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Director of Strategic Initiatives

About the Cristo Rey Network®

The Cristo Rey Network is the only network of high schools in the country that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through the Corporate Work Study Program. Composed of 39 Catholic, college preparatory schools that today serve 12,500 students across the country and collectively claims over 25,000 graduates, the Cristo Rey Network delivers a powerful and innovative approach to education that equips students from families of limited economic means with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives.

Who We Are:

  • Values-Driven: We educate the whole student: academically, spiritually, and socio-emotionally.
  • Growth Opportunities: We prioritize our faculty and staff’s learning and growth.
  • Invested Students and Engaged Families: Our students’ families seek out our schools.
  • National Community: Our faculty and staff are a proud part of a national movement.
Learn more about the Cristo Rey movement, and what we value.

Position Description

The Director of Strategic Initiatives is a leadership position that serves as a key advisor to the CEO and the national leadership team. This role is responsible for managing and coordinating various strategic initiatives, facilitating communication across the organization, and overseeing special projects critical to the organization's success. The Director of Strategic Initiatives helps ensure effective execution of the Cristo Rey Network’s vision and priorities identified by the President/CEO.  

What You’ll Do

Team Strategy and Effectiveness
  • Oversee project planning and project management for cross-disciplinary and/or significant strategic initiatives
  • Develop structures and processes for cross-team collaboration (e.g. integration of Leading & Learning with CWSP, or School Growth with subject matter teams), including establishing systems for collaboration, setting goals and mutual accountability metrics, and planning for cross-cutting projects
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organize annual planning efforts for national office staff teams
  • Manage regular evaluation of team goals for annual and multi-year strategic planning
Data Reporting
  • Set calendar, norms, and strategy for our routine evaluation and data reporting
  • Oversee data work for the national office:
  • Collect and report all routine Network data, including the ADR, regular “data dives”, and other scheduled reporting
  • Conduct large scale analytical projects using Network data
  • Support national office staff in incorporating effective data practices into professional development offerings
  • Provide support and resources to schools for data use and evaluation
  • Professional Development and Events
  • Develop shared practices, meeting norms, and processes that apply to high quality professional development.
  • Manage Events Program Manager to:
  • Support all teams in the logistics of virtual and in-person professional development events
  • Facilitate team planning for the Annual Meeting
  • Leverage shared processes for program evaluation for all professional development
  • Maintain and implement meeting practices (e.g. virtual meeting security settings, inclusion of meeting norms)
Mission Effectiveness Standards, Reviews and Action Plans
  • Facilitate process for changing any Mission Effectiveness Standards as requested by the Presidents
  • Ensure all national office staff are familiar with key elements of the Standards, and that relevant Standards training is included in cohort-specific PD as needed
  • Manage program requirements for Mission Effectiveness Reviews, evaluating and revising our process as needed
  • Conduct all orientation for visiting teams and leadership teams
  • Develop teams for Mission Effectiveness Reviews with support of Events Program Manager
  • Facilitate and organize Action Plan process in collaboration with national office leadership team members 
Manage Events Program Manager to:
  • Ensure all Mission Effectiveness Review logistics are set on schedule
  • Schedule all visiting team members and school leadership teams for required orientations and pre-meetings
  • Schedule and maintain schedule for action plan calls as needed

Who You Are

  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s degrees preferred. 
  • Demonstrated experience and exceptional results as a leader
  • Philosophical alignment with the Cristo Rey mission and a desire to transform the lives of urban, low-income youth across America
  • Exceptional organizational skills and high attention to detail
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, rapidly growing entrepreneurial organization where team collaboration, collegiality, a strong work ethic and a willingness to grow and learn are performance expectations
  • Ability to travel to Cristo Rey Network schools and Cristo Rey Network meetings as needed
Job Location
This position is based in the Cristo Rey Network national office in downtown Chicago, IL.
How to Apply: All applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Brendan Bedell, Chief of Talent Acquisition at Rey Network is an equal opportunity organization and does not discriminate in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, color, national origin or ancestry, sex, age, disability, marital status, or any other classification protected by applicable law.

In More than a Dream, G.R. Kearney tells the inspirational story of the start up of our flagship school and its pivotal impact on four students.