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Chief Strategy Officer, PAVE DC
Meso Solutions in , DC
Date Posted 03/09/2021
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to connect, inform, and empower parent leaders to give families in DC a voice and choice in the vision for education in our city. In the vision of PAVE, parents are partners and leaders in developing a diversity of safe, nurturing, and great schools for every child in every ward and community.

PAVE is dedicated to creating an environment where the vision for education in DC is not created for children and families but rather with children and families, shifting and changing the dynamics of power in our city so that communities and parents are partners in creating great schools in DC. PAVE intentionally and constructively asks parents to engage in education policy in DC, creates opportunities for parents to lead and advocate, helps parents to understand the system, builds relationships between parents and those who are making and influencing the education landscape in DC, and advocates on behalf of great school options and equitable supports for all children, regardless of sector.

At PAVE, our parent leaders identify the issues that they want to move forward on behalf of our kids and our schools. In just four years, PAVE’s parent leaders have worked tirelessly to reimagine the education system in DC, including:

  • Advocating for and achieving a historic pupil funding increase for both the public traditional and charter school sectors;
  • More than doubled funding for Out-of-School Time (OST) programs – increasing the city’s budget for OST by $10.25 million
  • Representing 40% of the parent and community engagement process for the new citywide report card with both focus group and canvassing efforts; and
  • Leading a first-of-its-kind selection process for a new school operator serving both Ward 8 and military families, where a committee of eight parents identified the school that they wanted to see in their community.
  • Increased funding for mental health supports in schools by $13.1 million

Additionally, during the FY20 budget season, DC was one of the only states across the country to see increases in education that would have been exceptional even if there were not a pandemic. And that was in large part due to the advocacy of PAVE parent leaders.

PAVE is a fast-paced, high-performing organization driven by a passionate team made up of nearly 5,000 parent leaders, 12 (and growing) full-time staff, and both school and citywide partners in educational equity. The standard at PAVE is excellence – in all that we do, all that we give, and all the spaces that we open for family and community voice. Learn more about us at https://www.dcpave.org/

The Chief Strategy Officer Role

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is an integral part of the PAVE team, responsible for leading cross-collaboratively PAVE’s Community Engagement and Organizing, Policy & Advocacy, and Communications & Events teams towards reimagining the D.C. education system in partnership with parent leaders.

The CSO will own all aspects of leading the program teams towards success, including strategy development, day to day management and problem-solving, coaching, development, and modeling for team members, and promotion of cross-collaboration and best-practice capturing to create team-wide efficiencies.

Working in close collaboration with PAVE’s parent leaders, community leaders, and PAVE staff members, the CSO will continue PAVE’s track record of achieving a wide range of community organizing, policy, advocacy, and communication goals including:

  • Growing the breadth and diversity (racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic) of the PAVE network by expanding the number of Emerging and Active Parent Leaders
  • Developing PAVE's most engaged parent leaders to be informed advocates for all kids in the education system and to take formal roles of power in our education system
  • Achieving parent-driven policy wins in the areas of school funding, budget transparency, mental health, and other issue areas identified by parent leaders
  • Amplifying the PAVE network by increasing the reach of PAVE’s social media platform and newsletter, ensuring diverse parent voices in earned media, supporting parent blog and op-ed writing, and coordinating parent-focused communication trainings and convenings
  • Increasing the number of systems leaders (school leaders, non-profit leaders, policymakers, and elected officials) who commit to a parent-powered vision each year
  • Strengthening PAVE’s programs by thinking strategically about how to meet long-term goals, coaching and developing early career team members, and codifying systems and best practices

Successful candidates will share our vision for parents as partners and leaders in developing a diversity of safe, nurturing, and great schools for every child in every ward and community.


Lead the development of a cohesive strategy across program teams

  • Serve as a supervisor to the directors and managers of the Programming Team: Policy & Advocacy, Communications & Events, and Community Engagement & Organizing
  • Work with directors and managers to identify inputs, activities, and metrics for strategic goals that are set in partnership with the Executive Director
  • Provide concrete and ongoing coaching and modeling to members of the Programming Team to support their continued development in support of PAVE’s programmatic goals
  • In Year 1, implement PAVE’s Strategic Plan and lead the evolution of planning and execution of the Strategic Plan in future years across Program teams

Manage teams towards outcomes

  • Lead the alignment, development, and efficacy of individual staff, teams, and initiatives, including cross-functional team initiatives to ensure a cross-collaborative, integrated approach to all work
  • Lead cross-functional internal debriefs and step backs with team leaders to ensure the capture of learning and alignment around best practices
  • Lead race and equity conversations internally to support staff development and efficacy
  • Plan for evolving staffing needs and develop recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and retention practices aligned with PAVE’s vision and values
  • Implement performance management practices with team members including leading the annual performance evaluation process and ensuring proactive leadership pipeline plans

