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Senior Director, Education

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Senior Executive
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:

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As the Senior Director, Education, you will lead a dynamic team of technical professionals in developing and supporting all aspects of IRC’s education and social emotional learning program portfolio. You and your team will work collaboratively with program colleagues to advance cognitive and social emotional learning outcomes for young children, literacy and numeracy and social emotional skills for school-age children, and continued learning opportunities and skills building for youth.

Your team’s work has never been more important, as the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic excludes millions more children from formal and informal learning opportunities, compounding the effects of years of conflict, displacement, poverty, and under-investment.

Position Overview

As the Senior Director, Education, you will provide leadership in several critical capacities:

•TECHNICAL LEADER: As the leader of a dedicated group of technical specialists, researchers, and advocates, you will bring vision, cohesion, and authentic intellectual dialogue to cultivate a strong and inclusive culture of performance and collaboration. The team will place clients at the center of our work and ensure their voices increasingly influence our decisions at all levels. Opportunities to partner with and support local actors and systems will be prioritized. Equality and inclusion will be at the forefront of every decision and action, through thoughtful planning and implementation support for all programs and services. Collectively you will design programs in which interventions are evidence-based where possible and evidence-generating where necessary. Seek cost-effective solutions to achieve results at scale for as many children and families as possible.

•ORGANIZATIONAL LEADER: Collaborate with colleagues across the organization as a key member of the Technical Excellence leadership team, the Crisis Response, Recovery & Development (CRRD) Leadership Group, and a member of IRC’s larger cross-departmental, cross-functional Senior Leadership Group (SLG). Serve as a champion of the new Strategy 100 by developing new program opportunities, ensuring the quality of programs and partnerships, and driving performance and growth in the sector while actively promoting an inclusive culture and duty of care for all.

•STEWARD: Develop and implement strategic business development efforts to support our country programs and enable the Education team to deliver high quality technical assistance, implement a focused research agenda and stay ahead of relevant developments. Ensure responsible management of Education unit funds, partnering with technical and finance colleagues to harmonize planning, budgeting, and reporting.

•MANAGER: Proactively invest time and care in the support and development of IRC staff within the Education technical team and of technical colleagues in IRC country programs. Embrace your responsibility for the recruitment, engagement, and retention of a diverse team of qualified people to deliver superb technical assistance and thought leadership.

•ADVOCATE: As the most senior advocate in the education technical area, regularly communicate the needs and priorities of IRC country programs to donors; participate in high level policy and practice forums; advocate for appropriate policy and practice shifts with donors, implementing agencies, and government counterparts. Demonstrate a deep appreciation for IRC’s commitment to drive fundamental policy and practice changes that will ensure people receive the wide-ranging support they need to survive and in the immediate aftermath of crisis helps them recover and gain control of their future, with a particular focus on the challenges faced by children and those caring from them in crisis settings.

Professional Profile

Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary leadership abilities, and deep expertise in designing and delivering education and social emotional learning programs.

Work Experience:

•A minimum of 15 years of relevant experience, with field and programmatic experience in a donor, NGO or comparable international agency required.

•Experience and familiarity with education donors, peer agencies and national contexts required, preferably in humanitarian and transitional, post-crisis contexts.

•Experience and expertise raising funds from bilateral, multilateral, and private donors.

•Leadership and management experience in complex global organization.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

•Deep expertise in education programming in low resource/conflict affected environments.

•Highly effective strategic planning and execution.

•Private and statutory business development/ fundraising.

•Understanding of the program life cycle and effective practices used by aid organizations to design, implement and measure the progress of interventions.

•Fluency in the relevance and use of empirical evidence to know what works best to achieve meaningful literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional learning results.

•Very strong leadership and management competencies including the ability to build a diverse team, foster an inclusive team culture, inspire people to align with a stated vision and strategy, and capacity to communicate effectively with IRC program leadership, technical peers, and colleagues in fundraising, communications, and advocacy.

•Excellent public speaking and writing skills are essential.

•An established and collaborative professional network in humanitarian, development, and education technical and policy communities.

Education: Master’s in relevant field required, PhD preferred.

Language Skills: Excellent spoken and written English essential. Proficiency in additional IRC relevant languages (Arabic, French, Spanish, Kiswahili, etc.) strongly preferred.

Working Environment: Travel up to 25% of time. Preferably based in NYC or one of our international hubs in London, Geneva, Nairobi. Other IRC locations may be possible.

Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality

IRC acknowledges and honors the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and consider all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other protected characteristic. IRC is also committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits.

We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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