Mission Staff Council Careers
  • » Executive Director

Executive Director


California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit project aimed at bolstering the state’s education-to-employment pipeline to allow more Californians to access economic and social mobility. A fiscally-sponsored project of Community Partners, we seek to develop and implement policy recommendations to equip more Californians with the skills necessary to advance in the workplace and build thriving communities.

Our long-term goal is to promote greater access and completion of post-secondary degrees and certificates to meet future labor market demand. We aim to build stronger alignment across sectors so more Californians can complete degrees, secure better-paying jobs, support their families, foster vibrant regions, and fuel the state’s economy.

We pursue our goal by conducting timely research, developing policy options and priorities, and spotlighting promising practices that equip Californians with the credentials and skills necessary to meet demand for a more educated and skilled workforce. We partner with business groups and major membership associations to elevate a statewide public agenda that puts a primacy on innovation in higher education and workforce training. We want to foster a deeper understanding among business and higher education leaders on the changing needs of the state and its regional economies. We encourage partnerships that meet the needs of employers for qualified workers, and create opportunities for high paying jobs for people who live in underserved communities. If we succeed, California will enjoy a thriving economy with social and economic benefits for everyone.

Our current policy priorities are:

• Advocate for stronger coordination across higher education systems

• Champion a statewide longitudinal education data system

• Expand higher education opportunities for adults with some college, but no degree

California Competes’ work is led by an Executive Director and guided by an esteemed council of business and civic leaders. Read more about our policy priorities, staff, and Leadership Council at www.californiacompetes.org.


Reporting to California Competes’ Leadership Council, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for California Competes staff, programs, and execution of its mission.

Overarching Strategic Priorities

• Make recommendations to the Council on strategic and organizational priorities to accomplish California Competes’ long-term goal

• During the first year, develop an action plan to move California Competes’ existing priorities forward

• Secure and stabilize funding for long term sustainability

• Actively engage with California Competes (CC) Council members, partner organizations, and funders to collaborate and create coalitions in support of CC’s strategies.

• Manage high performing staff to accomplish the goals and implement strategies


• Represent California Competes and its priorities to the field. Use external presence and relationships to identify new opportunities for achieving, refining, and pursuing organizational goals

• Cultivate and foster relationships with business, policy makers, educators, and other advocates for proposals to meet future demands for an educated workforce

• Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence and fundraising, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration

• Ensure effective systems to track progress so that success can be effectively communicated to the Council, funders, and other constituencies

• Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to coalition- building and external relations, with the goal of advancing policy priorities

• Lead, coach, develop, and retain California Competes’ high-performance team of staff and consultants

Qualifications and Attributes

• A strategic big picture thinker who can translate a vision into actionable plans

• A persuasive and passionate communicator with outstanding verbal, written, and interpersonal skills

• Passion for the mission

• Demonstrated success in developing and achieving goals

• Track record of community engagement that furthered organizational goals

• Ability to identify and comprehend large state challenges and propose practical policy options to address them

• Demonstrated knowledge of California public policy

• An appreciation of the role of analytics and research in policy development

• Experience working with a board, advisory council, or in committees, including the ability to cultivate member relationships and forge solutions in group settings

• Ability to coach, manage and develop staff

• Experience working with funders desirable

• Advanced degree preferred


• Salary commensurate with experience

• Benefit package including medical, dental and vision coverage

Application Process

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter specific to this position to calcompetesED@ddavidson.com with calcompetesED in the subject line. Or, call for more information at 415-563-1152. All communication is confidential.

California Competes, a project of Community Partners, is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Apply Now