Director, K-12 Education

Director, K-12 Education

Hiring Organization Information

Organization Name: 
Ballmer Group

Position Information

Employment Type: 
Full time
Experience Level: 
Job Category: 
Other - please specify below
Job Category - Other: 
Philanthropy/Grantmaking in education nationally
Organizational Overview: 

About Ballmer Group

Since 2015, Ballmer Group supports efforts to improve economic mobility for children and families in the United States who are disproportionately likely to remain in poverty. Ultimately, we envision a country where every child, regardless of background and circumstance, has an equal chance to achieve the American Dream – the promise of moving up from one generation to the next through effort and talent. Our co-founders are philanthropist and civic activist Connie Ballmer and her husband Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft and chairman of the LA Clippers.

Recognizing that the conditions of poverty are complex, we direct our philanthropy and civic engagement to help remove barriers and create opportunities throughout many stages of a young person’s life – helping to ensure that a person thrives through a healthy birth and stable family, a safe childhood and adolescence, a good education, and a career that can support a family. We work both locally and nationally, and we engage deeply in three regions – Washington state, Los Angeles County, and southeast Michigan. We focus on community-led initiatives, partnerships with all levels of government, and the use of data and technology to improve the effectiveness and track the impact of our partners.

We acknowledge that systemic racism makes it harder for people of color to move up the economic ladder, and we seek to address barriers to racial equity in all we do. This means that at Ballmer Group we do work to support communities of color, as we continue to learn more about what it takes in order to deeply and authentically engage in a practice of racial equity.

For more information about Ballmer Group Philanthropy, please visit:

Role Responsibilities: 

The Opportunity

The Ballmer Group is seeking a bold, visionary, equity-focused education leader to serve as its new Director, K-12 Education. The goal of BG’s education work is to create more equitable, innovative, and liberating learning environments for all students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

The Director, K-12 Education will be a key member of BG’s national team of issue-focused leaders. The director will lead BG’s long-term national education strategy, impact vision and approach, and develop and execute BG’s national K-12 education program, policy and systems change work. The director will: 1) serve as a thought leader, subject-matter expert and strategic advisor internally and externally; 2) initiate and foster innovation and strategic partnerships, in support of both BG’s education goals and other strategic priorities; 3) execute and manage national grants that advance BG’s K-12 education strategy; and 4) serve as advisor and implementation partner to BG’s three focus regions. This role includes a focus on reimagining the broader ecosystem for culturally responsive learning and whole child development within and outside schools. Strategies to improve the diversity and professional development of educators and administrators are another priority of the role.

The position reports to the Executive Director, National Impact and is based out of BG offices in Bellevue, WA.

Key Priorities and Responsibilities

Strategic Oversight and Thought Leadership: 

  • Create, implement, and manage BG’s K-12 education strategy, including setting long-term and annual goals for the organization’s education work across the country.  
  • Use the tools of philanthropy to tackle structural and systemic issues related to creating more equitable, innovative, and liberating learning environments. Develop funding strategies that effectively address the impacts of racial inequities, inequitable school funding, and the need for more well-trained, diverse, and culturally responsive educators and administrators.
  • Keep apprised of emerging trends, opportunities, and issues affecting K-12 education and develop a point of view on the most leveraged strategies for philanthropy and BG.   
  • Work with the Executive Director, National Impact to explore opportunities and develop potential strategies for adjacent issues (e.g., post-secondary college or data and technology), and collaborate with colleagues on the implementation of those strategies.


  • Leverage relationships in K-12 education and across sectors to uncover and pursue innovative trends, new grantmaking opportunities, and strategic partnerships that drive impact for children and their families.  
  • Establish and maintain relationships with grantees to catalyze their collaboration and coordination on strategies that advance BG’s education investments.
  • Lead potential education grantees through the grant review and approval process, including developing detailed recommendations for BG leadership. 
  • Manage BG’s portfolio of national education grants, to build thought leadership, gain insights, and recommend an innovative funding strategy.
  • Work with representatives of teacher and parent groups, educator coalitions, and other relevant organizations to remove systemic barriers and expand educational opportunity and thriving for all children.

Support to BG Regions: 

  • Lead efforts to build knowledge across the Philanthropy Team on K-12 education issues and provide subject-matter expertise and strategic advice to Executive Directors and Portfolio Managers in BG’s three focus regions. 
  • Collaborate with BG’s Executive Directors and staff in BG’s regional offices to exchange ideas and insights that increase the impact of both regional and national grantmaking strategies.
  • Develop strong relationships internally with other departments (e.g., the Advocacy & Communications and Data & Technology teams) to leverage and maximize impact.
Candidate Qualifications: 


The ideal candidate will: 1) be a respected leader in education and educational equity at a national level with a strong reputation and relationships in the field; 2) have a sophisticated understanding of programs, policies, systems, and structural issues related to K-12 education; 3) have deep knowledge, expertise and experience with traditional and charter school systems – ideally at an executive level with responsibility for district and/or school building leadership; and 4) be a committed proponent of racial equity with experience applying an equity lens to addressing education outcomes and student development.

Additional qualifications include: 

  • Master’s degree in the field of education or a directly related field. 
  • At least 10 years of professional experience working in K-12 education at an executive level with responsibility for district and/or school building leadership.
  • Committed proponent of racial equity with experience applying an equity lens to addressing education outcomes and student development.
  • Leader dedicated to supporting and driving the organization’s mission and impact with some awareness of the education issues facing one or more of BG’s three focus regions. 
  • Deep expertise in national K-12 education policy and budgetary issues with existing relationships and networks in the K-12 education field. 
  • Strong written communication skills, including the ability to simplify and communicate clear takeaways and insights to an executive-level audience. 
  • Excellent verbal communicator with strong interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence when engaging one-on-one. Skilled at synthesizing and translating complex information for diverse audiences.
  • Skilled at discussing and analyzing strategies and approaches with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Solid quantitative and analytical skills with experience assessing budgets and organizational finances. 
  • Ability to build trust, rapport, and effectively function as part of a team with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Additional desired qualities: innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, strong sense of humility and integrity; flexible and capable of adapting to change; a curious mind and sense of humor.
  • Shares a passion for Ballmer Group’s philanthropic mission.
  • Willingness to travel to BG’s three focus regions and other U.S. cities as needed (travel expectations are minimal, representing 10-20% of the position’s time). 


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How to Apply

Application Contact: 
Martha Montag Brown
Application Deadline: 
May 3, 2021
Application Instructions: 
Martha Montag Brown & Associates, LLC has been retained for this search. Interested and qualified candidates should apply by sending a cover letter, resume and salary requirements by email to All correspondence will remain confidential. Ballmer Group is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is valued. Individuals seeking employment at Ballmer Group are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.