For 25 years, Citizen Schools has been a pioneer in educational equity. Since opportunity, unlike talent, is not equally distributed, we have provided hands-on learning experiences that ignite curiosity, build confidence, and expand horizons for over 50,000 underrepresented middle school students. Together with our partners, including 25,000 career mentors, we have exposed students to ideas and connections, helping them access even better opportunities than previous generations.

Today, we engage underserved students in hands-on learning, in school, and after school. Our students are creators and problem-solvers, not just consumers. They become scientists, artists, mathematicians, engineers, writers, and programmers. We also apply best practices from our direct service work to systems-level advancement of STEM mentorship and learning by working with communities.

Together we are transforming education in school, after school, and across communities.

Expanded Learning Time (ELT): Direct Service to Students

For the past 25 years, we have delivered ELT apprenticeships—hands-on learning opportunities with career mentors—directly to students after school.

After serving over 50,000 students alongside 25,000 career mentors and 2,000 AmeriCorps Teaching Fellows, we learned that our combination of cultivating positive relationships and providing collaborative, hands-on projects around problem-solving are drivers of social-emotional learning (SEL) for students.

Catalyst: Capacity-Building for Teachers

Citizen Schools launched Catalyst in Fall 2019 to strengthen the capacity of teachers, empowering them to partner with career mentors, and deliver hands-on experiential learning to improve their students’ SEL growth during the school day.

Our Catalyst program equips teachers with the tools, coaching, and networks needed to support students in an evolving world. Catalyst unites four core programmatic elements to support teachers: teacher professional development and coaching, standards-aligned projects, volunteer career mentors, and actionable student assessments.

To learn more about Catalyst, please visit citizenschools.org/catalyst

Makers and Mentors: Capacity-Building for Communities

We recognize every community’s unique understanding of how best to serve their students. Through Makers + Mentors Network, we build community capacity to uplift STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning as essential tools to build a more diverse workforce.

To further support our partner communities, this year, we launched our inaugural cohort of AmeriCorps Maker Fellows, who will serve in over 20 host sites to advance maker-centered learning and mentorship for young people throughout the country.

To learn more about Makers + Mentors Network, please visit makersandmentors.org


Citizen Schools is experiencing a seminal moment in its history with a recent shift from direct service to capacity building which brings change in many forms to the entire organization while also presenting a rare opportunity for growth and learning both individually and collectively.

Similar to so many other educational nonprofits across the country, Citizen Schools is simultaneously contending with the myriad of external variables that have served as forcing mechanisms or an accelerant for internal culture, processes, policies, and practices to step up and meet this moment with consistent and continued action as opposed to singular, performative acts and hollow words.

At a time when the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the reckoning around this country’s systemic racism are pushing on the organization from all sides and further highlighting the educational and socioeconomic disparities that exist for the majority of the students served, Citizen Schools is seeking a leader who deeply understands how all of these variables make this work even more critical than ever before.

Citizen Schools is seeking a Vice President of External Engagement who will spearhead the organization’s fundraising, provide leadership to the external engagement team, and play a critical role in the overall financial sustainability of the organization. The VP of External Engagement will partner closely with the CEO to successfully support fundraising efforts from conception to closing with an emphasis on corporate and institutional fundraising in support of Citizen Schools’ programming model. The budget is approximately $8MM-$10MM with the balance of private versus public funds currently at a 75/25 split.

This position is charged with seizing near-term opportunities for revenue, engagement, and awareness while also helping brand Citizen Schools’ evolving efforts in hands-on learning, career mentorship, and capacity building. The successful Vice President is an experienced leader who has effectively fostered collaboration internally and externally; built and managed diverse and inclusive teams; been a leader and champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and successfully operated cross-functionally within teams and organizations in order to increase results and amplify impact.

The VP and the external engagement team will work closely with the Chief Growth Officer and the growth team on various programs, campaigns, and other opportunities across the many cities where Citizen Schools serves students and schools. This is a full-time role that will report to the CEO, be a spokesperson for the organization and its programming models, and serve on the Executive Leadership Team of Citizen Schools.


