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Executive Director

Lynch Leadership Academy - Boston College


Established in 2010 through a generous, multi-year gift from the Lynch Foundation, the Lynch Leadership Academy (the Academy) exists to develop the leadership capacity of school leaders in order to close the achievement gap and ensure all students attend and graduate from college. An initiative of Boston College, and drawing on the expertise of its nationally ranked business and education schools, the Academy is an innovative program that inspires, challenges, and trains urban school leaders to effectively engage and direct impactful school change. Through a yearlong cohort model, and with an emphasis on the principles of equity and social justice, the Academy builds the leadership capacity of school principals across sectors - district, charter, and Catholic - to attain high student achievement and enhance the lives of the children and families who depend on the vitality and excellence of urban schools.

Leadership development at the Academy is based on research of best practices of field organizations such as Building Excellent Schools, New Leaders, the Harvard Kennedy School, KIPP, School Leaders Network, Uncommon Schools, and Wharton Business School. The Academy has leveraged learning from these and other high-performing leadership development organizations, and blended it with unique, hands-on, experiential and deeply collaborative elements, to create a model that is distinct, and highly respected locally and nationally. Notably, the strength of the programs has been recognized by several membership organizations of an elite network of over 100 leadership programs across the nation. The Alliance to Reform Education Leadership, and the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship have extended membership to the Academy. 

Since 2011, the Academy has accepted nearly 150 Fellows from Catholic, charter and district schools that, collectively, educate more than 60,000 students. The success of the sitting principals program, and the high demand for well-trained school leaders, inspired Academy leadership to expand its program offering to include aspiring principals. In 2013, with support from The Boston Foundation, the Academy’s Aspiring Principal Program was launched, increasing overall recruitment numbers by 400% and cohort size by 29%.

The Academy’s principal supervision model clearly leads to results – results measured by improved student achievement. Notable outcomes include:

  • 85% of Academy Catholic & charter schools have demonstrated significant growth as measured by student outcomes;
  • 90% of Academy Fellows met school-based goals;
  • To date, 96% of Academy Fellows continue in educational leadership positions after completing the program, and
  • 100% of Academy Aspiring Principals are selected to serve in school leadership roles upon completion of the program.

Further, an external evaluation, conducted by Mission Measurement, found that:

  • 80% of Fellows (16/21) in Cohort III (school year 2013-2014) achieved Mastery by the end of the program, based on at least one of the two assessments (the 360 Leadership Assessment or the School Review);
  • 100% of Fellows would recommend the Academy to other principals (as measured by a survey), and
  • 100% of Fellows have noted the Academy as having a transformative impact on their leadership development (as measured by a survey).


A clear message from funders and potential partners has emerged as the Academy’s Executive Director and Advisory committee have engaged in strategic planning over the last 1-2 years: the Academy’s program is too strong and too cost-effective to be solely in Boston.

Over the last three years, the Academy has refined each aspect of its programs to develop a proprietary coaching method, a unique set of course offerings emphasizing executive leadership skills, and a best-in-class selection model. Now prepared to bring its high-impact approach to scale, the Academy’s multi-year vision is to become the leading executive management and leadership development program for school leaders in high-need communities. The goal is to efficiently and creatively grow the program to replicate its model in other cities, and to become a knowledge resource and innovation center for leadership training and school transformation nationwide. Further, the Academy will be widely recognized for improving student outcomes by building the leadership capacity of school leaders.


The new ED will serve as the primary liaison with external partners, and ensure the financial and programmatic sustainability of the organization. While s/he will oversee the execution of The Academy’s core program model, responsibility will center on strategic positioning, and strengthening the organization’s capacity to deliver strong outcomes by growing The Academy’s footprint in several regions. The ED must be a seasoned professional, with a track record of leadership in an entrepreneurial setting, and sufficient experience to gain the trust and confidence of colleagues at all levels. Specifically, the ED will be responsible for: 

