Senior Manager of External Affairs

  • New York, NY, USA
  • Full-time
  • Hiring Start Time: Immediate Start (Home Office)
  • HO Team: External Affairs

Company Description

Uncommon Schools is a nonprofit network of high-performing charter public schools that are closing the academic achievement gap and preparing students from historically underserved communities for success in college and beyond. Uncommon currently manages 55 schools serving more than 20,000 students in six cities: Boston, Camden, New York City, Newark, Rochester, and Troy. Uncommon graduates persist in and graduate from college at rates far higher than their peers. We believe that every child deserves an outstanding education, and we are committed to working beyond the walls of our schools to achieve that goal through our professional development workshops, books, and district partnerships. 

Job Description

Summary of Role

The Senior Manager of External Affairs (SMEA) is responsible for supporting Uncommon’s external affairs strategy, including building out the systems for a robust impact program and for an increasingly impactful federal and local advocacy! The SMEA is responsible for extending Uncommon’s reach beyond the students and communities we directly impact by sharing standard methodologies with educators and leaders so students that are not in Uncommon schools can still benefit from our state-of-the-art methods. The SMEA will also help build and run the systems so that we can effectively advocate for education reform and social justice by making the voice of our students and communities heard, as driving the creation of a strategy to support the entire portfolio across Uncommon’s six regions! The role manages one direct report and reports to the Senior Director of External Affairs.

Core Duties & Responsibilities

Strategy Development (30%)

  • Lead the development of strategy and operations for the cross-regional portfolio
  • Lead the annual planning and budget development process for the team
  • Operationalize the vision for new programming and impact strategy development

Impact and Best Practices Sharing (30%)

  • Improve Uncommon’s impact on the education sector through sharing our methods with teachers and education leaders in the districts where we operate schools
  • Build partnerships with national and local educational organizations and leaders
  • Manage one direct report on crafting and executing on the best way to share our standard methodologies
  • Lead Uncommon Sense - Uncommon’s blog including leading the strategy, sourcing content, writing, editing, and analyzing impact
  • Orchestrate the strategy to improve the impact of Uncommon’s literature with external partners and audiences
  • Build, in partnership with our internal legal team, a system of record for current and future IP crafted by Uncommon
  • Craft and lead the impact professional development calendar

Advocacy Strategy & Systems Building (20%)

  • Lead the Get Out the Vote effort both internally (staff) and externally (families and communities)
  • Implement and run CRM tool to improve our advocacy efforts
  • Lead Annual Planning for the team
  • Manage the team budget including revenue and contracts related to external PD

Special projects (10%)

  • Serve as the project manager and executer for external audience engagement work, such as: helping to build an online portal for families to get up-to-date information for COVID, writing and editing family newsletters, building a family council strategy, as well as other projects yet to be determined

Federal advocacy (10%)

  • Develop, refine, and execute on several recurring events throughout the year
  • Maintain relationships with national advocacy organizations and partners
  • Lead annual CMO Hill Day efforts


Required Skills & Abilities

  • Experience managing at least staff member
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills (both verbal and written)
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Strong prioritization skills
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to quickly pivot when needed

Preferred Skills & Abilities

  • Microsoft Excel/PowerPoint-- ability to present basic summary data in a polished and organized presentation
  • Experience implementing and handling a CRM (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.) preferred
  • An understanding of how schools work internally
  • Able to identify challenges before they become problems
  • Able to simplify content to the core of its meaning
  • Takes ownership and responsibility
  • Identifies connections and opportunities for collaboration between and within teams

Educational Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s Degree preferred

Experience Requirements

  • 6+ years professional work experience required
  • Experience working in a school system, preferably as a teacher or school leader (e.g. Principal, Dean)

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer

Travel Requirements

  • Up to 1 day per month between NYC, Rochester, Camden, Newark, and Boston

Additional Information

Uncommon Schools offers salaries commensurate with experience and a very generous benefits and vacation package. All staff members receive extensive professional development, and are equipped with a laptop computer and all necessary supplies.

Uncommon believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for meaningful dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

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