Chief Executive Officer
Jumpstart advances equitable outcomes for young children in underserved communities by transforming early care and education through a multipronged, comprehensive approach. We work relentlessly to improve the lives of children, delivering impactful programming, cultivating and supporting early educators, and advocating for a system in which all children and educators can thrive. – Jumpstart Mission Statement
Reporting to the National Board of Directors, the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jumpstart will embrace the organization’s mission of ensuring that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed and set a bold course for their future. At a time in the country when the educational and economic gaps are widening, Jumpstart’s impact—both in preparing its young readers and in focusing on workforce development— could not be more critical. The next CEO, in partnership with the Board and the leadership team, will work with focus and urgency to expand the organization’s impact and raise its national profile through its programming and advocacy. With a keen focus on the vision and mission, the CEO will establish a strategy, prioritize goals and facilitate collaboration, innovation and decision-making to propel Jumpstart into its next chapter.
The next leader will bring a deep understanding of today’s dynamic education landscape and respond with agility and creativity as the ecosystem evolves. They will bring a spirit of innovation in exploring how technology, new approaches and partnerships may amplify impact. They will connect Jumpstart’s mission with broader influence through policy and advocacy, expanding the organization’s commitment to direct service in early childhood education and workforce development within higher education. They will bring a nuanced understanding of social justice and racial equity issues, applying a systems‐level perspective on how to leverage Jumpstart’s unique positioning in the field to drive lasting change for children and the young adults serving them.
The CEO will be a courageous leader of the Jumpstart team both internally and externally. They will place a high priority on the retention, development, motivation and expansion of a high-performing staff and will guide and leverage the organizational culture and core values of learning, joy, social justice, inclusive leadership and community. Externally, the CEO will serve as Jumpstart’s primary ambassador, raising the national profile of the organization, forging new partnerships and growing its revenue base. They will be a skilled communicator with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders effectively, clearly, and warmly.
Jumpstart is headquartered in Boston but location for the incoming CEO is flexible.
- Reports to:
- National Board of Directors
- Direct reports:
- President and Chief Operating Officer
- Chief Development and Marketing Officer
- Chief People Officer
- Vice President of Policy and Government Relations
- Other key relationships:
- Partner preschools, colleges, and universities
- Partner organizations and coalitions
- Local Advisory Boards
- Corporate sponsors and philanthropic partners
- In collaboration with the Board of Directors and the Jumpstart team, refine future direction and strategic focus with clear vision, priorities, plans and actions for organizational impact.
- Effectively serve as Jumpstart’s external spokesperson and relationship builder, establishing Jumpstart as an integral, nationally recognized leader in the early childhood education and workforce development spaces.
- Build on the organization’s sound financial base, fundraising across a wide array of stakeholders and partners, maintaining existing and developing new philanthropic alliances.
- Lead Jumpstart’s continued journey for improvement and pursue meaningful and lasting efforts to integrate the work of social justice into Jumpstart’s programming, operations and practices, thereby pursuing diversity, equity and inclusion within and beyond the organization.
- Oversee the organization’s infrastructure, staffing, processes and culture, ensuring that its financial, human, intellectual and fiduciary capital are deployed to their highest and best use.
- Attract, recruit, develop and retain a highly committed and qualified staff, driving high levels of employee engagement and teamwork, thereby promoting transparency, trust and accountability within the organization.
- Broaden the organization’s reach and presence by way of engagement in policy and advocacy around key issues within early childhood education and workforce development including pay conditions, retention and curriculum.
- Foster innovation and openness to trying new approaches.
Leadership experience within, and personal commitment to, organizations aligned with Jumpstart’s mission and core values. Deep understanding of, and/or appreciation for, historical and current educational and workforce development landscape and the inequities within these systems, and experience navigating their rapidly changing contexts.
Inspiring and Enterprising Leader
A track record of innovative and entrepreneurial leadership within dynamic and evolving organizations. Experience building and leading high performing teams while successfully driving results and growth.
Proven Impact on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Demonstrated experience in leading equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives in a multicultural environment and a track record of impact on organizational culture, systems, practices and strategies which drive measurable progress on the dimensions of access, equity, belonging and outcomes.
Extensive management experience with strong financial and organizational acumen. An effective communicator and connector with a track record demonstrating decisiveness, inclusiveness, collaboration, transparency, effective risk mitigation and a focus on solutions.
Development and Revenue Generation
A proven and eager relationship builder with significant fundraising experience and success. A creative and ambitious advocate for philanthropic support, with a track record of representing an organization to a wide range of audiences in ways that inspire confidence, engagement and partnerships.
Public Influence and Impact
A history of serving as a credible and compelling idea generator and communicator for a range of internal and external stakeholders.
Critical Leadership Capabilities
In a rapidly changing educational ecosystem, the Jumpstart CEO will be responsible for courageously leading the organization during a critical moment in the field’s history, ensuring the organization fulfills its mission to the greatest extent possible by:
- Working with the Board to assess and implement the organization’s strategic plan, driving its successful execution with clear priorities and direction for the team.
- Defining the evolving future of early childhood education and workforce development, and the potential roles the organization may play in catalyzing inclusive and innovative approaches.
- Setting a clear racial equity agenda and keeping the team accountable to achieve progress in this area as Jumpstart fulfills its social justice mission.
- Challenging assumptions and conventional wisdom with specific, data-driven and well-reasoned proposals, exhibiting clear vision and the ability to deliver on a focused mission with measurable outcomes.
- Maintaining an awareness of the challenges and opportunities facing the organization, and working with the Board and staff to adjust the organization’s actions and approaches accordingly.
- Employing a forward-thinking business mindset which looks beyond the current strategy and leverages technology in Jumpstart’s next chapter.
