Senior Director (Rochester)

Rochester, US
Sep 14, 2018
Senior Director, Rochester
Location(s): Rochester

Uncommon Schools (Uncommon) Uncommon Schools is a non-profit network of 53 outstanding schools in grades K through 12 across New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. We are the largest public charter school network in the Northeast, and one of the highest performing. Our mission is to open and operate outstanding public charter schools that close the opportunity gap in low-income neighborhoods and prepare students for success in college and beyond. We are accomplishing that mission today.


The Regional Senior Director will play a critical role in managing all external- and community-facing work for their specific region, as our schools serve communities in multiple cities that each have different landscapes and needs. The Regional Senior Director will work to advance Uncommon's reputation and influence as a leading charter management organization in the region. The Regional Senior Director will build support for our schools by leveraging a deep understanding of the community and ensuring that Uncommon Schools is working as effectively as possible with and building strong relationships with key external stakeholders in the community. The Regional Senior Director will work closely with the Managing Director of Operations, who oversees school operations for the region, and the central External Affairs team at Uncommon's Home Office, as well as other school, regional and Home Office leaders within Uncommon. The Regional Senior Director will report to the Chief of External Affairs on the Uncommon Executive Team, and will oversee an External Affairs team, with size determined by the needs of the region.

We are seeking a mission-aligned, high-energy, detail-oriented, people-driven and community-embedded leader who will create and execute on the strategic plan for external affairs in the region, and build deep and lasting relationships with school, regional, and external community members and stakeholders (e.g., parent leaders, community leaders, elected officials, school Board of Trustees, charter authorizers, other charter leaders). Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Management of External Affairs & Stakeholders
  • Regional advocacy and government affairs
    • Plan and execute elected official engagement strategy, including managing high-level key relationships, supporting the team to plan for and execute on initiatives and strengthening relationships with elected officials (e.g., school visits, community projects, meetings)
    • Overseeing creation and execution of a parent advocacy strategy and successful coalition-building to support Uncommon Schools and education reform interests, and manage and implement Uncommon advocacy initiatives within the regional context (e.g., Get Out the Vote campaigns, voter registration, parent advocacy & organizing, etc.)
  • Board management
    • Serve as the key owner and liaison for the regional Board of Trustees, including long-term relationship management and facilitation of all board meetings and sub-committee meetings
  • Other high-level external relationships
    • Partner with the central Uncommon External Affairs team on Uncommon Impact work related to supporting our district partnerships
    • Build, implement, and manage a system for school tours/visits by external stakeholders
    • Plan for and support all other high-stakes relationships in the region (e.g., district leaders, fellow charter sector leaders, local coalition leaders, etc.)

Strategic Planning & Execution
  • Partner with regional and Home Office leaders to create and implement a robust external strategy for the region
  • Manage and drive strategy for all charter and governance compliance, including managing authorizer relationships, managing the charter application and renewal processes and ensuring adherence to all relevant governance policies and procedures;
  • Determine and drive strategy for core initiatives/relationships in the region, including but not limited to: relationship with local school district(s) and implementation of district/city policies; supporting student recruitment

Collaboration & Team Management
  • Work seamlessly with Managing Director of Operations and other regional leaders, especially around projects involving school implementation and Board of Trustees management
  • Work closely with External Affairs, Development, and Media/Marketing teams and leverage organizational resources for the region
  • Serve as an exceptional role model as a leader and manager, investing deeply in supporting and developing team members and growing their capacity to learn, contribute and engage in the work of the team and organization
  • Establish team and individual staff goals that contribute to organizational objectives


  • 6-8 years of substantive work experience with increasing responsibility in external affairs in a non-profit and/or educational setting.
  • Ability to create effective strategic plans and project manage to execute on that strategy.
  • Excellent relationship- and coalition-building skills and ability to move and communicate seamlessly and effectively among and between varied audiences (e.g. board members, school/regional leaders, elected officials, school district leaders, Uncommon parents, etc.).
  • Demonstrated experience in navigating and leveraging high-stakes relationships and negotiations.
  • Experience and background in the community, professionally or personally
  • Ability to serve as an effective ambassador for Uncommon Schools
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, high-change organization; flexible; able to work autonomously as well as take direction as needed.
  • Excellent organization, time management, and follow-up skills; ability to prioritize and demonstrate an appropriate sense of urgency.
  • Ability to navigate within ambiguity and successfully drive decisions given current context and desired outcomes

  • Strong commitment to the organizational mission.
  • Bachelor's degree required


We offer a competitive compensation and benefits package. Aside from extensive professional development, all our staff members are equipped with a laptop computer, email, high-speed internet access, and all necessary supplies.

The foregoing information is requested for mandatory government reporting purposes only. As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other category protected by applicable law.