Senior Associate Partner - Program Evaluation - Bellwether Education Partners

Bellwether Education Partners is a national nonprofit focused on dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. We do this by helping education organizations accelerate their impact and by working to improve policy and practice.

Bellwether envisions a world in which race, ethnicity, and income no longer predict opportunities for students, and the American education system affords all individuals the ability to determine their own path and lead a productive and fulfilling life.

Our work focuses on six service areas:

  1. Policy analysis and research
  2. Strategy and growth planning
  3. Academic and program advising
  4. Organizational effectiveness and efficiency
  5. Implementation support
  6. Educational program evaluation

We believe that the only way to ensure all children have access to a high-quality education is to take a holistic approach by changing field-level policies and perceptions while strengthening and supporting individual organizations. Since many of the challenges organizations face are complex, they require multiple perspectives and areas of expertise.

Through our integrated offerings, we provide comprehensive, coherent, and lasting solutions to education’s most long-standing and complicated problems.

Bellwether boasts high employee retention and referrals, and — according to Washingtonian magazine — we're one of Washington D.C.'s 50 Great Places to Work, based on employee satisfaction. We're intentional about building a culture where staff feel challenged, engaged, and recognized for their accomplishments, and we're proud that our team — both in D.C. and around the country — feels confident in the decisions we make and the ways we flexibly approach work.

Organizational Culture

Bellwether takes our mission of serving educators, students, organizations, and communities seriously. But we try not to take ourselves as individuals quite so seriously. We do challenging work, and we know how to have fun. From jumpsuits and talent shows at retreats, to PowerPoint presentations on werewolves and vampires at team meetings, we embrace our individuality — our quirks, talents, and diversity of viewpoints. We welcome different experiences and perspectives because we know that our team is stronger for having a variety of political, cultural, and educational beliefs represented.

Bellwether strives to make the work rewarding and sustainable so we can find harmony between demanding jobs and full personal lives. We are proud that our team has poets, hockey players, food bloggers, activists, teachers, karate black belts, church leaders, cyclists, and much more. Our flexible work environment allows many of our team members to work where they like, and when they like (within reason, of course). This allows us to operate in ways that feel most productive to us and do more of what we love doing on our own time.

These qualities are clear in the core values that guide our work and reflect what is truly important to us as an organization:

Mission Mindset: We are dedicated to dramatically improving outcomes for low‐income students. Our nonprofit status allows us to focus on this mission, and it guides the people we hire and the clients and projects we support.

  • Tailored Excellence: We work with our clients to develop customized, innovative solutions. We direct our unwavering focus on quality toward successful outcomes for our clients.
  • Synergy: We believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our Talent Services, Strategic Advising, and Policy and Thought Leadership teams make each other better.
  • Integrity: We exemplify the highest standards of individual and organizational ethics. We carefully balance client confidentiality with transparency to other clients and the public.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We believe that to achieve our mission, we must be a diverse and inclusive organization broadly reflecting the various communities we serve.
  • Flexibility: We believe in the philosophy of “working smarter, not harder.” We trust our co-workers and teams to do excellent work in the manner they see fit.
  • No Drama: We have no tolerance for drama or the politics of education affecting our work. We respectfully and proactively deal with frustrations, disagreements, and unexpected hurdles.

Further, we value many forms of diversity and believe race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work. By actively seeking and hiring talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and maintaining an environment where divergent ideas and perspectives are freely expressed, we increase our collective ability to deliver thoughtful, relevant solutions and analyses for our clients and the education sector.

About the Position

Over the past two years, we’ve invested deeply in bringing together evaluators, researchers, and analysts to expand our educational program evaluation services, led by Partner Allison Crean Davis. Our Policy and Evaluation team is looking for a new senior associate partner to help continue that expansion.