More specifically, the CSO will manage PAVE’s three programmatic teams – Policy & Advocacy, Community Engagement & Organizing, and Communications & Events - in the following ways:

Policy & Advocacy: Continue PAVE’s track record of achieving critical parent-driven education policy wins through strong research and advocacy with policymakers and elected officials

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, build a deep understanding of educational policies in D.C. and the policy changes identified by parents to advance educational outcomes for students and families
  • In partnership with the Executive Director, set vision and strategy for deepening leadership of PAVE’s most active Parent Leaders inside and outside of the PAVE network through advocacy actions
  • Define clear policy and parent leadership goals with the Policy and Parent Leadership teams and execute a highly coordinated campaign strategy, ensuring leadership parents are growing in their individual actions and knowledge and as a part of the parent network
  • Oversee and support the development and dissemination of policy and advocacy resources materials through the Policy and Parent Leadership teams
  • Oversee and support PAVE's advocacy coalition and external partnerships

Community Engagement & Organizing: Grow and inform the PAVE network through community organizing best practices in public narrative, engagement ladder development, and lead generation

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, set vision and strategy for growing the PAVE Parent Leader network with new parent leaders
  • Define clear goals with the Community Engagement and Organizing team and ensure all organizers are reaching their weekly goals
  • Regularly attend and represent PAVE at key meetings with parents, allies, funders, conferences, convenings, and community events
  • Support the growth and development of key PAVE staff members into Lead Organizing roles

Communications & Events:Expand and diversify the voices of the network through social media, earned media, parent blogs and op-eds, newsletters, and citywide events

  • Support the Communications and Events team to define clear communication goals and establish a comprehensive communications plan spanning social media, email newsletter, website, earned media, and print media
  • Oversee goal-setting for all PAVE special events with Communications and Events team
  • Oversee and facilitate strong cross-departmental collaboration for all PAVE special events

Salary: The salary range for this role is $170,000 to $190,000 annually plus benefits

Location: Due to COVID, we are operating remotely. However, we do place-based, community-centered work so the CSO must be located in Washington, DC, as they will need to attend in-person meetings and events with parents and educators once it is safe to do so.

Hours: This role will require flexible hours as we meet with parents and community members on their schedule which includes evenings and weekends; we provide childcare and food at in-person events.

The CSO will be thoroughly committed to PAVE’s mission. The CSO should possess a background in policy, have a track record of achieving significant policy wins, and have a clear vision for exceptional communication, advocacy, and organizing strategy. Successful candidates thrive in fast-paced, dynamic work environments, and seek out opportunities to work in close collaboration with staff, parents, and community members. Candidates with experience in high-performing start-ups who can point to their specific work building an organization or model for sustainability are preferred.

Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:

  • 15+ years of professional experience in community organizing, strategic communications, policy, and/or advocacy roles with a proven track record of advancing a people-driven agenda
  • Deep passion for and knowledge of the injustices inherent in the public education system, informed by personal and/or professional experience
  • Track-record of driving towards systemic policy change and distilling complicated policy and legislation for wider and diverse audiences
  • Experience leading successful, fast-paced advocacy campaigns, including overseeing communications and organizing strategies, identifying issue areas collaboratively, and building consensus
  • Proven commitment to leading conversations on race and equity internally with staff, creating space for difficult conversations about inequity, and bringing a deep understanding of historical racial injustices and social policy solutions that could improve educational outcomes for Black and Brown families
  • Core belief and demonstrable evidence in previous work that the people closest to the pain should be closest to the power and the decision-makers in their own lives and those of their children
  • A strong storyteller who has comfort and facility in sharing their story of self
  • Strong people management, coaching, training, and supervision experience that results in organizational outcomes and staff growth and retention, with a focus on developing early career staff through direct 1:1 modeling
  • Willingness to work in fast-paced environments and do whatever it takes to reach ambitious outcomes
  • Outstanding judgment and ability to work across diverse perspectives and groups
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong strategic thinking and analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Ability to adapt as needed, self-manage, and to prioritize between and manage multiple demands
  • An earned reputation for being trustworthy, with excellent judgment and discretion
  • Knowledge of DC education and political landscape and/or proven ability to quickly build relationships and learn on the job to build local knowledge and professional profile
  • Resourceful, with strong self-awareness, cultural competence, emotional intelligence, and humility
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

Please apply via the link below. At this time we request no calls regarding the position.

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