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Executive Director, PBL Now

Company: Buck Institute for Education
Location: Stratford
Posted on: January 11, 2022

Job Description:

Buck Institute for Education (BIE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (dba PBLWorks) headquartered in Novato, California, is the industry leader in providing professional development, products, and resources related to Project Based Learning (PBL). Buck Institute for Education creates, collects, and shares high-quality PBL tools and resources with K-12 teachers and leaders across the country. At Buck Institute for Education, our vision is for all students - no matter where they live or what their background - to have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.

Buck Institute for Education is launching an exciting new division, with the working title PBLNow. The new division will create K-12 centered Open Educational Resource (OER) PBL units that teachers can use to achieve impact and equity for all students, especially Black and Brown students. These Gold Standard PBL OER units will first be focused on social studies and science/STEM and organized by themes such as racial, social, and environmental justice. Offering high-quality and ready-made PBL curriculum to educators at no charge will increase access to high quality PBL curriculum and increase the likelihood that teachers implement high quality projects, and increase impact for all students, especially Black and Brown students.

To learn more about The Buck Institute for Education, please visit

The founding PBLNow Executive Director will be responsible for leading and managing the work of the division and all of its partners, collaborators and stakeholders. The Executive Director will also hire and manage a small staff and several consultants, manage budgets and contracts, lead the branding of this new division of work and work closely with the Buck Institute's CEO on the administration/implementation of the project. Additionally, the Executive Director will be the external face of the division. Finally, while the project is currently envisioned through the three years of work (phase 1), the Executive Director will work with all of the partners to develop the longer-term plans for the division, and ultimately lead the project through subsequent phases of developing and field testing K-12 social studies and science OER instructional materials. The Executive Director will report to the CEO and make decisions based on the guidance and recommendations of the PBLNow Advisory Board and Buck Institute Board of Directors.
The founding Executive Director is a remote position and may work from anywhere within the contiguous United States. Travel may be required up to 20% of the time.


Key Responsibilities of the Executive Director include:

Leading and coordinating the work of the partners:
Serving as liaison to the Advisory Board, and in that role designing and leading regular meetings to develop recommendations and guidance in partnership with the Advisory Board Chair. This role will also collaborate with all stakeholders, leading decision-making about social studies and science content and structure of the Gold Standard PBL OER instructional materials. This individual will lead collaboration and facilitate dialogue to propose options and recommendations about the scope and sequence for phase 1 work, the specifications of prototype units, and the designs for professional learning and data collection during field testing. This role will oversee the development and management of the PBLNow website, coordinate reviews of developed materials with external partners and solicit ongoing feedback from project advisors, as necessary.

External face and thought leadership:
In partnership with the PBLWorks/Buck Institute Marketing Director, this role will develop and implement a communications strategy, including thought leadership for the field, with the goal to generate buy-in and support for the work, and also demand-from teachers, schools and districts-for the instructional materials that PBLNow produces. The Executive Director will partner with other key social studies and science/STEM leaders and organizations to provide communications and thought leadership to the field in a strategic and coordinated manner. Along with the CEO, this role will also coordinate with external vendors and partners to provide support to schools, districts, and states, including curriculum distribution and printing, professional learning and implementation support, and equipment/materials procurement and management. This person will serve as a key spokesperson for PBLNow and effectively leverage and deploy other spokespeople at partner organizations.

Management and administration:
The Executive Director will serve as liaison with the CEO and Buck Institute Operations Team to lead all project administration. They will be responsible for
hiring a small team of staff and consultants to manage the work. They will also manage budgets and contracts with all partners and develop and implement management systems to ensure that the project, and all its partners, are progressing on schedule and on budget.

Strategy, planning and sustainability:
Working closely with an Advisory Board and Board Chair, the Executive Director will develop and oversee strategy and planning for current and future phases of work, including plans for ongoing funding and financial and operational sustainability.

A successful first year in this role for the new Executive Director will include:
Hiring and effectively onboarding key support staff.
Recruit a national advisory board.
Develop and begin execution of a plan for 26 K-12 OER PBL Units aligned to Next Generation Science Standards.

In order to fulfill these responsibilities, the ideal Executive Director candidate will be:
An accomplished leader with 10+ years of success in state or district educational leadership, and/or K-12 curriculum development in science education.

Committed to Buck Institute's mission of providing access to high quality PBL instruction to all students, especially Black and Brown students, to deepen learning and achieve success in college, career, and life.

A strong project manager with experience leading multi-stakeholder initiatives and/or leading improvement efforts.

Someone with excellent written and verbal communications skills, including communicating complex information with clarity to diverse audiences, facilitating dialogue, and building consensus.

Exhibiting evidence of an entrepreneurial mindset

Experienced with fiscal management, budgeting, and contract development and oversight.

Someone with an advanced degree preferred.

Familiar with science education history, research, entities, and players in K-12 science education reform efforts preferred.

Someone with relevant classroom teaching experience at the secondary level, preferred.

The successful candidate will possess these skills and abilities:
Ability to thrive in a collaborative and diverse environment.
Strong analytical skills; basic business intuition.
Great listener.
Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
Excellent interpersonal, facilitation, and negotiating skills
Extraordinary organizational skills, with high attention to detail, and exceptional focus on accuracy and accountability.
Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines and prioritize.
Data driven with strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
Ability to adapt to the needs of the organization and employees.

This position offers a competitive salary of $170,000 and robust benefits including full health benefits (including medical, vision and dental), 403(b), and life and disability insurance. More details can be provided upon request.

Please submit a resume online at For additional questions about this position or to speak with someone about your interest, please contact Serena Moy at or at 510.575.9635.

Buck Institute for Education is an equal opportunity employer and an organization that values diversity. Recruiting staff to create an inclusive organization is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all backgrounds. Candidates are evaluated solely on their qualifications to perform the work required.

Keywords: Buck Institute for Education, Visalia , Executive Director, PBL Now, Executive , Stratford, California

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