Seeking: Chief of Staff

Highlander Institute is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. Our vision is an equitable, just education system that meets the needs of all students as it prepares them for success in our complex, rapidly changing world. Highlander Institute supports classrooms, schools, district leaders, and state education agencies in reimagining how students learn, how learning is measured, and what skills and competencies are essential for success both in college and beyond.

Committed to equity and inclusiveness in education, Highlander Institute strives to support all schools in personalized learning programs that are student-centered and culturally responsive. As we continue to grow, we are committed to hiring a staff that reflects the diverse population we serve. We are looking for talented people to join us as we work to remodel our education system. If you are passionate about empowering students and leveling the playing field for all learners, we want you on our team!

The Chief of Staff is a new role for the Institute, focused on the internal workings and culture of the growing organization while providing needed deputized leadership in the absence of the Executive Director and Chief Education Officer.  The Chief of Staff acts as a an advisor to the leadership team and as a sounding board for ideas, while focusing on operations, logistics, and community-building. The Chief of Staff will be tasked with leading and managing team strength, capacity and culture, acting as a first line of defense for all staff, mitigating disputes, shining a light on performance, and connecting staff to the supports they need.

Other major components of the position include:

  • the ability to liaise with partners, schools and districts, forge new relationships and maintain long term partnerships, identify current needs,
  • develop customized supports, resolve barriers to implementation, and grow educator, school and district pipeline for future engagements;
  • onboarding  all new staff;
  • managing the Executive Assistant and all office management/operations;
  • supervising the performance review process and support plan for all staff, including coordination of internal training needs and supports in conjunction with others;
  • de-facto substitute for many projects- ability to ‘lean in’ everywhere.

Highly qualified candidates will demonstrate an understanding of:

  • Project management
  • Internal operations
  • Talent management
  • Diverse needs, perspectives, and experiences within K-12 education

Non-Technical Skills and Behavior:

  • Empathic listener, ability to connect with all staff members
  • Performs duties professionally, thoroughly, in a timely manner, and with a respectful, friendly demeanor in both external and internal relationships.
  • Handles routine challenges with diverse team with calm and good humor.
  • Ability to be flexible and able to adapt to a high-energy, fluid environment
  • Growth mindset-oriented professional belief system
  • Exercises sound judgment and requests assistance when needed
  • Manages time effectively and follows through on assigned tasks accurately
  • Maintains professional demeanor regardless of internal or external concerns
  • Commitment to equity and social justice through education

Preferred Education, Skills, and Experience:

  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Clear and confident presentation and facilitation skills
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Project management experience

$77,000- $90,000 based on experience

To apply, please send resume and cover letter to Dana Borrelli-Murray, Executive Director at