Chief People and Equity Officer

Education First




People and Culture



About the Organization

Education First is a mission-driven education policy and practice consultancy dedicated to ensuring that all students – and particularly students experiencing poverty and students of color – are prepared for success in college, careers and life. The organization works with organizations that are shaping the future of K12 and higher education across the nation, including school networks and districts, state departments of education, policy and advocacy organizations, youth empowerment organizations, talent organizations and foundations.

Education First helps these system leaders catalyze change through its services:

  • Conduct research and analysis on policies and provide contextual recommendations and strategic support to translate findings into concrete, sustainable action
  • Develop and implement visionary, coherent strategies and strategic plans by prioritizing inclusive voices, focusing on the right problems, and providing space to explore
  • Plan and facilitate meaningful convenings for organizations and individuals to learn, problem solve, collaborate, and advance their work
  • Design actionable and equitable solutions that meet client needs, achieve program goals, and implement initiatives with clarity and quality
  • Support grant makers, funders, and foundations to develop thoughtful, high-impact investment strategies that align with their goals, interests, and resources

Education First is a team of more than 75 former teachers, district and state education leaders, policy advisors, and grant makers who live and work virtually in more than 20 states and DC. Because of their experience, they approach the challenges our clients face with humility, realistic solutions, and a commitment to follow-through. Our culture is built on genuine care for our clients and for each other. Education First celebrates original thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, authenticity and fun.

To learn more, please visit:

Education First's Equity Commitment

Education First recognizes that in order to pursue its organizational mission, they must approach the work by studying gaps and inequities, asking tough questions about structural racism and more deliberately engaging diverse voices in problem-solving. The organization has been building its own skills to deliver solutions that center racial equity, with particular attention to equitable ways of thinking and working, and is committed to helping clients do the same in projects that have a goal of increasing equity at their core. In addition, Education First has set a 2025 goal of becoming a majority BIPOC organization at all levels of the organization

Education First believes:

  • Black lives matter. We are collectively responsible to amplify and support Black students, families and leaders.
  • People are experts in their own experience. We cannot effectively support our clients to problem solve and innovate without centering the people they aim to serve.
  • Racism and inequity were designed, and can be redesigned. People make up the systems, policies and processes that govern our experience, and we must support our clients to explore their role in reimagining what could be possible.

Within Education First, the team has committed to building a Race Equity Culture—creating the conditions to adopt antiracist mindsets and actions. To live into this commitment:

  • As individuals, Ed Firsters are engaged in Race, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (RIDE)-centered professional learning that supports team member learning, unlearning, reflection and action.
  • As leaders of the organization, all Education First Partners and Chiefs have identified areas of growth and are engaged in active development of their personal RIDE beliefs and behaviors.
  • As an organization, we continue to examine and refine the design of our initiatives, policies and practices that translate to our workplace experiences so that we can continuously improve the lived experiences of all Ed First team members.
  • As an organization, we are partnering with clients to center the communities they seek to serve throughout our engagements.

Additional opportunities for Ed First team members to learn, problem-solve and support one another include:

  • Members of the Black and Latinx employee resource groups meet with Partners at regular intervals to discuss updates and progress on key initiatives aimed at addressing Black and Latinx team member interests.
  • Affinity and Employee Resource Groups: Team members have the option to engage in affinity-based spaces based on their identities, needs and interests.
  • Executive sponsorship: Partners and Chiefs provide formal sponsorship to support high-performing and high-potential BIPOC team members.

Education First will continue to revisit its goal and prioritize actions, as the work of combatting and dismantling systemic racism in education is a journey, not a destination.

About the Position

The Chief People and Equity Officer leads the strategic talent and equity functions for a virtual, mission-driven, people-centered business – and a commitment to becoming a majority-BIPOC led and staffed organization that pursues the dual bottom line of mission and profit. The CPEO will provide continuity and support for 1-2 years of talent and equity strategies that are currently underway, and then be poised to develop the next stage of the organization's people and equity vision.

Reporting to the Managing Partner, the Chief People and Equity Officer will manage a team of roughly 10.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

People & Culture

  • Lead and promote an organizational culture that embraces Education First's mission and values and works to create and maintain a workplace reflective of those values
  • Collaborate with the organization's Partners to drive the organization's talent and equity strategies related to recruiting and retention, onboarding, professional development, performance management and total compensation
  • Ensure that benefits, payroll, employee relations, and compliance are well-managed Assess Education First's recruitment and retention efforts on an ongoing basis, report findings, and develop actions plans that foster maintaining a dedicated, high quality, and diverse team
  • Facilitate organizational change management processes around decision making, and partner with leaders on communications and feedback processes
  • Develop a learning and development strategy for leaders at all levels, from early career to the c-suite, enabling leadership to support and empower individuals throughout the organization
  • Develop recommendations for use of metrics and analytics to assess current processes and add areas for improvement across all people functions
  • Develop staff capacity and competencies to regularly engage in feedback conversations to ensure that managers are continuously coaching and mentoring team members

Race, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity (RIDE)

  • Provide strategic leadership in the development and implementation of strategies to build a race equity culture at Education First and to enhance recruitment and retention of BIPOC team members
  • Helm the organization's RIDE efforts composed of staff and managers
  • Develop, implement, and manage programs to enhance equity, inclusion and diversity initiatives, including working groups, affinity groups and employee resource groups
  • Partner with communications on internal and external messaging using a race equity and diversity lens
  • Recommend policies, procedures, and best practices by consulting and collaborating across the organization in the areas of hiring and onboarding of employees, recruitment and retention, advancing diverse and inclusive hiring
  • Act as an organization-wide resource for ongoing complex RIDE issues, helping to find solutions that benefit teams and Education First as a whole

Candidate Requirements:

  • An executive professional with demonstrated experience working in a strategic people function, with experience managing teams, with the proven ability to build consensus, influence change, and build strong relationships at all levels of an organization
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial equity and inclusion, with the ability to serve as an exemplar for Education First's RIDE objectives
  • Proven success coaching and mentoring others, effectively working with teams in a geographically dispersed context so that they meet goals and grow professionally, serving as a coach and mentor to staff in a range of functional areas
  • Demonstrated experience managing and developing DEI initiatives and a track record in challenging and influencing peers, staff and executives to approach all work with an equity lens
  • Exceptional listening, reasoning and strategic skills with proven ability to influence, execute, and direct a wide range of diverse stakeholders.

Location All positions are 100% remote and employees can live anywhere in the United States. You should be able to travel for in-person client meetings as needed (roughly 30-40% of the time) once it is safe to do so from a public health perspective.

Compensation and benefits:

Education First offers a market-based competitive salary, comprehensive benefits package (including PPO medical/dental/vision/life insurance), four weeks of paid time off, 11 paid national holidays, paid leave (disability/parental), teleworking subsidy, matching 401(k) plan, work-life flexibility and professional development opportunities.

The starting salary range for this position is $200,000-$220,000. A location-based supplement will be available for those living in areas with labor market rates higher than the national average.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact