Analyst, Thought Leadership – Bellwether Education Partners
Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the achievement of low-income students by cultivating, advising, and placing a robust community of innovative, effective, and sustainable change agents in public education reform and improving the policy climate for their work.
Bellwether’s programs and services are aimed at improving leadership in education at a crucial point in our country when our goal of a more equitable democratic society as well as our changing economy demand dramatically better outcomes from our public education system. Today there is a growing community of performance-driven education reform leaders, entrepreneurs, organizations, foundations, and public institutions that are spearheading innovative approaches to better serve all students, especially those in low-income communities. These organizations and their supporters are demonstrating the promise of innovative solutions for closing the persistent achievement gap in public education.
As these organizations gain recognition and grow beyond the start-up stage, they need help to develop more sophisticated business strategies, more mature internal management systems, and more diverse and deeper leadership capacity. At the same time, to maximize their effectiveness and broaden their impact, these organizations need the guidance of strong thought leadership outside of their own day-to-day work to help coordinate their efforts, inform policymakers, and to share their successful approaches with the public education field at large. Through a combination of grant-funded programs, and specialized, practical, and actionable services, Bellwether seeks to address these needs by focusing on four primary areas:
- Thought leadership and knowledge generation for the field,
- Strategic advising and consulting,
- Organizational and leadership and development, and
- Talent services including executive search and internal recruitment training.
In an effort to prioritize impact for under-served students in the United States, Bellwether works with leaders and public, private, and nonprofit organizations that share our entrepreneurial core values and operating principles. Specifically, we work with a variety of entities and individuals but our work is tied together by shared commitment to an excellent and equitable education system. In particular we deeply value an unwavering dedication to dramatically improving educational outcomes for low-income students as well as a commitment to creating and using performance-driven systems to that end.
Bellwether is an entrepreneurial, rapidly growing firm. We have offices Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco as well as team members located throughout the US who work from their homes or small offices that are often shared with other education reform nonprofits.
Bellwether is an entrepreneurial organization bringing together a team of nearly one dozen accomplished individuals with demonstrated experience and expertise in performance-driven education reform. Combining the expertise of our team, we are an “action tank”—at once a generator of innovative and purposeful reform ideas, as well as a provider of direct services and momentum-building activity for to the field.
Bellwether’s partners lead their own areas of work based on their deepest expertise, but also work together on projects where their combined expertise is much greater than the sum of the parts. We do not cover the waterfront like some large consulting firms; instead, by remaining strictly focused in our areas of expertise and the needs of underserved students in America, we provide unparalleled leadership, support, wisdom, and experience to help build the field of education change agents, and help the organizations they lead to have the greatest impact possible.
Bellwether Analysts work as key members of small internal teams and support those teams—and the organization as a whole—by providing strategic, quantitative, and policy research and analysis. The Analyst will contribute to generating policy and strategic insights and recommendations and to designing and/or codifying processes, tools, and models for both clients and Bellwether. In turn, the Analyst will gain broad exposure to education thought leaders and to the strategy and systems design involved in creating and building a new organization and shaping public policies.
The Analyst will ultimately report to Andrew Rotherham, our Washington, D.C.-based Partner leading the Thought Leadership practice. Over time, the Analyst will have a chance to work with the entire Bellwether team as well as contractors, and with a wide variety of clients, including education reform organizations (such as charter management organizations, districts, education advocacy organizations, and providers of instructional materials), funders, and other education leaders. Examples of the types of projects a Bellwether Analyst could be assigned to include:
- Working with clients to understand the business and policy challenges they are facing and developing actionable plans to address them;
- Designing and conducting research to inform recommendations through a variety of methods (interviews, surveys, desk research, quantitative research);
- Gathering, organizing, and building models to analyze quantitative and financial data to inform insights or conclusions;
- Analyzing legislation and regulatory documents to assess implications for clients or policy issues;
- Analyzing and synthesizing information to communicate insights to clients, partners, and other stakeholders; and
- Writing proposals, presentations, research briefs, and business plans.
Outcomes and key deliverables for this work would be determined based on scope, but will likely include work plan, research output, meeting facilitation, research briefs, and slide-based summaries of the work.
Given the scope of these potential activities, the Analyst’s primary responsibilities and duties will be to:
- provide analysis, synthesis, insight, and research within tight deadlines;
- participate in and contribute to client meetings, including strong meeting preparation and follow-up;
- produce end-products in the form of slide decks, proposals, policy briefs, and memos, written summaries, basic fact packs, and spreadsheets;
- continue to build knowledge of the education reform community, as well as to identify, gather, review, and maintain information sources and databases using a broad spectrum of appropriate sources; and
- serve as an internal and external thought partner, leveraging internal and external networks, to engage in team problem solving, share evolving business trends and best practices, and contribute to knowledge creation initiatives.
Because we are a nimble and largely virtual organization that combines an exceptional core full-time staff with a highly-coordinated network of best-in-class part-time consultants, Bellwether is a strong fit for professionals who possess strong personal drive and motivation, demonstrate exemplary professional behavior and values, and who are resourceful, responsible, tenacious, independent, and self-confident.
In addition, the successful candidate will have:
- a strong academic record including an undergraduate degree from a nationally recognized university;
- 2-3 years’ post-graduate professional experience in a role requiring analytical problem solving, research, and managing multiple, simultaneous, demanding deadlines;
- superior and demonstrable problem-solving, analytical, and quantitative skills combined with an inquisitive, investigative nature;
- outstanding attention to detail and a commitment to delivering the highest-quality work product;
- a highly self-motivated work style and willingness to proactively take on projects;
- flexibility and the ability to deal well with ambiguity and the fast-paced nature of a young and rapidly growing organization;
- strong communication skills, both verbal and written;
- comprehensive computer skills including database and Internet searching, slide creation, word processing, and well-developed quantitative analytic skills in Excel;
- a well-rounded inter-personal skill set with the capacity to work effectively in team environment;
- strong ethics and personal integrity;
- professional attitude and client-service orientation; and
comfort with some travel.
The following training/skill set is ideal but not required:
- experience analyzing federal or state policy and legislation and regulations;
- familiarity with commonly used statistical software packages (i.e., SASS, SPSS);
- demonstrable passion and commitment to working in the field of urban education reform; and
- familiarity with the challenges facing urban schools and education reform efforts in the United States.
Bellwether Education Partners provides competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package including a performance-based bonus based on individual and firm success, full health care coverage, and access to 401(k) accounts with a matching contribution policy.
This position will be based in Washington, D.C.
Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. We serve diverse organizations, and are committed to non-discrimination. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are treated equally without regard to age, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, expression, gender identity, or veteran’s status.
The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current resume and, for best consideration, should be submitted electronically prior to June 15, 2012. Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:
Traci Dove, Senior Associate
Bellwether Education Partners