Director of Innovative Schools and Tools

Palo Alto, CA
Education Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is dedicated to advancing human potential and promoting equality. In December 2015, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with the mission to invest in personalized learning, curing disease and building strong communities. You will be a critical partner in this mission.

Learning is a fundamentally human endeavor driven by formal and informal exchanges between teachers (professionals and others) and students through shared experiences and environments. Working in partnership with the education leadership team and the President of the Education Initiative, you will lead efforts to identify, develop, evaluate, and scale new practices, models and tools that better define and dramatically improve essential learning and teaching outcomes in the US and at a global scale.  To achieve our aspirations, we seek to solve the now proverbial “Two-Sigma Problem” producing outcomes as good or better than those achieved by one-to-one tutors.  Specifically, you will lead grant-making to understand and overcome challenges to producing breakthrough innovations (solutions dramatically better than the status quo that ultimately achieve scale) in this domain and answer critical path questions about learning, teaching, and scaling impacts.  You will be a part of a grant making team and set of close external partners which work across the spectrum - from catalyzing new ideas and solutions to achieving exponential growth of those with promising and proven evidence.  While you will focus on models, practices, and tools, you will partner closely with colleagues whose work  - on human capital development and comprehensive student development - will by definition overlap and at times be integrated.  This role also will work closely with our venture team to understand the entire ecosystem of providers, share expertise, and ensure our nonprofits and for-profit investments are coordinated for maximum impact.

This role is for a seasoned professional with proven skill and understanding of personalized learning, technology and research . The ideal candidate will operate in an intelligent, flexible, creative, patient, and principled way, and will have the ability to connect with a broad range of partners at all levels.  


    • Listen to and understand the perspectives of our intended beneficiaries
    • Craft and implement creative grant-making strategies to identify, develop, evaluate, and scale models, practices, and tools that utilize personalized learning approaches to produce dramatic improvements in learning, development, and teaching
    • Work as a part of the Education Initiative team to develop and implement comprehensive approaches - at the intersection of people, tools, systems, policies, and communities - to catalyze transformative personalized learning experiences for all children
    • Know and understand the personalized learning ecosystem and its role in producing transformative learning experiences for all learners; and advance the team and the field’s thinking through shared learning
    • Lead a grant making team and directly manage a portfolio of grants that utilizes broad range of tools – grants, convenings, research, etc – to accomplish its goals
    • Coordinate efforts with the Education Initiative team to identify partners and strategies to meet needs of diverse learners
    • Establish high quality partnerships with aligned stakeholders to advance the field
    • Work closely with colleagues to share learnings and coordinate efforts where possible
    • Represent the Education Initiative in a range of formal and informal settings/convenings


    • 10+ years of professional experience in education or related fields
    • Proven ability to think outside the box to spur creative and nontraditional solutions
    • Proven ability to navigate complex organizations and processes to deliver results
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to engage internal and external stakeholders, at all levels
    • Strong communication skills including excellent writing, editing and presentation skills
    • Ability to manage and complete complex projects by navigating multiple work streams and achieving specified outcomes
    • Prior experience inside schools, districts or CMOs
    • Prior experience working with technology in education a plus
    • Demonstrated comfort with ambiguity, flexibility and resilience, as well as ability to thrive in a fluid and fast-paced environment
    • Experience working with diverse population including those with greatest needs strongly preferred
    • The ideal candidate will also have prior experience making grants
    • Willingness to travel (up to 33%)
    • WIllingness to relocate to California

About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was launched by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and founder of the Primary School. CZI seeks to advance human potential and promote equity. Initially, focus areas will include personalized learning, curing disease, and building strong communities. We will make long-term investments over 25, 50 or even 100 years because our greatest challenges require time to solve. To learn more, visit our Facebook page.