Job Openings

Rethinking Schools Executive Director


Rethinking Schools is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization that for 36 years has been dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public education through social justice teaching and education activism. Our magazine, books, and other resources promote equity and racial, gender, environmental, and sexual justice in the classroom and society. We encourage grassroots efforts in our schools and communities to enhance the learning and well-being of our children, and to build broad democratic movements for social and environmental justice.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, and in collaboration with the staff and editors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Rethinking Schools’ staff, programs, resource generation, and pursuit of its mission.


Organizational Leadership and Management:

  • Ensure ongoing mission-centric excellence in programs and operations.
  • Lead stakeholder engaged, democratic strategic planning and direction. Streamline and clarify decision-making and management of the organization.
  • Lead implementation of organizational priorities, and evaluate work against established goals. 
  • Supervise staff in a manner consistent with Rethinking Schools’ values of democracy, collaboration, and learning from each other. 
  • Support collective bargaining with Rethinking Schools’ staff who are represented by Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 4603.
  • Work closely with the Rethinking Schools editorial staff and board to develop strategic plans around Rethinking Schools’ educational resources, books, and magazine.
  • Support Rethinking Schools’ relationships with key supporters and partners. Communicate and move forward Rethinking Schools’ mission and vision with the education justice movement at large.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors, with an emphasis on developing capacity in governance, strategic analysis, program planning, and budgeting consistent with organizational bylaws.
  • Work with the staff, board, and editors to expand existing and develop new engagement tools with classroom teachers and the wider Rethinking Schools community. 
  • Represent Rethinking Schools to the broader public as needed.

Fundraising, business development, and financial management:

  • In coordination with the Director of Operations and Board of Directors, develop and steward RS’s budget and a strategic business plan.
  • Alongside the board, staff, and editors, develop, oversee, and execute fundraising strategies from individual donors and foundations.
  • Hold or oversee key relationships with largest donors and foundations.
  • Expand the financial viability of RS’s operational units through sound fiscal management.


The Executive Director will be thoroughly committed to Rethinking Schools’ mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, fundraising, and relationship management experience.

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and significant organizational leadership experience, as well as an understanding of, and commitment to, supporting public education. Other important characteristics we are looking for include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Unwavering commitment to social justice, and especially to racial, gender, economic, cultural, and environmental justice. 
  • Demonstrated experience working with communities that have faced forms of oppression, marginalization, dispossession, exploitation, and colonization. 
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and deliver measurable results toward organizational and programmatic goals.
  • Demonstrated success in personnel development, including experience hiring and supervising paid professional and volunteer staff. 
  • Demonstrated ability to raise money; experience with major donors and/or foundations and experience building new and innovative revenue streams.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with staff and board to set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a $1M budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in stakeholder engaged collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Strong interpersonal, problem solving, and communication skills. 
  • Flexibility to travel as needed, including regular visits to the national office and occasional additional out-of-town trips. 

Preferred but not required

  • Publishing or independent media experience 
  • Bilingual
  • Experience in educational settings in either a professional or activist capacity 

We recognize that women and people of color may be less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. We would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

RS is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The organization encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.


Remote. Rethinking Schools’ office is located in Milwaukee; people in all geographies are welcome to apply

Salary and Benefits

Salary: $85,000 – $100,000

Rethinking Schools offers competitive benefits including fully employer-paid medical, dental and vision plans, short and long-term disability and life insurance, and a Simplified Employee Pension program.  We also provide generous vacation, sick, holiday and other paid leave to employees.

How to Apply

Position open until filled. Please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to with “Executive Director Application” in your subject line. No phone calls please.