Associate Director, Education Systems Strategy



UNITE-LA seeks an Associate Director with strong project management, strategic thinking and partnership development skills and a passion for advancing educational equity via close collaboration with public systems in Los Angeles County.

Reporting to the Vice President of Systems Change Strategy, the Associate Director will lead the advancement of two related education systems change partnerships:

  • L.A. Compact: Since 2008, UNITE-LA has served as the convener of the L.A. Compact, a bold commitment to close the education and workforce gaps caused by systemic inequities and racism.

    Recognizing that no single institution alone can solve our most pressing, complex education and workforce challenges, the L.A. Compact brings together the region's most prominent leaders to collectively lead transformative change in areas like Community Schools, postsecondary enrollment, transfer pathways, digital equity, Opportunity Youth and workforce development. UNITE-LA manages a Cradle-to-Career Data Dashboard to support transparency of student outcomes in the L.A. region and to track progress towards the L.A. Compact's goals. FMI:

  • L.A. Unified School District Community Schools Steering Committee (CSSC): UNITE-LA has supported the scaling and sustainability of the community schools model within L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) as a key priority of the L.A. Compact since 2019. LAUSD Community Schools deliberately and collaboratively use a social justice theory of action to address the economic and social barriers that are the underlying cause of opportunity and achievement gaps so that all students can be ready to thrive in college, career, and life. UNITE-LA serves as the primary project manager of the Community Schools Steering Committee (CSSC) and will lead the development of a new Partnership Committee in 2023 to vet and formalize partnerships with local government agencies or community-based organizations on behalf of community schools.



Over the past 25 years, UNITE-LA has established itself as a trusted education and business intermediary, dedicated to improving the economic mobility and well-being of the Los Angeles region's diverse rising workforce. Leveraging strategic cross-sector partnerships at local, statewide and national levels, we advance policies, practices and systems that strengthen anti-racism and equitable education and workforce outcomes from cradle through career.



UNITE-LA's Systems Change team works to align and transform public systems to achieve education and workforce equity for the rising workforce in the Los Angeles region. We engage cross-sector/segmental partners in L.A. County to:

  • Improve our collective understanding of the complex drivers of inequities in education and economic mobility outcomes
  • Generate, implement, and iterate joint policy and practice solutions
  • Use data for collective learning and continuous improvement
  • Share best practices and improve the capacity of systems to deliver impactful programs
  • Advocate for increasing and realigning resources to achieve more equitable outcomes
  • Increase alignment and articulation across education and career pathways

In addition to the L.A. Compact and Community Schools, UNITE-LA's Systems Change team of 7-9 staff collectively advance systems change initiatives related to postsecondary success, youth workforce development, Opportunity Youth and K-16 career pathways in the L.A. region.



Project and Workflow Management:

  • Lead the implementation of short and long-term project objectives for the LAUSD Community Schools Initiative in close collaboration with district staff to meet timelines, including:
    • Cultivate a diverse and effective Community Schools Steering Committee by: establishing clear roles & expectations of members, onboarding new members, designing & facilitating meetings with participatory decision-making, preparing materials and speakers, engaging member expertise to support the initiative, and driving actions between meetings.
    • Launch and facilitate a Community Schools Alliance for Opportunity committee in partnership with LAUSD to explore and formalize partnerships with local government agencies or community-based organizations on behalf of the district's community schools.
    • Support the strategic expansion of the Community Schools Initiative via collaboration with LAUSD on developing application, review, and selection processes for additional Community Schools.
  • Utilize Asana to develop and manage project plans for the L.A. Compact and Community Schools Initiative with strategies, activities, and timelines to support workflow and communications across internal staff and external partners to accomplish objectives.
  • Utilize Salesforce to track and manage partner relationships and interactions and fundraising opportunities related to your projects.

Strategic and Analytical Thinking:

  • Support continuous improvement and learning within LAUSD's Community Schools Initiative and sharing of lessons across the region and state via collaboration with UNITE-LA's Research and Evaluation Unit, district staff, and external contractors to ensure research informs strategy and practice.
  • Provide content expertise on education equity issues – particularly as it relates to Community Schools, school-community partnerships, Linked Learning, holistic wraparound supports for young people, youth leadership, adolescent development, college/career preparation, and cradle-to-career data systems.
  • Develop, oversee execution of, and facilitate continuous improvement of education systems change strategies, annual workplans, and partnerships related to the L.A. Compact & Community Schools, leveraging understanding of political interests, current and needed resources, and feasibility implications for implementation.