Organizational Capacity Building
In this highly visible role, the CEO will advance Jumpstart’s mission and advance the organization’s objectives by:
- Actively engaging and developing trust with the Board, staff and external constituencies.
- Articulating Jumpstart’s mission and value proposition effectively while serving as an authentic, compelling and credible spokesperson.
- Developing collaborative, ongoing partnerships with other national and local organizations, enhancing the scope and impact of Jumpstart’s mission.
- Cultivating and building donor relationships, directly influencing sponsorship, and inspiring enthusiastic support for the organization.
- Seeking new challenges and innovative, transformational opportunities which increase Jumpstart’s national impact and reach.
The CEO will successfully harness the passion and commitment of the staff by serving as a unifier, team builder and motivator. This includes:
- Developing an organizational infrastructure which provides support for team members, creating clear decision-making processes and reinforcing transparent and open communication.
- Engaging, inspiring and empowering a diverse, motivated and high-performing team.
- Manifesting a commitment to social justice, working in deep partnership with the staff and Board on this objective.
- Demonstrating versatility while working in multi-generational settings.
- Partnering with staff and creating a safe space as they think proactively and boldly about the future.
- Holding the organization accountable for its commitments, providing clarity, fairness and constructive feedback, and bringing out each team member’s personal best while modeling passion for the organization’s mission.
Critical Leadership Capabilities
- Sound judgment and unquestionable integrity.
- Empathy and high emotional intelligence.
- A sense of humor and joyful disposition.
The Search Process
To express interest or to nominate a potential candidate for the Jumpstart CEO position, please email JumpstartCEO@spencerstuart.com
Jumpstart leverages a multipronged approach to improve economic outcomes in underserved communities by building a more equitable early care and education ecosystem. The organization’s purpose is fueled by the belief that the most effective way to unlock the potential of every child and improve economic outcomes in underserved communities is to ensure that high-quality early education, taught by qualified and effective educators, is available to all. Jumpstart is powered by educators, changemakers, and thought leaders who honor the voices of the communities served. Through these relationships with higher education institutions, partner organizations such as AmeriCorps, community organizations, Head Start programs, school districts, elected officials, and others, Jumpstart is tirelessly creating and advocating for comprehensive solutions that allow children from underserved communities to enter kindergarten prepared to thrive.
Using a research-based curriculum designed to build children’s language, literacy, and social-emotional skills, Jumpstart’s program provides individualized support to children and helps college students and aspiring educators build professional skills and qualifications. The organization does this while operating within an inequitable system that must change, which is why the organizations advocates for policies on a local and national level that benefit young children and the early care and education workforce.
Since its inception in 1993, the organization has trained over 62,500 college students and community volunteers to work with over 157,900 preschool children in under-resourced communities. Jumpstart’s curriculum is currently implemented in 14 states across the country and in Washington, D.C. In addition to bringing their proven curriculum to preschoolers across the country, the organization is dedicated to strengthening the communities it serves and providing resources for families to use outside of the classroom.
Jumpstart is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with a 2022 total operating revenue of approximately $28.5 million. The organization’s 175 staff members (125 full time and 50 affiliate site staff) are based in the national office and six additional regional sites in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. 3,158 corps members deliver the Jumpstart curriculum in 596 classrooms alongside 69 university and 341 preschool partners.
Jumpstart’s Definitions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Jumpstart envisions a day when every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. At the heart of this vision is a belief in educational equity and a commitment to valuing the dignity of every person. We recognize that in order to accomplish our mission, we must address systemic injustices, especially racial, ethnic and socio-economic, that contribute to substantial opportunity gaps for children of color and children from underserved communities. The opportunity to create a more inclusive and equitable environment by embracing and mirroring from within our organization the vibrant diversity in the communities we serve will enhance our collective experience and increase our ability to deliver on our mission.
We believe that our organization should reflect the values and principles inherent in our vision and mission, and that we should be a model of opportunity and equity. We aim to build and nurture a diverse and inclusive organization; we are committed to creating an environment that nurtures unique perspectives, facilitates authentic dialogue, and honors the identities of its community members to enhance our ability to close the kindergarten readiness gap.
Just as we seek educational equity for the children served by Jumpstart, so, too, do we aim to ensure equally high outcomes for all Jumpstart employees, removing the predictability of success or failure that currently correlate with any social or cultural factor. Our systems, structures, and supports must ensure that career advancement is equally accessible for all, and accountability is implemented fairly. Both inside and outside of our organization, we commit to interrupting inequitable practices, especially racism, and to removing barriers that prevent us from achieving our mission, including addressing actions not aligned with our expectations around diversity and inclusion.
We value the differences represented by all Jumpstart staff members that continually shape, inform, and inspire our work across the country to unleash the potential of every child. The wide range of identities embodied in the Jumpstart family, including race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identities, ability, beliefs, and professional and general life experiences are essential to our collective success. Our effectiveness in achieving our mission depends on our ability to recruit, support, and sustain a network of staff, volunteers, board members, and allies that truly represent the uniqueness and complexities of the communities and world in which we live and work.
At Jumpstart we thrive as an organization because all people are valued, respected, and supported. We embrace a culture where we actively seek to learn about each other, expect open-mindedness and vulnerability, promote constructive conflict, value new perspectives, recognize and eliminate exclusion, and avoid assumptions or judgmental attitudes. We expect a workplace where our defining experiences, identities, and perspectives are voiced with authenticity; where rich, informing, and constructive dialogue is the norm; a place where our daily experiences are enriched and our work is improved because of what we give and gain from one another. We recognize and celebrate the diversity among us; we work to increase awareness of our unconscious biases; and we strive to build authentic relationships in order to share and learn from our unique perspectives.
Jumpstart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, pregnancy, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities.
For more information, please visit https://www.jstart.org/