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NACSA - Director of Programs & Services


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National Association of Charter School Authorizers

Closing Date: The position will remain open until filled, however reviews and interviews will commence December 15, 2004.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) seeks a highly motivated, visionary professional with strong experience in charter school authorizing and project design, development, implementation, and management to direct our Programs & Services work. This position provides an uncommon leadership opportunity to guide development and implementation of a wide variety of projects designed to strengthen the capacities and practices of charter school authorizers across the country, from customized, fee-based consulting for individual authorizers to large-scale, multi-year projects centered on resource development and training for an entire region.

The Director of Programs & Services is a senior management position, responsible for leading and guiding the development and implementation of all of NACSA’s programs and services for members and other charter school authorizers across the country. The Director of Programs & Services reports to NACSA’s Executive Director and, in practice, this relationship is highly collaborative.

NACSA is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and currently has field offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; and Atlanta, Georgia (pending). Much of NACSA’s Programs & Services work is conducted through “virtual” collaboration among staff and contractors. The Director of Programs & Services oversees the program-related work of each field office, and the position requires frequent national travel. We have some preference for an individual based in or willing to relocate to the West. However, NACSA’s work is rapidly expanding across the country, and we will consider other locations for the Director that are well suited to our current and projected geographic configuration.

NACSA’s Programs & Services are structured around the core responsibilities of charter authorizers: managing the charter application process, developing sound performance contracts (charters), conducting ongoing oversight and evaluation, and making renewal decisions. Authorizers across the country take advantage of a variety of both general and customized resources, guidance and services that we offer described in our Programs & Services brochure.


The Director of Programs & Services is responsible for leading and guiding all aspects of NACSA’s substantive work for NACSA members and other charter school authorizers. This includes developing and delivering workshops, seminars, publications and tools, online resources, conference presentations, and customized consultation and technical assistance to diverse chartering agencies across the country.

The Director of Programs & Services will lead the expansion and development of NACSA’s Programs & Services staff to carry out our burgeoning work across the country. The Director will oversee this team, while also playing a leading, active role in delivering programs and services. During the expansion of NACSA’s Programs & Services staff in the coming months, the Director will have interim responsibilities for managing some current projects. As the team fills out, the Director’s responsibilities will increasingly shift to overseeing project managers and/or project directors.

Substantive responsibilities include overseeing the following:

• Programs & Services development, execution and evaluation;
• Multi-Year Projects including our 3-year federally funded Building Excellence in Charter School Authorizing Project and privately-funded multi-state projects;
• NACSA Annual Conference, widely recognized as a premier charter school-related national event;
• Authorizer Orientations, Workshops and Seminars on core authorizer responsibilities and special topics;
• Direct Technical Assistance to individual authorizers; and
• Project-related Resources and Publications, including online resources and e-learning opportunities.

Organizational responsibilities include:

• Spearheading prioritization and goal-setting for NACSA’s Programs & Services;
• Directing the development, implementation and evaluation of NACSA’s Programs & Services;
• Expanding, overseeing and evaluating NACSA’s Programs & Services staff;
• Overseeing development of project proposals, including both grants and contracts;
• Overseeing management of all project budgets, grants and contracts, including reporting;
• Directing dissemination of project resources; and
• Presenting before diverse audiences across the country.

Desired Qualifications:

• Both practical and policy-related experience with charter school authorizing;
• Strong understanding of the challenges in charter school authorizing across the country, and clear vision for how NACSA’s programs and services can and should address those challenges;
• Experience in leading and managing education-related resource and training development, particularly for charter school authorizers;
• Excellent skills in business planning and organizational, financial and administrative oversight, including the ability to define goals, design projects tailored to achieving those goals, oversee project implementation, and evaluate individual and organizational performance;
• Commitment to the purposes of charter schools in public education and NACSA’s Principles and Standards for Quality Charter Authorizing;
• Superior writing, editing, speaking, analytical and interpersonal skills;
• Strong leadership ability, initiative and drive, including the ability to foster a collaborative work environment and lead a national, geographically dispersed team;
• Outstanding skills in overseeing and managing staff and consultants;
• Strong communications, outreach, public speaking, presentation and facilitation skills;
• Skilled in managing and directing a challenging array of projects, including consulting work;
• Well-attuned to the interests of NACSA’s members and other entities important to success;
• Client-focused approach to developing and providing professional services;
• Demonstrated skills and success in proposal writing;
• Strong attention to detail;
• Willingness and ability to travel frequently;
• Entrepreneurial spirit and skills;
• Comfortable and resourceful within a small, growing nonprofit organization;
• Graduate degree preferred (especially management, education, public administration, public policy or law).

Competitive and commensurate with experience; full benefits provided.

To apply, send cover letter, resume, 3 professional references, and a brief writing sample by e-mail in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Microsoft Word for Windows (.doc) formats to:

Mark Cannon
Executive Director
National Association of Charter School Authorizers
[email protected]

The writing sample should be of a persuasive, analytical or technical nature, not to exceed 5 single-spaced pages. Excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable. The sample should represent the applicant’s own writing (not co-authored or revised by another party).

Closing Date: The position will remain open until filled, however reviews and interviews will commence December 15, 2004.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership association of public school districts and school boards, state boards and departments of education, universities and colleges, municipal bodies, special-purpose boards and qualified nonprofit organizations across the country that are legislatively empowered to authorize and oversee charter schools. NACSA’s mission is to promote the establishment and operation of quality charter schools through responsible oversight in the public interest. We believe that charter schools can improve public education by creating greater educational opportunities for students and educators and greater educational accountability for public schools.

NACSA was founded by a diverse group of charter authorizing agencies to address the unique challenges of licensing, overseeing and evaluating charter schools. The organization has rapidly developed into a highly regarded resource and national voice for the development of quality charter schools and greater accountability throughout public education. We have a strong and growing national constituency of members and associate members, and enjoy collaborative relationships with a wide variety of national and state-based education organizations across the country.

With members from Arizona to Massachusetts and California to Florida, representing every type of chartering institution, our expertise is built on and continually strengthened by our diverse membership and our connections with authorizers nationwide. In addition to providing guidance to authorizers, we routinely advise policymakers, researchers and school reform advocates on authorizer practices and related aspects of charter school policy. NACSA's board of directors represents experience from diverse charter-authorizing agencies around the country.

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