Washington STEM’s focus areasinclude resources and networks to make the biggest impact on student lives.Focus areas in improving education systems include Early Learning, K-12 STEMeducation, and career pathways.
WashingtonSTEM’s approach to early learning has been rooted in research and theorganization’s values since the inception of this program area. Given that 90% of braindevelopment occurs before kindergarten, and thatearly mathematics learning is especially important because it is predictiveof later learning outcomes, Washington STEM saw anopportunity to make a unique contribution by elevating and supporting earlymathematics learning as part of its core mission. Furthermore, with evidencethat many children from priority populations did not have equitableaccess to early math opportunities, Washington STEM set out toremove barriers experienced by children of color, children from low-incomehomes, and children in rural communities. In its 2019-2021 business plan, WashingtonSTEM set the goal of reaching 18,000 families and educators, and scores morechildren, with fun, engaging and culturally responsive early math resources andprogramming, while convening early learning partners to create sharedpractices, resources, and goals for early math across the state.
At theconclusion of the three-year business plan in 2021, Washington STEM, workingcollaboratively with its partners, exceeded that goal of reaching 18,000families and educators with high quality early math experiences. WashingtonSTEM also worked with early learning partners and lead organizations, includingthe Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Washington Communities forChildren, and Thrive by Five, to produce seminal reports on the state of early math and earlychildhood education to drive local and state action and advocacy. Thishelped inform policy with data regarding access to high-quality childcare,contributing to the successful passing of major legislation such as the 2021Fair Start for Kids Act.
Washington STEM now looks boldly to a futurethat builds on these successes, situates the organization within its areas ofexpertise, and clarifies where it can best support others expertise in theearly learning landscape. The vision moving forward is that every young childdevelops a positive math identity, participates in high-quality early STEMlearning, and has access to the best early learning environments possible.
A strong K-12 STEM experience is a critical component to ensuringyoung Washingtonians are informed and thriving global citizens prepared formultiple viable career pathways of their choice. With renewed focus, WashingtonSTEM is planning to expand K-12 work going forward. Core to this work is the Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform(LASER) program, a partnership with ten regional alliances that offersleadership and technical assistance. LASER’s vision is that all K-12 studentsdeepen their understanding of scientific ideas over time, engaging in practicesthat scientists and engineers actually use, so that students are informed andthriving global citizens and succeed in STEM careers if they choose thosepathways. LASER partners with school districts, Educational Service Districts,and STEM Networks across Washington to provide a variety of supports to meet acommunity’s needs. Washington STEM and LASER have partnered to create astrategic approach to improving science education, building the internalcapacity and skill to better center equity in science and STEM education, andbuilding coherence between different programs and initiatives across the state.In addition to LASER, Washington STEM anticipates significantopportunities to contribute to K-12 teacher workforce development and dualcredit.
A robustcross-sector career pathways system is key to preparing students for the mostin-demand, high-paying careers in Washington state. Students in strong careerpathways are better positioned to access careers that provide the economicsecurity needed to contribute to the vitality of their families, communities,and local economies.
STEM careersare abundant in every region of Washington, but, historically, students ofcolor, students from low-income backgrounds, rural students, and girls havefaced systemic barriers preventing them from gaining access to these careers.That is why Washington STEM centers equity in its approach to Career Pathwaysand designs solutions to close gaps for historically underserved communities.The 10 STEM Networks across the state are the organization’s strongest ally andasset in making progress in the Career Pathways Program.
There are many pathways to a career (e.g., apprenticeship, 2-yeardegree, 4-year degree, military service, etc.) and many opportunities areparticular to certain regions and less available in others. In order to buildan equitable system, Washington STEM strives to ensure that career learningopportunities are communicated clearly, easily navigated, and inspiring tostudents, and meet employer needs. A major component of the Career Pathwaysportfolio is the partnership with Career Connect Washington.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FACING THE CEO
The next CEOwill bring a strong vision for the impact STEM education can have on thetrajectory of students’ lives and for leveraging community, corporate,educational leaders, and policymakers to advance systems change. S/he/they willhave the opportunity to actualize and operationalize a newly developed 3-yearstrategic plan, strengthening synergy across program, data, partnerships, andpolicy initiatives, and embrace the organization’s ambitious goals. The CEOwill articulate a clear path forward toward ambitious achievement, leveragingthe organization’s first decade of work and charting a clear plan for the nextarc in alignment with the strategic plan. S/he/they will clearly articulate howinstitutional racism, structural oppression, and the limited economic mobilitythat exists in rural communities impact access and achievement in STEM and willensure equity is woven into the fabric of the organization’s work bothinternally and externally.
Inpartnership with the senior leadership team, the CEO will lead and collaboratewith a talented staff of 22 and oversee an operating budget of $6.5 million.S/he/they will be a thoughtful leader that upholds a culture that valuesequity, transparency, accountability, and clear communication across theorganization. S/he/they will bring a sophisticated approach to managing peoplethrough accountability, mentorship, and direct feedback. The CEO will leveragea strong business acumen to drive strategy and execution, maintaining WashingtonSTEM’s momentum and ensuring alignment of staff and board around growth targetsand goals. The CEO will embrace the strengths, commitment, and passion of thehigh performing team and build collaboration and synergy toward a sharedvision.
Fundraising & External Relations
The CEO willpassionately represent the organization’s bold vision and be a strong advocatefor STEM and the students and communities of Washington. S/he/they will be afearless fundraiser, building the brand recognition and pathways forpartnership and investment by representing the organization externally acrosseducation, corporate, public, philanthropic, and social sectors. The CEO willproactively seek new funding opportunities and identify new revenue streams.With a passionate and authentic voice, s/he/they will be a strong advocate instate and national conversations regarding STEM education, equity, and careerpathways.
Network Partnerships & Policy
In support ofWashington STEM’s networks and partners, the CEO will identify and buildrelationships with stakeholders. S/he/they will foster frequent and consistentdialogue with relevant constituents to develop strong cross-sector partnershipsthrough trust, respect, and engaging with transparency and equity focused outcomes.S/he/they will embody and actualize an organization-wide commitment to workingwith and learning from networks and partners, while co-developing strategiesand sustainable funding models that lead toward strong investment and impact inSTEM, and that reflect community needs and advance equity. The CEO will workacross networks and partners to advance a clear policy agenda in thelegislature and educational system that supports strong STEM outcomes and theorganization’s 2030 goals.
BoardRelations & Governance
In collaboration with the board chair, the CEO will facilitate boardalignment on key decisions and strategic direction. S/he/they will partner withthe board to create opportunities for engagement, leveraging their diversepersonal and professional backgrounds, experiences, and relationships to ensurecontinued growth of Washington STEM. The CEO will support effective boardgovernance, ensuring continued leadership and representation by building arepresentative stream of new board members that leverages cross-sector andstatewide relationships.
QUALIFICATIONSOF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumeratedbelow, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personalabilities, attributes, and experiences:
Connection to the Mission
- Deep commitment to Washington STEM’s vision of economic mobility and opportunity through STEM education for students furthest from educational justice.
- Personal and professional commitment to and proven experience advancing racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustained awareness of the impact of privilege and power dynamics on educational outcomes.
- Familiarity with the issues faced by students of color, young women and girls, low-income students, and students living in rural communities through personal or professional experience.
Organizational & Operational Leadership
· Demonstrated organizational, financial, andoperational management expertise of a similar sized organization.
· Experience effectively building and growingrelationships with aligned funders, companies, and government. Provenfundraiser who is creative, compelling, and understands how to moverelationships to commitment.
· Experience supporting an organization’s policyand advocacy efforts, and establishing meaningful collaborations with relevantpartners, agencies, and coalitions. Understanding of the education andworkforce policy landscape, especially in Washington state, and theintersection of business and government in shaping policy and pathways.
- Skilled management of a complex enterprise or network partnerships through sustained growth and scale in the public, social, or private sector.
- Facility in strategic planning and the ability to chart the path toward bold and ambitious goals with clear measurable steps.
Values & Management Style
· Powerful communicator one on one, in smallgroup settings, and with large audiences; clear internal communicator whovalues transparency and clarity.
· Collaborative leadership style and commitmentto building internal leadership; internal management style that fostersmentorship, accountability, respect, mutual learning, and cross-teamcollaboration.
· Transparent decision-maker who invitesfeedback and solicits information to make timely, data driven decisions.
· Demonstrated success developing and nurturingcross-sector alliances and unifying, managing, and influencing diversestakeholders toward collective impact.
· Previous experience effectively engaging ahigh-profile board of directors, coalition, or steering committee.
- Familiarity with Washington state and its diverse geographies, communities, sovereign nations, and economies.
- Deep understanding of the structures and functions of P-16 education systems in Washington state; experience working in or partnering with the education system as a teacher, administrator, policymaker, or educational partner preferred.
- Personal and professional commitment to education as a vehicle to economic mobility; deep understanding of the systemic challenges faced particularly by BIPOC students, low-income families, and rural communities in accessing and achieving STEM education and the combined lived, educational, and professional credentials to effectively lead Washington STEM.
More information about WashingtonSTEM may be found at: washingtonstem.org
This search is being led by Carolyn Ho, Catherine Seneviratne,and Christine Domingo of NPAG.Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply assoon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining theirinterest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
The salary range for this position has been set at $220,000-255,000and includes a comprehensive benefits package. Washington STEM is currentlyworking remotely due to the pandemic and plans to return to the office in 2022with flexibility. The CEO will be expected to work collaboratively with theteam in their Seattle office once the COVID situation improves.
Washington STEM is an Equal Opportunity Employer who caresdeeply about its staff and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind.Employment decisions at Washington STEM are based on organizational needs, jobrequirements, and individual qualifications without regard to race, color,national origin, gender identity, age, transgender status, religion or belief,family or parental status, or any other status protected by the law.