Executive Director - Oakland Promise

Type: Full-Time

County: Alameda

Agency: Oakland Promise

Agency Description:

The Oakland Promise is a Cradle-to-Career initiative, launched in 2016 in partnership with the City of Oakland Mayor’s Office, the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), East Bay College Fund, the Oakland Public Education Fund, and over 30 implementation partners including hospitals, community organizations, and schools. Oakland Promise weaves together multiple initiatives along the cradle to career continuum, holistically supporting students and families. The Oakland Promise is pursuing the vision that we as a community will ensure every child graduates from high school with the expectations, skills and resources to complete college and be successful in the career of his or her choice. We are a national leader in the integration of asset-building college savings account programs and college scholarship and completion strategies. We aim to serve every child in Oakland and will provide additional investments to support students historically underrepresented in higher education. Our goal is to set all Oakland children on the path to financial stability by dramatically increasing the number of college graduates from Oakland and ensure that all students hold a college-bound identity. 

To date, Oakland Promise has raised $58 million and has served over 10,000 children and families at nearly 60 schools in grades K-12. Oakland Promise has worked with parents to open 650 college savings accounts for young children (infants to elementary school students). The vast majority of children and youth served by the program are students of color (96%) and from low-income backgrounds (88%). For students in the 2015-2016 senior class (i.e. 12th grade) participating in the Oakland Promise, there was a seven percentage point increase in students enrolling in any college or university (2-year or 4-year) in the fall after their senior year while rates stayed flat at comparison schools. This included significant gains of 11 percentage points for Latinx students and 14 percentage points for African American students at 4-year colleges or universities. For more information, please visit www.oaklandpromise.org


The Oakland Public Education Fund (Ed Fund) is the fiscal sponsor for the Oakland Promise. The Ed Fund leads the development and investment of community resources in Oakland public schools so that all students can learn, grow, and thrive. The Oakland Promise Executive Director will be an employee of the Oakland Public Education Fund.

This fall, a governing board was assembled for the Oakland Promise to develop strategy, support fundraising and lead the hiring and management of a new, stand-alone Executive Director who will oversee day-to-day programmatic operations. The ideal Executive Director candidate will have demonstrated experience with high levels of success in the following areas: fundraising and partnership development; managing a high performing team; political savvy; work with similar students and in analogous communities to those the Oakland Promise serves; knowledge of the Oakland context; leading a successful organization to reach its collective goals. This is an outstanding position for a results-driven leader with a passion for increasing access to education and economic opportunity for all Oakland students to scale the Oakland Promise’s operations and program services, bringing it from an early stage start-up phase to a fully sustainable nonprofit organization. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Quickly developing and maintaining strong relationships with program partners and key stakeholders (such as the East Bay College Fund, OUSD, the Mayor’s Office, etc.), ensuring open lines of communication at all times and addressing issues and concerns in a timely and constructive manner;

  • Leading efforts to raise an annual operating budget of approximately $7-8M and build strategic partnerships to support the Oakland Promise’s objectives;

  • Working closely with the Board of Directors to formalize the Oakland Promise program vision and ensure the organization has adequate resources and support to implement this vision;

  • Working with OP staff to set overall programmatic goals and priorities (as well as how they will be measured) and supporting them in meeting those goals;

  • Ensuring that all staff have clear lines of communication to and from the leadership team and that each person is treated equitably and is receiving regular feedback, support and evaluation of their own professional progress and areas for development;

  • Managing the team (including direct supervision of Program Directors) to deliver high quality services to meet students’ and families’ academic, social emotional, financial and other needs so that they can best access community resources and services;

  • Overseeing Oakland Promise operations staff, including those working in finance, facilities, human resources and data management, and ensuring those efforts are effectively executed;

  • Ensuring a high level of diversity within the Oakland Promise staff and leadership team while working to create a sense of equity and inclusion;

  • Inspiring a team to achieve a bold vision and ensuring the organization meets its collective goals.

A successful first year in this role for the new Executive Director will include:

  • Leading the “on the ground” execution of the Oakland Promise mission and vision, including by ensuring that its programs, organizational culture, local partnerships, and community engagement are highly effective and tightly aligned to that mission and vision;

  • Building strong relationships with current implementation partners while expanding partnerships to achieve ambitious, collective goals;

  • Maintaining a strong pipeline of supporters - policymakers, funders and community partners - to ensure the long term sustainability of the Oakland Promise, including closing the $2 million Demonstration Project gap, developing a comprehensive plan for ongoing annual revenue of $7-8M, and working collaboratively with key stakeholders to make significant progress towards a $10M+ long-term fundraising campaign;

  • Inspiring other people to get involved and support realizing the bold vision of the Oakland Promise;

  • Leading strategic planning among staff and key stakeholders to develop an organizational roadmap, including a comprehensive community engagement strategy that allows the Oakland Promise to best reach its key constituents and stakeholders.


In order to meet their responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director candidate will be:

  • A high achieving executive with 10+ years of professional experience and who knows how to recruit, oversee, coach and develop staff at all levels;

  • An exceptional relationship builder who has experience quickly gaining the confidence of and building trust with a Board, staff, funders, program partners, students, families and broader community leaders;

  • An experienced fundraiser with a track-record of meeting (or surpassing) ambitious fundraising goals in a fast-paced, competitive environment over a sustained period, including comfort engaging with high-net worth individuals to close large ($500K+) gifts;

  • A passionate and articulate advocate for all students, families and community members who serves as the external face of the Oakland Promise, is excited by its mission and can successfully inspire others to put it into action;

  • A skilled leader who has a commitment to building a strong culture of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Oakland Promise;

  • An external leader with the demonstrated ability to navigate complex relationships/partnerships, galvanize the community to achieve a bold vision, and effectively realize the organization’s stated impact and outcomes;

  • Knowledgeable about the academic and social emotional needs of children and adolescents as they pursue their paths towards college and career;

  • Familiarity with economic empowerment strategies such as asset building, financial capability services, financial aid, and scholarships;

  • A financial manager who is able to ensure the budget health and sustainability of the Oakland Promise’s programs by making sound financial decisions and ensuring revenue exceeds expenses at all times;

  • Dynamic and versatile, able to engage a variety of stakeholders in dialogue and speak in a clear, compelling and authentic manner both about the Oakland Promise’s goals and priorities and their plans towards meeting them.

Educational credentials: Master's level of training and education in a relevant field, or equivalent, demonstrable experience

How To Apply

A resume and thoughtful cover letter addressed to the Oakland Promise governing board are required to apply for this position. You may also submit any additional application materials such as recommendation letters and other relevant documents as a single file. All applications must be submitted at the following link: APPLY HERE.

For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Maggie Croushore at maggie@oaklandpromise.org.


The Oakland Public Education Fund and all of its fiscally sponsored projects are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be equal opportunity employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

We also know that great candidates can bring skills to The Ed Fund that we haven't thought of just yet, and who won't fit everything we've described above. If this is you, don't hesitate to apply. Tell us what unique contributions you can offer.

We are dedicated to improving our organization and know that part of it means to better reflect the people we serve. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages and we especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.