Chief Executive Officer

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Chief Executive Officer

Posted date
February 14, 2020

Brooklyn, NY

Employment Type

Opportunity for Impact

People work at Ascend because of their alignment with the network’s beliefs and approach to education. First and foremost, Ascend instills students with agency – confidence that they are in control of their own lives, can act on their own free choices and can assert their voice and power in the world. Doing this well requires being in conversation with communities, engaging in deep listening and being willing to change and adapt to best meet student and community needs. Ascend requires a Chief Executive Officer aligned to this approach, who has a deep respect for people, and who is committed to the reflection, research and care required to ensure this value is suffused throughout the network as it continues to grow and improve.


Ascend is at a pivotal juncture in its journey, presenting the opportunity to review and refine its vision for the future in preparation for the next strategic phase of growth: to increase quality educational options for traditionally under-served communities in a manner that is in partnership with and deeply respectful of community members. The next CEO will oversee this transition and provide vision, leadership and management of all aspects of the organization. This person will have ultimate responsibility for the performance of the growing organization currently comprised of a 75-person network team, 15 schools, and overall revenues of $118 million. The CEO will report to the Ascend Learning Board of Directors, directly manage the senior team and is the key representative and face of the organization to external audiences.


Develop and champion a clear vision and strategy:
In collaboration with the Board of Directors
- Clarify and communicate the vision, values, brand and identity of the network ensuring internal alignment and buy-in as well as understanding of how this guides decision-making across the Ascend community

-Lead the development of a multi-year strategic plan in collaboration with the Ascend Learning Board and the Ascend Public Charter School Board to provide a clear roadmap for the organization with concrete goals, targets and measures for achievement

-Ensure Ascend delivers on its planned real estate development, facility management and growth commitments while developing and implementing a long-term strategic plan

-Champion and inspire all members of the community with Ascend’s success stories, goals, plans and results

Build, support and maintain a diverse team and inclusive culture of excellence:

-Build a culture of excellence, collegiality, transparency, integrity, and innovation

-Actively model, engage, drive and lead conversations and efforts to develop and implement diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism goals and strategy for each function and level of the network and its schools to ensure that all constituencies have voice and opportunity to influence Ascend’s work

-Implement a talent strategy that ensures Ascend can recruit, retain and develop high performing talent at every level

-Maintain high visibility and accessibility and foster relationships at every level of the Ascend community

-Foster collaboration, partnership and communication at all levels within the network, between schools and between the Ascend Learning and Ascend Public Charter School boards and empower staff to maximize productivity, ensure professional excellence and promote teamwork

Drive effective execution and accountability in support of student success:

-Establish and maintain a high bar of excellence and ensure each network and school function consistently meets or exceeds this standard in order to place students firmly on the path to success in college and beyond and as people who can think on their own, thrive on their own and engage the world as informed, responsible citizens

-Set clear annual academic, financial, operational, fundraising and growth goals that align to the long-term strategic plan and vision

-Implement effective accountability systems to drive progress toward meeting and exceeding goals, priorities and implementation plans and ensure operations are financially sound, legally compliant and safe and supportive of students

-Ensure the team is cohesive and unified with transparency in job opportunities and hiring processes, and clarity on decision-making, roles and responsibilities and shared systems and ways of working that are supported and implemented with fidelity and integrity

-Promote the innovation, testing, piloting, and scaling of new solutions that drive student development and achievement in alignment with our inclusive, culturally responsive approach, values and educational model and in close partnership with families

-Ensure the network team is resourced, developed and supported to achieve growth and innovation, meet goals, deliver on commitments, adapt to changes and provide the highest quality support and services to schools, students and families

-Implement and maintain effective communication systems that align with network, school and community requirements

Attract, develop and maintain partnerships and resources:

-Develop and nurture new and existing philanthropic relationships while increasing Ascend’s capacity for fundraising and development

-Develop meaningful partnerships and relationships with key local and national leaders, government and authorizing officials, national charter management organizations, and community-based organizations

-Communicate the Board’s vision and Ascend’s story in a manner that assures Ascend, its mission, programs and services are presented accurately and reflect care and commitment toward meeting the community’s needs


-Previously a senior leader with experience operating in a large, complex organization

-A comfort and willingness to lead a community in addressing and building diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism throughout the institution

-A track record of leading, motivating and developing large, high-performing teams

-Education experience that indicates knowledge of how students and adults learn

-Experience partnering effectively with a Board of Directors and constituents

-Excellent listening and communication skills