Director, National Education Strategy

Raikes Foundation (The)


Foundations / Philanthropy


Policy / Advocacy / Legal



About the Organization

The Raikes Foundation was launched in 2002 by Seattle based philanthropists, Tricia and Jeff Raikes, with a focus on both "what" and "how" philanthropy funds. Specifically, the foundation has had a deep commitment to youth through its long-term work in education and youth homelessness, and to supporting funders to give in more impactful ways. Over the years, the foundation has also embarked on a journey to understand and deepen its commitment to racial equity and how it serves as a through-line across all the foundation's work. Given the multi-crisis context the country is facing, as well as a deepening awareness of the inequities baked into the systems that are supposed to support all Americans, the foundation is deepening its work on equity and justice.

About the Position

The Director, National Education Strategy (NES) at the Raikes Foundation oversees the development, refinement, and implementation of the Foundation's strategy for building an equitable education system in the United States. This position reports to the Senior Program Director; manages one to two Program Officers and a Program Assistant. At Raikes, they strive for an educational system that reliably creates learning environments where whole, healthy, empowered educators and students thrive and where race, class, gender, language, or any other social or cultural factors hold zero predictive power on students' experience and outcomes. The leadership that the Director provides is rooted in building relationships with field and funding partners to building an equitable field of actors who are working to ensure the evolution of the PK-post-secondary education system.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategy Program Development and Execution

The Director provides strategic leadership for the Foundation's National Education Strategy (NES) work, including these accountabilities:

  • Lead the NES team and external partners to develop, implement, adjust, and evaluate the Foundation's education strategy
  • Work with Foundation's NES team to set annual work plans, strategy reviews, budgets, and success metrics to assess progress and impact
  • Work with other Foundation directors to support and leverage each other's strategies and resources to maximize impact
  • Gather, assess, leverage, and disseminate data, analysis, and knowledge related to lessons learned and key results about building an equitable education system
  • Collaborate with Foundation communications leaders in finding and leveraging the voices of the Foundation, the Trustees, and grantees to advance efforts to build an equitable education system
  • Collaborate closely with the Youth Serving Systems department to lead the development and early implementation of a cross-cutting youth serving systems strategy and portfolio of grants that builds from lessons and leverage in the existing portfolio

Grantmaking and Portfolio Management

The Director plays a pivotal role in the strategic direction, development, and implementation of the Foundation's grant strategy, including but not limited to:

  • Leading the Foundation's grantmaking work to advance an equitable education system and manages a portfolio of grants
  • Overseeing the development of grant proposals and grant management in the NES portfolio, in collaboration with NES Program Officers

External Partnerships and Thought Leadership

The Director leads the Foundation's work in the following ways to build relationships that are critical to the success of the NES strategy:

  • Partner with grantees and external partners to advance efforts to build an equitable education system
  • Cultivate and strengthen relationships with other public and private funders to support the field and partners in building an equitable education system; proactively identify co-funders in efforts we support
  • Represent the Foundation as a member of the Youth Serving Systems department in the YSS strategy
  • Represent the Foundation in the communities we serve

Foundation Leadership

The Director is a leader and culture carrier of the Foundation:

  • In addition to leading the NES strategy, the Director is a part of the Foundation's management team as it guides and supports the Foundation in making high-level strategy, organizational, and resource decisions.
  • As a part of this Foundation-wide leadership role, the Director also informs and updates the Trustees and Foundation staff regarding the substance and progress of the NES strategy.

Organizational Leadership & Team Development

The Director supports the performance and development of the Foundation by:

  • Influencing high-level strategy, organizational and resource decisions that elevate the Foundation's mission and vision
  • Supporting continuous organizational development and effectiveness, including operationalization of the Foundations' on-going commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in its practices, policies, and structure
  • Participating in regular YSS team meetings including informing meeting agendas and identifying strategies to optimize and maximize impact
  • Facilitating inclusive onboarding plans for Foundation staff as appropriate
  • Working closely with Senior Director, YSS to provide coaching and management support to the team
  • Working with the Foundation's Senior Leadership team to maximize organizational effectiveness and impact

Candidate Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree required, master's preferred
  • At least ten years of program management experience, ideally in the education sector
  • Deep commitment to the foundation's mission, vision, and goals of the National Education Strategy.
  • Deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a sophisticated understanding of the systemic, structural, and historical challenges that impact youth, especially youth of color and LGBTQ youth; experience applying an equity and social justice lens to solving complex problems.
  • Experience with systems reform at multiple levels of the education system (local, state, national, federal). Experience in advocacy and policy change is preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to think boldly at the systems level and develop a comprehensive strategy paired with relationship management skills to drive coordinated responses to complex adaptive issues.
  • Ability to understand and leverage data
  • Ability to write in analytical and persuasive ways
  • Advanced in-person (one-to-one and large group) and written communication skills
  • Understanding of the complexity and nuances of operating in government and nonprofit contexts, and the ability to adapt in the context of that complexity
  • Strong desire to see young people succeed and to partner with them in systems' change.

Location: While the Raikes Foundation is headquartered in Seattle, WA and candidates can work out of our office, we are also open to candidates residing in other states except for California and Hawaii. For operational reasons, the foundation will not be able to hire an employee in those two states. Applicants from California or Hawaii would need to relocate if they receive an offer of employment.

Travel Expectations: The position may include up to 40% of time on domestic travel.

Compensation and benefits:

The overall range for this role is $187,860 to $202,000. Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience as well as geographic location. Please note that the range listed is comprehensive and your specific compensation band will vary by location.

The Raikes Foundation's ability to achieve its mission is enhanced by a diverse team, an inclusive culture and programmatic strategies that apply an equity lens. We seek candidates who possess the knowledge, skills, and lived experience that contribute to the diversity of our team and share a commitment to equity.

Like the Raikes Foundation, On-Ramps is deeply committed to equity. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose.

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