Managing Director, Carnegie Evidence & Improvement Lab

Position Purpose

The Carnegie Evidence & Improvement Lab will build evidence for improvement of the most promising secondary learning tools, models, and partnerships across the Carnegie portfolio. Working in close collaboration with Carnegie’s partner, XQ Schools, the Lab will be the Foundation’s in-house, evidentiary, and analytic machine, staffed by a top notch, nimble team sharply focused on learning models and modalities that accelerate learning in-and-out of school, particularly for underrepresented and ‘first generation’ young people. In essence, the Lab will provide an essential improvement-analytic function to help inform and shape the creation of “post Carnegie Unit ecosystems”, designed to accelerate learning and assess, capture, and communicate students’ knowledge, skills, accomplishments, and dispositions, wherever learning takes place.

The Managing Director of Carnegie’s Evidence & Improvement Lab will establish and provide conceptual and operational leadership to a team focused on producing evidence that can be used quickly by those undertaking improvement, in contrast to traditional evaluation activities that often produce knowledge well after it would be useful. We are looking for an entrepreneurial, ambitious, open-minded expert with a strong analytic background; experience in using mixed-method analytic techniques in educational settings to drive meaningful systems improvement; and a clear track record of sharing knowledge with diverse audiences.

Essential Responsibilities

The Managing Director will provide conceptual and operational leadership to a team that will:

  1. Curate a portfolio of applied improvement research identifying, examining, and iterating key building blocks of a post-Carnegie Unit educational sector. The portfolio will include but not be limited to the development and assessment of powerful learning experiences for students and teachers; the work of community partners dedicated to building outcomes-focused secondary school systems where learning can take place anywhere; the incorporation of new measures of student learning (such as “transferable skills”) across the K16 sector, and; advancement of validated systems that capture and communicate learning (e.g., transcripts, badges, alternative credentials etc.) to key stakeholders, including parents and families, the post-secondary sector and employers.
  2. Create a multi-sector research agenda with community partners to test, refine, and improve strategies for equitably enacting post-Carnegie Unit ecosystems. These partnerships may include states, school systems, community-based organizations, cultural institutions, and local employers. Research goals include, for example, understanding impact on educational attainment and success; identifying key implementation supports and barriers; identifying enabling conditions across civic, policy, and practice dimensions; and optimizing strategies for engaging local and national postsecondary and employment marketplaces.
  3. Cultivate connections between and among national researchers and research institutions studying aligned and/or adjacent strategies and approaches that support a post Carnegie-Unit ecosystem. This will include the opportunity to collaborate with research leaders in intermediary organizations, academic institutions, public agencies, and foundations to build bodies of research that enable collective action and systems improvement in the educational ecosystem.

Specifically, the essential responsibilities of the Managing Director will include:

Conceptual and operational leadership (40%)

  • Manage the recruitment, hiring, onboarding, and ongoing supervision of all Lab staff
  • Provide lab staff with coaching and career development opportunities.
  • Oversee all lab related projects; provide leadership and guidance to Lab staff and research partners across multiple projects and teams.
  • Collaborate with working groups across the organization and effectively manage diverse teams of internal and external researchers and practitioners.

Strategic development, planning, and execution (40%)

  • Develop and lead a diverse portfolio of improvement-research on post Carnegie-Unit ecosystems
  • Collaborate with Foundation leaders to build Lab strategy in alignment with organizational priorities, supporting both ongoing and emergent work.

Community engagement, advocacy, and culture change (10%)

  • Serve as a leading public voice, representing the Foundation’s work and discoveries of the lab in multiple venues for multiple audiences.

Contribute to the vision and success of the Lab and the Foundation (10%)

  • Serve as a member of the Foundation leadership team, providing guidance and insight to Foundation planning, budgeting, and analysis in support of the Foundation’s priorities.
  • Oversee the Lab’s budget and work towards the financial sustainability of the department through fundraising activities including state and federal funding, philanthropic proposals, commercial partnerships, etc.

Required Education & Experience

  • Ph.D. in education, data science/analytics, or closely related social science field (i.e., sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, public policy, etc.).
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in working with educators and other stakeholders to develop evidence and analytics for the purpose of impact and improvement.
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in education-related research in both applied and academic settings
  • Experience designing and conducting quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research.
  • Experience using data for the purpose of improving education systems
  • Experience raising capital and developing partnerships to support programmatic priorities

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Managing Director will have a clear track record in supporting meaningful systems improvement and sharing knowledge with diverse audiences (i.e., general public, practitioners, educators, and policymakers) through the development of briefs, presentations, tools & resources. The Managing Director will be entrepreneurial, strategic, impact focused, and able to catalyze and sustain deep partnerships to achieve results.

The Manager Director will exemplify:

  • Proficiency in traditional educational research methods paired with an innovator’s mindset and openness to adapting and developing methodologies to advance improvement.
  • Knowledge of educational systems (including organization, structure, governance, and social contexts) as well as the most significant challenges that ‘systems actors’ face.
  • A demonstrated ability to use a range of statistical analysis skills for impact (e.g., exploratory data analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics, data representation and display etc.)
  • An understanding of what (e.g., in terms of measures, data analysis, visualizations, statistical methods and tools etc.) is usable and useful in practical settings for students, faculty, and educational ecosystems.
  • Knowledge of the basic tenets of improvement research, including improvement analytics, using evidence to inform and support positive change and improvement, etc.
  • Highly skilled in quantitative methods; demonstrated accomplishment in working on research projects that integrate qualitative/quantitative research methods.
  • A demonstrated ability to work with multiple constituencies including post-secondary administrators, institutional researchers, K-12 practitioners and leaders, program leads, policy makers and the public, effectively and authentically engaging them in the definition, execution, and use of research.
  • A demonstrated ability to leverage new opportunities and partnerships with the goal of demonstrating the use of evidence for improvement.
  • Proactive in decision making and time management.
  • Strong organizational abilities, problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage multiple work streams simultaneously.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Highly collaborative, flexible, and able to work in a dynamic fast-paced environment


Benefits & Perks

  • Full medical, dental, vision, life, accidental death, disability, and long-term care insurance, as well as employer subsidized flexible spending plan
  • A retirement savings plan, including employer contributions after one year of service
  • Generous time-off benefits including paid holidays and paid parental leave
  • Matching Gift program to benefit charitable organizations
  • Educational Assistance to further your professional development
  • The facility is located in Stanford, California in a quiet pastoral setting near a hiking trail.
  • Amenities include a communal kitchen (coffee, tea, and drinks provided), outdoor eating areas, free parking, and electric car charging stations