American Institutes for Research

Managing Director, Educator Preparation and Performance

Job Location US
Job ID
Job Location
United States


Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is an independent, nonpartisan not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research to improve lives, especially the disadvantaged. AIR conducts research and evaluation and facilitates policy, practice and systems change and workforce productivity in the U.S. and internationally on a broad range of issues in education, public health, mental health and health care, juvenile justice, and child welfare. AIR has worked for more than 30 years supporting states and districts in tackling complex educator quality issues in their highest need districts and schools.

AIR is seeking a Managing Director to secure, lead, and oversee projects and to build new initiatives in educator effectiveness with a specific focus on innovative approaches to teacher and leader professional development (blended learning, micro-credentialing, video coaching, personalized learning, etc.) within our Policy, Practice and Systems Change (PP&SC) service area. This position will report to the Vice President overseeing domestic work focused on educators, both teachers and leaders, as well as other K-12 education focused work.

This position emphasizes business development and client relationships and is part of our Educator Preparation & Performance and Instructional Design & Delivery practice area.
You will be joining our team of professionals that are highly committed to making a difference in education and working closely with senior staff and project teams. Staff members are encouraged to add their skills and expertise to multidisciplinary teams that draw on staff’s assembled knowledge to deliver the strategies that make an impact.

Location: This position will be located in one of the following AIR offices - Washington, DC, Rockville, MD, Chicago, IL, Naperville, IL, San Mateo, CA, Austin, TX or Waltham, MA.


The person in this role will be a key member of the team that is growing and shaping AIR’s applied work nationally in the field of K12 education, consistent with current federal and state priorities, such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, primarily focused on innovative approaches to teacher and leader professional development (blended learning, micro-credentialing, video coaching, personalized learning, etc), teacher and leader preparation, and addressing educator shortages.
Overall Responsibilities are to:
• As a member of the practice area leadership team, serve as a thought leader and content expert to contribute to the vision for AIR’s future work educator effectiveness, know trends and market opportunities, and with others, create and execute a plan to grow new work with federal, state, local, and foundation clients.
• Lead and support project directors in conceptualization, high quality implementation, and defining and measuring outcomes for capacity building work at the federal, state, and local levels.
• Conduct a variety of activities with staff and AIR’s Communications Department to achieve preeminence for AIR’s applied work in the education field through presentations at major conferences, publications, visits with clients, etc.
• Work with AIR’s Strategy Office and Practice Area leaders to identify new opportunities, cultivate funding sources, conceptualize, contribute to writing, and conduct critical technical reviews of major proposals.

Specific Responsibilities include:
Business Development
1. Steering research, consulting, training and project work in direction of new sources of business and acting as a significant force for closing business and establishing AIR’s competitive advantage
2. Creating business development strategy for specific new areas of growth, developing potential partners, deepening relationships with existing funders/build new funder relationships

Project and Client Management
3. Integrate effective project management and quality methods to manage fast-paced projects of high complexity dedicated to the development and implementation of educator effectiveness strategies and systems, including effective budget management, quality management, and staff management
4. Communicate regularly with clients and internal team members to gather feedback, sustain project momentum, and respond to day-to-day needs to cultivate and manage client relationships, including management of internal and external politics and handling escalation of stakeholder/external issues
6. Serve as an advisor and thought partner to district and/or state leaders as they make research-based decisions about reform efforts aimed at improving educator effectiveness and establish outcomes-driven theories of action for their work and defining clear roles and responsibilities for technical assistance projects.

Research-Based Technical Assistance and Writing
7. Oversee the design, writing, and use of research-based materials and resources for client engagements, including national, state, and district policy groups and task forces.

8. Transform strategic expertise and thought leadership on educator quality, improving equitable access, and designing and implementing coherent talent management policies into valuable resources for the education field, which will also build and support AIR’s eminence on talent management (educator recruitment/hiring, professional learning and growth, development and retention)


• Advanced degree with a minimum of 15 years of experience and 5 years in a leadership/management role in the field of Pre-K-12 education.
• Established networks in the field (federal, state, local, foundation) with a willingness to draw on, cultivate, and expand relationships on behalf of AIR.
• Experience as a senior leader in an SEA or large LEA, preferably in a strategic role.
• Demonstrated success leading large scale initiatives with evidence of outcomes, ideally in high need areas.
• Track record providing leadership, training and technical assistance, and publications in topics with significant growth potential in Pre-K through 12 education.
• Ability to manage large projects, i.e. multi-million annual revenue and project teams of 10-12 people.
• Track record of conceptualizing and writing winning federal proposals.
• Experience with implementation science, continuous improvement, and building SEA and LEA capacity to support change.
• Demonstrated ability to develop rapport with and lead mission-driven teams with both internal (staff) members and external (subcontractor and consultant) members.



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