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Executive Director

Breakthrough Greater Boston
Job Title: Executive Director
Job Type:
Executive Director
Job Search Ends:
November 21st, 2023
Organization's Website:

Executive Director
Breakthrough Greater Boston
Cambridge, MA

About Breakthrough Greater Boston

Our Mission and Model:
Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB) inspires excitement for learning, creates paths to and through college, and promotes careers in education. With a unique dual mission, we prepare students with high potential – typically students who are people of color, low-income, and/or first-generation college students – for success in college, and we simultaneously train the next generation of diverse urban teachers using a Students Teaching Students model. Together, BTGB's dual mission advances educational equity by improving outcomes for our students and ensuring that high-quality teachers enter the workforce.

Through our ten-year program, middle and high school students participate in intensive, tuition-free academic enrichment, social and emotional learning, and college preparation during the summer and after school, gaining a passion for learning and the perseverance and tools to succeed in college and beyond. A core part of our dual mission, our diverse group of Teaching Fellows gain meaningful, hands-on experience in the classroom, as well as research-based, expert training and 1:1 coaching from professional educators.

Founded in 1992 in Cambridge by MacArthur Genius Award Winner Angela Duckworth as the first member of the national Breakthrough Collaborative to be based in a public school system, we expanded into Boston in 2013, followed by Somerville in 2018. Each year, we train 150 Teaching Fellows and serve as many as 750 students (and counting!), representing 10% of seventh through twelfth grade students attending public schools in Cambridge and Somerville, as well as students in Boston attending our six partner schools.

As part of our current strategic plan, we recently expanded our service model from six years to ten years, working with our students as they enter college, persist, and graduate, providing baseline supports and individualized coaching to ensure their success. This expansion of our mission is driven by our understanding of – and expertise supporting our students through – the financial, academic, and social and mental health challenges they continue to face beyond high school.

In summer 2022, we established our central office at The Foundry, a newly renovated space dedicated to facilitating access for residents, especially underrepresented communities, to the dynamic working and learning environment of Kendall Square, Cambridge.

Our Impact & Growth:
Using an intentional, research-based model, BTGB has proven impact: 94% of our graduating students have matriculated to college and 82% of them have persisted through their undergraduate years. To date, we have trained over 1,500 college and high school students through our Teaching Fellows program. Each year, over 60% of our Teaching Fellows are people of color and 75% of our teacher alumni go on to pursue a career in education. Building on three decades of success, we have grown exponentially and once fully enrolled across our three campuses for all ten years of programming, we will serve over 1,000 students each year.

Our $5.2M budget is generated from a diversified funding portfolio, including support from foundations, individuals, and corporations as well as revenue from contracts with schools and school districts. In late 2021, we launched a three-year, $15 million-dollar Growth Campaign to increase our private funding in support of our continued expansion.

BTGB operates as an independent nonprofit and is an affiliate of The Breakthrough Collaborative, a national educational movement working to improve outcomes for youth across 24 cities.

To learn more about our unique model and our students' and Teaching Fellows' stories, please visit http://breakthroughgreaterboston.org/.

Our Values:
In all of our work, we strive to live out our core values for every member of our community:
• Spirit: We cherish and embody the youthful energy and spirit of our students and teachers.
• Continual Learning: Everyone in our community has something to learn and something to teach.
• Team Together: We all chip in to accomplish whatever is needed for our teammates and the broader organization.
• Student Centered: Our students are our first priority and our decisions center around what benefits our students.
• Equity and Opportunity: We value diversity of identity, background and thought. We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
• Excellence in Everything: We maintain high expectations for ourselves.

Breakthrough Greater Boston encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position,and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity in every way. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we wish to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission.

The Executive Director Opportunity

We are seeking a new Executive Director to lead our continued growth by engaging and inspiring all of our community members – students and families, Teaching Fellows, school and district partners, funders, staff, and Board members – around our mission and the values that drive our work. This is an exciting opportunity for a visionary and strategic leader to join an organization with proven results, strong community relationships, stable finances and dedicated funders, and an engaged and committed Board. The next Executive Director will build from a strong foundation to drive our impact as we both increase the number of students we serve in middle and high school and expand the BTGB program to ten years.

The next Executive Director will bring well-developed leadership skills, ensuring the successful implementation of our current strategic plan through effective alignment of staff and Board members while positioning BTGB for opportunities that lie ahead. Serving as the driver of our organizational culture, they will work within the organization to enhance our values-driven environment, foster staff belonging and connection, and draw on strong managerial skills to build systems to support and develop our team members as we continue to grow. Acting as our primary external champion, the Executive Director will lead our fundraising and partnership-building strategy to grow our presence and deepen relationships with our supporters.

Key Responsibilities:
Organizational Leadership
• Lead our staff team and Board in implementing and refining our current strategic plan through 2024 and developing and implementing our next strategic planning cycle
• Realize strategic plan goals by collaborating with staff to develop work plans and support ongoing progress
• Work with the Board and Managing Directors to develop budgets, human resource strategies, and other operational management tools and resources

Team Leadership and Culture-Building
• Foster a supportive and empowering work environment for our diverse team of mission-driven staff, ensuring each team member sees their connection to BTGB's impact, upholds our equity-driven, student-centered approach, and has opportunities for continued growth and learning
• Guide the Leadership Team to address organization-wide and functional-area needs through effective facilitation, prioritization, and delegation
• Supervise the Managing Directors of Program, Development and Partnerships, and Operations, providing appropriate guidance, mentorship, and modeling to develop and empower each individual in their own leadership responsibilities

Development, Partnerships, and External Relationship-Building
• Represent and promote BTGB in a wide range of networks, leveraging strong relationship-building skills and knowledge of relevant players within the area's philanthropic, K-12 and higher education, and nonprofit communities
• Play a leading role in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship across a variety of types of funders, collaborating with development staff and Board members to build donor relationships
• Guide the completion of the BTGB Growth Campaign in partnership with Board and key staff members
• Serve as a leading representative of BTGB with partners in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston, including schools, school districts and committees, and city councilors

Board Governance
• Promote active Board involvement, providing information necessary for the Board to make informed decisions and fulfill its responsibilities
• Ensure appropriate preparation and support for Board and Committee meetings
• Lead recruitment to support a strong, diverse pipeline of prospective Board members

Candidate Profile

Strong candidates for the Executive Director position will demonstrate many – though perhaps not all – of the following skills, experiences, and characteristics:

• You demonstrate passion for our mission of closing opportunity gaps and preparing the next generation of urban teachers. Prior exposure to working within or adjacent to K-12 education, college access and success programs, or teacher preparation programs is strongly preferred.
• You come to this role with a strong connection to our mission and the student community we serve. This may be demonstrated by lived experience held in common with our students and/or through personal or professional experience working with similar populations.
• You have a proven record of success in leadership, with experience building and implementing strategic plans, managing teams, and overseeing budgets. You have led successfully in nonprofit or education organizations. Prior experience within a multi-site organization or program is considered a plus.
• You are a strategic thinker who can guide a team from vision to results, establishing appropriate goals and work plans and providing resources to fulfill them, addressing barriers to success, and sustaining positive morale.
• You are a team-oriented leader and manager, with past experience fostering a supportive and cohesive culture that welcomes team members, encourages their success, and empowers them as leaders. You lead by example to create an environment oriented toward trust, ongoing learning and feedback, and work/life balance.
• You are a skilled relationship-builder, advocate, and networker, with experience representing an organization to donors, partners, and community members. You are a persuasive and engaging communicator who can connect with and inspire a wide range of audiences.
• You bring experience in fundraising and/or partnership-building, including success in securing philanthropic gifts and/or partnerships.

Compensation & Location

The salary range for this position is $146,000 - $198,000. Please note that BTGB will make an offer commensurate with experience and does not negotiate salaries. BTGB offers a comprehensive benefits package.

This position is based out of BTGB's office in Cambridge and provides the option for a hybrid schedule.


Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Cassie Scarano of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained to lead this search. To express interest in this role please submit your materials here: https://talent-profile.diversifiedsearchgroup.com/search/v2/18960 or email the Koya search team directly at btgbed@koyapartners.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email NonprofitSearchOps@divsearch.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

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