Level Playing Field Institute
SMASH Academy, a program that US News and World Report called “Perhaps the most ambitious program to encourage African American and Latino students in STEM fields” is heading into its 13th summer this year. It is the flagship program of the Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI), an organization committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.
An entity within the Kapor Center for Social Impact and founded in 2001, the Level Playing Field Institute is an Oakland-based nonprofit organization that operates four STEM-focused education programs for underrepresented middle and high school students: the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) is a year-round academic program that serves high school students and Level the Coding Field hackathons are two-day coding exposure experiences for middle and high school students. Additionally, (and connectedly) LPFI conducts research examining inequity in access and opportunity across K-12, higher education, and workplace contexts in order to improve the outcomes for underrepresented students in STEM fields. LPFI is funded by private donors, foundations, and corporate giving and is currently expanding in exciting ways.
The Kapor Center for Social Impact (KCSI) is a family of innovative and groundbreaking organizations that pursue innovative strategies to leverage capital and technology for positive, progressive impact. In addition to LPFI, KCSI encompasses a private foundation, and a for-profit investment partnership (Kapor Capital).
SMASH Program Director Opportunity
Reporting to the Chief Programs Officer, the SMASH Program Director (SPD) will be responsible for the operational success of the SMASH Academy program, ensuring seamless team management and development, program delivery, and quality control and evaluation. In this role, the SPD will lead and direct a growing SMASH Site Director Team of five direct reports and over 100 seasonal employees with a program budget of approximately $3 million. S/he is accountable for successful program implementation and expansion, continuous improvement of programs, and effective management of the full-time staff serving more than 300 scholars and families. SMASH is a proven program that has produced high-quality results for low-income students of color. The program is rapidly expanding and will double in size between 2015 and 2020. The SMASH Director will oversee this expansion and ensure that the program maintains a high level of operational and academic excellence as it scales.
The SMASH Program Director’s core responsibilities will include the following:
- Lead a collaborative team of full time and seasonal staff members to execute a vision of excellence in STEM across all SMASH and Pathways programs
- Manage and develop a growing team of talented and passionate people who are focused on student impact in a highly flexible environment
- Design and implement a system to evaluate the skill, experience, and professional development needs of program staff
- Create an environment amongst permanent and seasonal staff that will foster trust, open communication, critical and creative thinking, and cohesive team effort
Programs Management and Development
- Lead the successful execution of all SMASH Academy and Pathways programs, including building new tools and systems to monitor performance and ensure efficacy and efficiency
- Oversee hiring of seasonal employees, enact new processes to onboard and train all staff, and design a high-quality performance management process
- Collaborate with evaluation and curriculum teams to design, pilot and implement new program features
- Coordinate with communications and leadership teams to execute promotional campaigns that highlight programs in a way that will attract donors and new partners.
The ideal SMASH Program Director candidate will have:
- Advanced degree in education, business or STEM field and/or 5 + years of experience in STEM education, youth development, and community engagement, or equivalent
- At least 4 years of senior-level professional experience; multi-sector experience a plus (business, nonprofit, government)
- Strong leadership abilities including an encouraging, motivating presence to help with culture and team building, prioritization and strategic planning, mentoring and coaching.
- Demonstrated effectiveness in working with youth from diverse ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds
- Excellent verbal and written communication, presentation and facilitation skills
- Self-starter tendencies with the ability to work on multiple initiatives at the same time; excellent project manager who is resilient and adaptable to changing priorities
- Obsession with detail and strong organizational skills
- Energetic and entrepreneurial spirit about innovative education models and nonprofit organizations
- Demonstrated commitment to STEM diversity
- Background and interests that exemplify LPFI Organizational Values - Focus on Impact, Strengthen Our Communities, Balance Passion and Practicality, Experiment, Evaluate, Modify, and Implement, Be a Strong Link in the Chain, Celebrate and Have Some Fun
- Willingness to travel and flexibility to work weekends (specifically during the summer when SMASH programs are running)
Compensation and Benefits
LPFI provides competitive compensation commensurate with experience, and an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life/disability insurance, paid time off, 401k, volunteer time, and flexible spending accounts (i.e. parking, transit, medical and dependent care). LPFI’s main office, located in Oakland’s dynamic Uptown District, has excellent access to public transportation and to Hwy 24, I-580, I-880 and I-980 freeways. Our center also hosts community-building events and we have a collegial atmosphere with a shared mission for social justice and educational equity.
Please submit your resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to the LPFI Search Committee online at goo.gl/Q370l8. Contact Jamiah Hargins at email@example.com or (510) 575-9635 with any questions.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
In keeping with our beliefs and goals, no employee or applicant will face discrimination/ harassment based on: race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, age, gender, marital/domestic partner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Above and beyond discrimination/harassment based on "protected categories," Level Playing Field Institute also strives to prevent other, subtler forms of inappropriate behavior (e.g., stereotyping) from ever gaining a foothold in our office. Whether blatant or hidden, barriers to success have no place at Level Playing Field Institute.