PeerForward is now seeking a CEO to lead its expansion. Reporting to an engaged and committed Board of Directors, and in partnership with the Senior Management Team, the next CEO will marry a demonstrated personal commitment to increasing educational opportunity with strategic insight and a fundraising and sales background and orientation. S/he will be tasked with providing field leadership for the Youth Activation in Schools movement and implementing an institutional strategy that ensures PeerForward remains a pioneer and innovator in the field. As chief evangelist and storyteller for PeerForward, the CEO will communicate the organization’s mission, method, and message in a way that bolsters brand perception, inspires deeper engagement and action, and further strengthens its position as a thought leader in the field of Youth Activation and college access and success. Internally, s/he will partner with fellow senior leaders charged with fostering an organizational culture that fully embraces teamwork, inclusion, communication, accountability, integrity, and quality.
The CEO will have the ability to secure diverse revenue streams. An authentic leadership presence and a talent for communicating PeerForward’s value proposition and story is essential. Passion for innovation and the ability to motivate a high-performing organization is critical, as is a record of balancing an earned revenue approach with philanthropic support. S/he will be an outstanding steward of high? level relationships, including funders, champions in policy and leadership circles, and cross-sector partners. S/he will also possess a keen understanding of the value of diversity with a leadership style that encourages collaboration and supports the development of high-performing staff.
The CEO will serve as a member of the Senior Management Team, which includes the President/Chief Operating Officer, charged with leading the program and operations of the organization, and the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, who establishes and executes the sales, marketing, and growth strategy of PeerForward’s programs and services. With the members of the Senior Management Team, the CEO will be responsible for maintaining a management culture that is consistent with the PeerForward mission. PeerForward’s success depends on its commitment to equity and it is a place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, stay, and do their best work. We serve a student population that is 43% African American, 33% Hispanic, 3% Asian and 70% low-income populations that face specific challenges in pursuing postsecondary education. We seek candidates who reflect the diversity of our student population and/or relate deeply to their challenges and who embrace the precepts of Youth Activation and the expectations and operations of the Peer Leader teams. Pursuing a vision for vertical alignment throughout the organization, the Senior Management Team is expected to exhibit and embody the practice of shared ownership, responsibility, accountability, and equity within a culture of mutual support.
Significant and meaningful senior leadership experience (10+ years) managing orhelping to manage a nationally recognized organization.
A deep and abiding belief in the power of peer influence and the impact of the peer effect on educational outcomes and that higher education and post-secondary learning improve lives; and that educational equity is a civil rights issue.
The ability to convey the beliefs with the charisma and passion to move others toinvest in this promise.
Successful record of creating and managing diverse funding streams and stewarding donor relationships.
Familiarity with alternate revenue generation models. Ability tocultivate new funding sources and capitalize on market opportunities.
A basic understanding of educational outcome statistics and measurement.
A keen and discerning intellect that can move nimbly from concept to execution.
Exceptional organizational skills and the ability to motivate and manage staff to achieve multiple and concurrent objectives in a dynamic and fast?paced environment.
Boundless curiosity and an entrepreneurial mindset.
A deep commitment to racial and socio?economic equity and cultivating leaders withbackgrounds like those of PeerForward’s students.
Demonstrated success leading a dynamic organization through a period of scaling andchange.
The proven ability to collaboratively solve strategic and operational challenges.
Outstanding written and verbal communication skills that compellingly and concretely convey PeerForward’s value proposition and raise the organization’s profile.
Exceptional networking, influencing, and relationship?building skills.
Demonstrated creativity and a passion for innovation and implementing new programs, processes, and strategies, including an interest in and savvy about emerging technologies and their potential to transform programs and impact.
A leadership style that combines respectful collaboration with disciplinedproductivity. The integrity, wisdom, persistence, and humor necessary to address the practicalities of a dynamic, entrepreneurial, innovative team and the respect and team orientation to diplomatically support high?performing staff and the continued growth and direction of the organization.
A bachelor’s degree and advanced degree in a relevant field preferred.
To apply please send cover letter and CV to CEOsearch@peerforward.org
PeerForward, formerly known as College Summit, began as a single workshop in the basement of a Washington, D.C. community center. The goal was to help students capture their stories in personal essays that could be used for college applications. From that single workshop, more than two decades ago, founders J.B. Schramm, Keith Frome, and Derek Canty built a national organization that has guided 350,000 students across the nation to higher education.
Our name has changed from College Summit to PeerForward; our mission and values remain the same. We believe in the power of positive peer influence to drive more students to and through college. Our founders saw the spark between peers at that very first workshop. For more than two decades, we have honed a method for capturing, structuring, and leveraging the power of peer influence to motivate students to plan for, apply to, and succeed in higher education. No other college access program so powerfully taps this resource found in every high school in America.