At Bellwether, senior associate partners are critical to cultivating and planning our work, guiding and developing our team, and managing strong relationships with our clients. The senior associate partner works closely with other senior leaders, such as the partner team, as well as with more junior team members, and plays a critical role in ensuring our work is mission-aligned, rigorous and relatable, and enriching to the work of our clients and/or the field.

Bellwether’s evaluation team has a wide range of training, coursework, and experience in designing, conducting, and supporting research at all levels of the ESSA evidence pyramid (e.g., experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, and descriptive). We typically deploy a mixed-methods approach to our designs to customize each project to the client and the questions they seek to answer. Our evaluation assignments tend to cluster into the following categories: program evaluation, survey research, and evaluation capacity-building.

Responsibilities

Senior associate partners typically lead small internal teams, reporting to a Bellwether partner who in turn guides their work and supports their professional development. They often serve as project leads and work closely with a project manager (often an associate partner). Occasionally they serve as project managers themselves, overseeing a team of analysts. Senior associate partners periodically have the opportunity to work across Bellwether practice areas to broaden their skills and perspectives, including providing support to Bellwether’s Strategic Advising team.

In this position, you should expect to:

  • Lead teams and manage client relationships;
  • Contribute to business development and revenue goals, cultivating a deep and broad network of contacts in the education field;
  • Lead teams as they work through the technical and consultative aspects of evaluation work, including statistical analysis, research, and evaluation capacity-building, and ensure deliverables reflects Bellwether’s standards for rigor and quality;
  • Take on internal leadership roles, including supporting the professional growth of colleagues;
  • Advise colleagues as they design research studies developing solutions to policy and client challenges; and
  • Invest in cultural competence and equitable evaluation, pushing clients and colleagues to understand community context and key issues important to stakeholders, with a focus on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic issues that play an especially acute role in the education sector and consequently our work.

Qualifications

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. 

Excited? We are too. You should apply if:

  • You have a track record of cultivating strong client relationships that lead to repeat business;
  • You have a Ph.D. or extensive credentials or experience in the social sciences;
  • You have a strong familiarity with issues in the education sector;
  • You have at least five years’ professional experience in a leadership role in which you designed mixed-methods evaluation and research studies, including experimental and/or quasi-experimental studies and work that leveraged quantitative data analysis techniques like propensity-score matching, hierarchical linear modeling, or structural equation modeling;
  • You have well-rounded interpersonal and communication skills that enable you to build client relationships, work effectively in team environments, and contribute to the professional development of junior staff members;
  • You are able to travel for client and internal meetings; and
  • You possess the flexibility and maturity required to work in a growing organization.

Compensation

Bellwether Education Partners provides competitive compensation and an attractive benefits package that includes a performance bonus based on individual and firm success, health care coverage, and a 401(k) plan with an employer matching contribution policy.

Location

Flexible. Although we maintain an office in Washington, DC and shared working space in Los Angeles, CA, our flexible working style allows our professionals to work where they have built their lives, thereby enabling Bellwether to hire the best person for each role, regardless of geography.

To Apply

Applications or inquiries about the position should be directed to:

Allison Crean Davis, Partner

via careers@bellwethereducation.org.

We’ll review applications as we receive them and continue until the position is filled. Applications should consist of a letter of interest and a current résumé or curriculum vitae and should be submitted electronically.

Bellwether Education Partners is committed to providing equal opportunities. It is our policy to ensure that all individuals with whom we are in contact are not discriminated against on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, disability, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran’s status.

What to Include in Your Application Materials

Make sure to read the Qualifications section above, because it reflects our criteria for the position. Use your application (a letter of interest and a current résumé or curriculum vitae) to show us how you’ve got the skills we’ve listed, or why the skills you have are the ones we actually need.

Bellwether is committed to building a team that reflects the varied backgrounds and experiences of the students we seek to serve. It is important to us that you use your application materials to clearly surface ways in which your background and experiences are aligned with Bellwether’s core values (above), including our commitment to diversity and inclusion.