and recruit new schools by late spring to ensure Reading Partners DC will meet its schools served each year.
  • Partner with the regional external relations team to drive resources (both funds and volunteers) to the region.
  • Collaborate with other executive directors and members of the national team to develop and implement a system for sharing resources and best practices across all Reading Partners locations.


In partnership with the External Relations Director, lead all fundraising for the region to exceed revenue goal of $2.5 million.

  • Set, meet, and exceed, annual fund development goals in future years to support ongoing expansion in Washington, DC. 
  • Lead a local government relations strategy in order to sustain and grow over nearly $900K annually in local government funding
  • Lead team to manage an individual donor program to raise at least $300K, including one-on-one donor cultivation and hosting an annual signature event
  • Cultivate and manage donor relationships across the region to secure monies from corporate, foundation, and individual funding sources.
  • Develop and lead a new corporate gifts strategy in order to diversify overall funding portfolio
  • Develop and manage the regional board to provide effective local leadership and ambassadorship.
  • Collaborate with development staff and board members to identify, cultivate, and steward potential funders.
  • Work closely with the national grants team to ensure proper implementation of the state or national AmeriCorps grants, and to steward the relationship effectively to continue our strong relationship with all state and national AmeriCorps agencies.


Drive all external partnership-building in the region to grow and scale the region.

  • Partner with other nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental entities to affect students’ reading success.
  • Engage and manage relationships with elected officials and public sector partners to support the advancement of Reading Partners as a key partner in the educational system in the District of Columbia.
  • Build and grow relationships with school district-level leaders to ensure Reading Partners’ success as a evidence-based literacy program that is proven to help students learn to read.
  • Support Reading Partners’ role in the policy dialogue around literacy, education, and national service.
  • Increase organizational visibility and profile in local media markets through the successful creation and implementation of a regional communications plan.
  • Serve as the primary local public spokesperson for Reading Partners, acting as the public face of the organization within the region.
  • Develop strategic partnerships to support Reading Partners’ community engagement and volunteer recruitment efforts.


Other duties as needed. 


How you’ll do it:


  • Mission and Culture Catalyst: In order to thrive as a culture leader at Reading Partners, you are highly motivated by Reading Partners’ work and authentically represent this mission externally. You demonstrate a sincere passion for enriching the lives of systemically under resourced students through literacy development and embody Reading Partners’ mission, core values and approach. You are energized by working amid ambiguity and will bring a patient and solutions oriented outlook to the work. You are a leader who is strategic and dynamic, with a track record of establishing meaningful and trusting relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. Finally, you bring an understanding of how to partner with schools and serving at-risk youth, ideally within the context of K-5 education.  
  • People & Operations Management: Lead, motivate and manage a team of 15 to results, while coaching and developing the capacity of the people on the team. Oversee and deliver professional development and management training for regional staff including the following direct reports: external relations director, program director, and special projects manager. Demonstrate advanced ability to plan and implement efficient internal operations to support future growth. Demonstrate experience serving as an inspiring mentor to staff members, either in a formal management structure, or informally through influence. You also have the ability to develop a strategic vision and motivate teams to achieve measurable goals, while maintaining a results oriented, collaborative and healthy organizational culture. You bring a strong track record of establishing the metrics, processes, and protocols needed to effectively move from vision to implementation. Finally, you have experience juggling multiple work streams concurrently, managing complex and competing priorities, and executing on ambitious goals effectively.
  • Relationship Development & Communications: You establish deep relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including staff, community constituents, elected officials, media outlets, nonprofit and business leaders, as well as board members. You are able to open doors, make connections, tell a compelling story, build consensus and create opportunities to both generate revenue and support advancement in literacy education, across the region and within a very competitive market. You have experience identifying, building, and maintaining strong relationships with a diverse array of nonprofit, government, community, private sector, and high-net-worth stakeholders. You are someone who is an effective communicator, natural “connector,” and you have a track record of successfully increasing revenue and cultivating donors and community support. 
  • Strategic Leadership and Execution: You develop and design new strategies and approaches to meeting programmatic growth goals and then lead implementation of those strategies. You bring a systems perspective to organizational challenges, with the ability to effectively move from vision to strategy to plan to execution while managing multiple work streams and demonstrating exceptional project management instincts. You are creative, a thoughtful decision maker, and are comfortable partnering with others to problem-solve, and use clear and strategic processes in making decisions. In addition, you have professional experience both developing and executing strategy to optimize organizational processes and achieve ambitious goals. 



About you!

You’ll be successful in this role if you:

  • Robust experience working with nonprofits, school districts, government officials, and philanthropic organizations in the Washington, DC area
  • Demonstrated success in developing and executing fundraising strategies
  • Proven accomplishments in front-line fundraising, including demonstrated success of fundraising one million dollars or more
  • Demonstrated success in staff recruitment, leadership, management, and development
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage large and complex operating budgets
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated creativity when addressing challenging situations with limited resources
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision in a fast-paced, highly adaptive environment
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent prior experience 
  • Can prove eligibility to work in the U.S. legally
  • Boast a deep belief in our mission
  • The innate ability and desire to root your work in our core values


Bonus Points if you:

  • Hold an advanced degree
  • Are an AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, or other national service alum/alumna


What we offer:

Reading Partners offers the full package – great benefits, a great place to work and the opportunity to have a glowing and growing career. 

  • We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. This is a full-time, exempt, salaried position
  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, life insurance, flex spending accounts, generous paid time off, commuter benefits, 403(b) option, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP). 
  • We offer an exciting and dynamic culture, and we commit to investing in and supporting our amazing people to grow their careers with us.


The other things you need to know:

  • Travel: This position travels regularly throughout Washington, DC. This position may also involve occasional travel to Reading Partners’ National Headquarters in Oakland, CA. 
  • Typical Physical & Mental Demands: Requires prolonged sitting with some bending, stooping and stretching, and eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a keyboard, telephone, photocopier, calculator and other office equipment.  Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to communicate with volunteers and staff. Also requires flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment.


What’s Next?

If you’re interested in joining our Reading Partners team, please submit the following application materials to our online job posting:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in Reading Partners and how your past experience has prepared you for this role. Please include your salary needs. 
  • Resume



At Reading Partners we respect and honor the diversity in our workforce, and we are an Equal Opportunity Employer.