Successful candidates will embrace and role model the following Citizen Schools values and will be responsible for demonstrating evidence of these throughout the process:

CONFIDENCE - trust in yourself because you believe you can achieve great things, while learning from others and feeling comfortable enough to ask for help.

CURIOSITY - the driving force that comes from hands-on learning, exploration, and lifelong learning.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION - the ability to understand other perspectives, value differences in backgrounds, and be inclusive of other experiences.

PERSEVERANCE - the ability to take smart risks, learn from failing and follow through with the drive to overcome adversity because you believe in a better future.

TEAMWORK - commitment to working with others toward a common purpose and celebrate accomplishments as a community.


The Vice President of External Engagement of Citizen Schools will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Primary Competencies:

Fundraising Experience:

Determined and motivated, the VP of External Engagement will bring
demonstrated success in meeting ambitious goals and securing large
gifts from a range of funders specifically focused on institutional gifts and
corporate funders. Dynamic, energetic, and creative, they will inspire
the confidence of donors, partners, key external constituents and Senior
Leaders at Citizen Schools. The VP will be especially adept at telling the
story of Citizen Schools and helping potential donors to understand the
organization’s journey and where the innovative opportunities lie for
alignment and support.

Ability to Lead and Develop Staff:

The VP of External Engagement will have significant experience managing
people and teams and have a demonstrated track record of functional
excellence while simultaneously being an ardent developer of talent. This
leader will be a decisive, results-oriented leader with a team-oriented
working style. They will have a proven record of visible and effective
management tactics and the demonstrated ability to build, coach and
motivate a team of professionals that will be focused on impact. They will
empower and cultivate staff through active and effective communication,
honest and constructive feedback, delegation, and promotion of teamwork
and collaboration.

Diversity Equity, Inclusion and Belonging:

The Vice President of External Engagement will unify and reinforce a
positive, highly engaged team and culture that will also exhibit an abiding
passion and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. This
person must demonstrate ability to advance organizational DEI objectives
and influence others to approach all work with an equity lens from within
their team and function. The VP of External Engagement will know when
and how to focus on organizational culture through listening, observing,
and they will model consistency in using the organizational values as a
guiding star for decisions and behavior.

Additional Competencies:

Strategic Vision:

A trustworthy thought partner to the CEO and to the Executive Leadership
Team, the VP of External Engagement will be a strategic thinker with the
vision, capacity, and experience to understand a complex array of needs.
They will be an intuitive planner with a demonstrated ability to set priorities
as well as develop and implement thoughtful, clear, action-oriented growth
strategies for Citizen Schools. They will be a superior project manager who
will possess rigorous analytic skills and the ability to think creatively and
collaboratively about Citizen Schools’ evolving goals and priorities. The VP
of External Engagement will possess humility and agility and will be able to
navigate multiple priorities while also able to make longer-term decisions in
a timely, thoughtful way.

Change Management:

In partnership with the CEO, the Vice President of External Engagement will help establish a course of action to drive results and grow the organization. They will have the ability to offer creative, yet practical ideas to achieve the goals within the Development and External Engagement areas of Citizen Schools, doing so with a deep understanding and commitment to the history and foundation of the organization. Fundamentally, the VP of External Engagement will be a ‘change agent’ with the ability to successfully help lead Citizen Schools through this period of growth and transition.

• Stakeholder Management:

The Vice President of External Engagement will be a flexible, motivated
team player who serves as a thought partner to collaborators across
Citizens Schools as well as external stakeholders, including donors and
partners. The VP of External Engagement will be a natural relationship builder with the ability to develop, enhance, and sustain productive
relationships with stakeholders from different backgrounds spanning the
Citizen Schools’ community. They will embrace the organization’s culture
and values and work continually to expand their reach while reflecting
these values onto the relationships that they hold.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. The location for this role is flexible and can be located in one of Citizen Schools’
current cities with a preference for:
• Boston
• Bay Area
• Dayton
• Charlotte


Citizen Schools has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Christy Farrell. Please submit a compelling Letter of Interest and resume here, or email Christy at the following:
Christy Farrell
Vice President and Senior Associate

Citizen Schools is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+applicants.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone. For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.