Relationship and Stakeholder Management:

  • Represent UNITE-LA externally to steward existing relationships and pursue and design new strategic partnerships at local, state and national levels.
  • Oversee and guide efforts around partner convening and engagement – particularly around Community Schools, the L.A. Compact Stewardship Group, and ad hoc convenings of stakeholders as needed – by helping to craft agendas and materials and facilitating/co-facilitating.

Team Management and Operations:

  • Support the effectiveness of direct reports through supervision and coaching and facilitating professional development and growth through mentorship.
  • Coordinate and manage project teams of staff from across UNITE-LA, external contractors and/or external partners to create cohesive and effective project teams.

Resource Development and Management

  • Lead fund development efforts to generate revenue for the L.A. Compact and Community Schools – including stewarding/cultivating relationships with funders, general operating requests, designing and developing proposals and reports, and tracking grant deliverables.
  • Support LAUSD in strategic development of grant applications to the California Community Schools Partnership Program.
  • Develop and manage grant budgets and contribute to departmental annual budget development processes.

Content Development & Communications:

  • Oversee the development and execution of content and communication strategies for the L.A. Compact, in concert with the UNITE-LA Marketing and Communications team, to effectively communicate what we do, why we do it, and what we've achieved.
  • Engage directly with and oversee staff and contractors to advance diverse communication strategies, including the L.A. Compact website, a quarterly newsletter, social media, blog articles, fact sheets, presentations, and earned media as needed.
  • Lead timely communications of updates and requested actions to members of the Community School Steering Committee, L.A. Compact Stewardship Group, and other stakeholders.



  • You are passionate about UNITE-LA's mission, advancing anti-racist practices and policies, and systems change.
  • You have 5+ years of professional experience engaging in educational equity issues, ideally via policy/systems change in the L.A. Region.
  • You have earned a degree and/or completed coursework in the following preferred areas: public policy, public administration, education/higher education, community engagement, and/or macro social work.
  • You are a strong project manager, with a track record of supporting complex projects, setting overall project goals, developing workplans, and overseeing detail-oriented implementation.
  • You are committed to understanding the root causes of complex problems and developing innovative solutions.
  • You have experience building positive relationships and collaborate effectively on diverse teams, including those comprised of direct teammates, colleagues from other departments with no formal reporting structure, contractors and a diverse array of external stakeholders.
  • You are comfortable designing and leading effective and inclusive meetings, convenings, and other engagements that will advance project objectives and build stakeholder relationships.
  • You are an excellent writer, speaker, and presenter, with the ability to synthesize and communicate complex issues in clear and actionable ways.
  • You are an intellectually curious learner willing take in new information and perspectives to inform and adapt work; demonstrates a growth mindset and a desire to continuously improve.
  • You enjoy jumping into new projects and know how to build subject matter expertise and credibility quickly.



You will work closely with and report to the Vice President of Systems Change Strategy to advance the goals of the L.A. Compact and Community Schools Initiative and will develop relationships with a broad and diverse group of leaders from LAUSD, labor unions, postsecondary institutions, government and nonprofit organizations across Los Angeles County.

You will oversee one direct report, work closely with staff at LAUSD's Community Schools Initiative and United Teachers Los Angeles, collaborate with a team of 7-9 within UNITE-LA's Systems Change department, and engage with consultants on a periodic base to support initiative objectives.

UNITE-LA is a highly collaborative and matrixed organization: you will also regularly work with members of our broader team of over 40 staff leading efforts related to fund development, marketing and communications, policy/advocacy, and direct college & career pathway programming with young people, among other roles.



This is a full-time exempt position based in Los Angeles, CA. While many staff continue to regularly work remotely, attendance at our downtown Los Angeles office or at community events in the L.A. region is expected several times a month. Occasional travel is required for in-state and out-of-state conferences.

The salary range for this position is $80,000 – $95,000. If you are offered a position at UNITE-LA, your final compensation will be based on factors such as relevant skills, experience and/or education. In addition to those factors, we believe in the importance of pay equity and consider internal equity of our current team members as a part of any final offer. Our competitive benefits package includes paid sick leave, vacation, and work-life harmony time, in addition to a robust paid holiday schedule; 401(k) participation with employer contribution; competitive health, vision and dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, and more. UNITE-LA promotes a culture of work-life harmony with flexible schedules and offers employee growth development plans to support career pathway development.



Interested candidates should submit their resume and a cover letter summarizing your qualifications for the position to [email protected] using the email subject line "Associate Director, Education Systems Strategy – [Last Name]" Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until filled, with a priority deadline of Aug. 16, 2023.

UNITE-LA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce, because we believe that it makes our organization stronger. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age. We will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles' Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.


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