  • leading and inspiring staff, Fellows and partners toward the execution of the Academy’s mission and vision;
  • assuming ultimate oversight and responsibility for the organization’s efficient management, staff and infrastructure;
  • partnering with Academy leadership, and senior staff from the Carroll School of Management to design multi-year programmatic, strategic, and financial plans and, subsequently, implementing them;
  • developing and implementing new systems to recognize and capitalize on business opportunities, new channels for revenue streams, and new ways of leveraging existing resources;
  • acting as the chief spokesperson for the Academy, ensuring proper representation to the local community, greater education reform sector and other external constituents;
  • partnering with University Advancement and Office of Sponsored Programs to aggressively identify and secure new sources of private, local, state, and federal funding;
  • developing new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships with influential members of the education, foundation and business communities locally, regionally and nationally;
  • overseeing the development of compelling marketing and communications collateral with a consistent look and message that make the case for partnership;
  • shaping a collaborative effort to develop, implement and regularly review curriculum and content;
  • establishing and cultivating relationships with, and making investments in high-need districts to encourage participation in the Fellows program;
  • providing competitive, strategic oversight of ongoing  programmatic assessment and client satisfaction, using publically accessible data, as well as data provided by school and district partners to demonstrate impact on student outcomes, and
  • attracting, developing, and retaining highly qualified employees and developing a productive, self-motivated, and positive work environment.


The ED will build upon an already-successful program, enhancing its scope, brand and impact at scale. Above all, s/he must have an unwavering commitment to accelerating the achievement of urban students, and believe strongly that among the most important levers to influence education reform is the training and development of school leaders.  Further, the ED will be an exceptional, results-oriented leader, with an established professional network, and a proven track record of driving well-managed growth and quality. Additionally, the successful candidate will bring the following experience:

  • experience as part of an executive leadership team in an entrepreneurial, innovative environment;
  • at least 10 years of work experience overall, comprising a minimum of five years in business development or fund raising;
  • tested strategic planning and tactical execution experience on behalf of an organization or major division, ideally one which includes growing a unit or division, assessing its progress systemically, determining ROI, and making resource allocation decisions on the basis of outcomes as compared to desired results;
  • a track record of assembling high-performing, results-oriented effective teams, communicating a vision and setting priorities, managing team execution, delegating, mentoring others and developing emerging leaders, and
  • experience leading professional development programs in an adult leadership setting.

S/he will also have these requisite skills:

  • the ability to identify new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, and/or individual donors, and the skills required to secure these resources through relationship-building;
  • political savvy, and instincts sharp enough to navigate and establish productive relationships across the educational, philanthropic and political landscapes locally, regionally and nationally;
  • the eloquence and persuasiveness required to serve as a spokesperson for the organization to a wide variety of audiences;
  • the maturity and wisdom required to optimize Board members;
  • excellent qualitative and quantitative analytical skills;
  • outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • strong financial analysis skills and facility with financial statements; and
  • a proven ability to attract, recruit, retain, and develop excellent staff.

Finally, the successful candidate will have these personal characteristics:

  • entrepreneurialism and a high level of motivation;
  • deep familiarity with and concern for complex issues facing urban school leaders;
  • willingness to travel up to 50%; and
  • a relevant degree or credential.


The ED will report to Andy Boynton, Dean of the Carroll School of Business. Direct reports include four Leadership Effectiveness Directors and an Assistant Director of Operations.


Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA


Compensation for this role is highly competitive. Boston College provides a broad and competitive range of benefits in order to promote the health and general well-being of its workforce. In addition to comprehensive health and dental insurance plans, the University offers many other benefits, including various types of insurance coverage, tuition remission opportunities, and a generous number of paid holidays and vacation days.

To Apply

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  Applications, including a cover letter and resume, should be submitted electronically, and will be considered on a rolling bases. Nominations, applications, or inquiries about the position and/or the search process should be directed to Leslie Nair, Associate Partner, via leslie@bellwethereducation.org.



Founded in 1863, Boston College is a Jesuit, Catholic university located six miles from downtown Boston with an enrollment of 9,150 full-time undergraduates and 4,420 graduate and professional students. Ranked 31 among national universities, Boston College has 758 full-time and 1,096 FTE faculty, 2,750 non-faculty employees, an operating budget of $956 million, and an endowment in excess of $2.2 billion.

Boston College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any legally protected category including disability and protected veteran status. To learn more about how BC supports diversity and inclusion throughout the university please visit the Office for Institutional Diversity at http://www.bc.edu/offices/diversity.

Boston College conducts background checks as part of the hiring process.