Director, Career Readiness

Career Readiness · Virtual, District of Columbia
Department Career Readiness
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Senior Manager/Supervisor

About ESG

Education Strategy Group (ESG) is a mission-driven consulting firm that works with America’s education, business, and civic leaders to expand economic opportunity and mobility by increasing educational attainment. We support the preparation, entry, and success of individuals from K-12 through postsecondary education to build a more equitable system, open economic doors for all, and strengthen our democracy. ESG specializes in strengthening the transition points that have the highest stakes for youth and adults and the highest benefit for states, communities, and economies. We are driven by the conviction that a robust education system aligned with workforce demand leads to a stronger, more equitable society.


Education Strategy Group has recently adopted a five-year Greater Impact Plan, which establishes an ambitious vision and clear expectations for the work the organization will undertake and the impact it will seek to have on the nation’s education and workforce systems. Within this plan, ESG has made increasing postsecondary attainment its north star, with a specific emphasis on increasing attainment rates for students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. Setting clear expectations for students leaving high school, building high-quality pathways that facilitate students’ transitions, and creating appropriate advising structures and capacity to help students navigate their journeys are all fundamental to raising postsecondary attainment rates and advancing economic mobility, particularly for groups that have been underserved based on their race, ethnicity, and/or socioeconomic background.  We are committed to expanding our work with K-12 and higher education systems across the country to develop policies, strategies, and structures that improve students’ access to and success in high-quality pathways to postsecondary and onto rewarding careers. 


The Director will play an important leadership role in ESG’s Career Readiness portfolio, designing and leading significant initiatives that focus on strengthening and expanding high-quality, demand-driven college and career pathways in states and districts across the country to drive economic and social mobility. This will involve managing multi-state/district networks, designing and deploying technical assistance across a variety of policy and practice issues, and working in close partnership with other national organizations who bring complimentary expertise. The ideal candidate will have experience leading the design and scaling of college and career pathways that are clearly articulated from K-12 to and through postsecondary education, including experience working with employers to ensure pathways meet industry needs as well as in key areas like advising, work-based learning, advanced coursework, credentialing, and social capital.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Director’s primary duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Leading a new college and career pathways initiative managed by ESG in partnership with other national organizations and foundations designed to help scale quality pathways around the country with a particular focus on advancing equitable opportunities for traditionally underserved students.
  • Contributing to ESG’s broader organizational strategy by collaborating with the Career Readiness portfolio leadership and ESG’s broader leadership team to identify areas for growth and impact and help convert them into concrete opportunities.
  • Designing and deploying high-quality, technical assistance to a range of clients - such as districts, state-level education and workforce agencies, local workforce boards, Chambers of Commerce, and community-based organizations - including assessment of their strengths and gaps to develop recommendations for improvement.
  • Organizing and facilitating state, district, and community-level convenings of partners to advance their career preparation systems.
  • Building and maintaining strong client and partner relationships to expand ESG’s opportunities and strengthen our reputation in the field.
  • Expanding the firm’s visibility through presentations, written products, and partnerships.
  • Serving as a thought partner to ESG’s other portfolios of work and engaging in team problem solving across the firm to help design and execute projects that help more learners earn a high-value credential and find a job with a family-sustaining wage.
  • Managing staff and consultants to deliver high-quality results and enable their professional growth.
  • Performing other duties as assigned.


The ideal candidate will have:


Content Expertise

  • Minimum of 10 years’ professional experience in a national organization, state education agency, intermediary organization, postsecondary institution, and/or school district leading work to build or expand college and career preparation opportunities for students.
  • Knowledge of national policy trends and best practices in increasing students’ readiness for in-demand, high-skill, high-wage employment, including building demand-driven pathways, supporting work-based learning and industry credentialing opportunities, and aligning pathways between K-12 and higher education.
  • Understanding of the legislative and policy-making processes that lead to strong local implementation of career preparation practices.
  • Experience designing and leading/facilitating strategy sessions and general technical assistance for policymakers and/or practitioners in K-12 or postsecondary education or related fields.
  • Experience designing and executing equity-driven solutions to ensure students of color, low-income students, and first-generation college students are successful in their paths to and through postsecondary education and training.
  • A master’s degree in public policy, education policy, or related fields, or an equivalent level of knowledge and experience.


Business & Strategy Development

  • Experience developing and growing relationships with funders, partners, clients, and national experts
  • Experience with strategic planning and/or business development processes, with an understanding of how to translate user needs into service offerings.
  • Strong peer networks and familiarity with state and national organizations that support and/or serve K-12 and postsecondary systems and employers.


Project Management

  • Excellent organizational skills and keen attention to detail, with demonstrated experience and ability to prioritize work and manage time on multiple projects and tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively—candidates should be self-motivated and comfortable within a largely virtual working environment, and also enthusiastic team players open to feedback and collaboration.
  • Well-rounded interpersonal skill set, with the presence and capacity to build relationships, work effectively in teams, and facilitate joint problem-solving with clients and within ESG.
  • Curiosity, eagerness, and ability to develop new knowledge and skills.
  • Ability to travel to support projects as needed.


Talent Management

  • Experience managing and coaching a small team, providing guidance and support to younger staff, and delegating to maximize efficiency and enable staff growth.


Compensation and Benefits 

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience
  • Comprehensive health insurance, flex spending, short/long-term disability, parental leave, and retirement plan
  • Generous vacation and holidays


ESG is a virtual organization with staff located in cities across the country and a home base in Washington, DC. Our flexible work environment enables our professionals to live and work in locations where they can be most productive—both professionally and personally.


How to Apply

Please submit your current resume and a cover letter describing your experience pertinent to the position to Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with priority consideration to applications submitted by August . For more information about Education Strategy Group, visit


ESG is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. 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.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Virtual, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Career Readiness
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
    Senior Manager/Supervisor