Chief External Relations Officer

New Leaders | New York, New York

Job Summary

New Leaders

Chief External Relations Officer

Location flexible, with a preference for New York, New York

New Leaders transforms underperforming schools by developing outstanding leaders at every level of the education system—from teacher leaders to principals and their supervisors.

New Leaders works hand in hand with state, district, and charter partners, delivering leadership solutions that build on their strengths and address their most-pressing priorities. Evidence-based programming cultivates diverse, equity-driven leaders equipped with the skills to elevate instruction, enhance learning, and build vibrant, inclusive school communities. To encourage widespread adoption of effective, sustainable leadership practices, New Leaders also advocates for federal and state policies that support the work of school leaders everywhere.

In 2001, New Leaders launched its flagship Aspiring Principals program with a small cohort of 14 participants. Since then, New Leaders has trained 3,900 education leaders who annually reach nearly half a million young people, mostly students of color and children from low-income families, delivering breakthrough academic results and building brighter futures for high-need urban and rural communities nationwide.

Under the visionary leadership of Chief Executive Officer Jean Desravines, New Leaders has expanded both its reach and impact, growing from six to approximately 30 sites and named by the RAND Corporation as the principal preparation program with the strongest evidence of positive impact. New Leaders is in a strong financial position, having diversified its funding sources, with revenues evenly distributed among national funders, regional funders, and earned revenue from programmatic offerings. In order to further capitalize on opportunities to increase the organization’s scale and impact, the organization plans to grow revenue up to 10 percent annually through a combination of increased philanthropic, government grant, and earned revenue.

New Leaders seeks candidates for the newly expanded position of Chief External Relations Officer (CERO). The CERO reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for developing and executing a national and regional strategy to grow private funding through multiple revenue streams (e.g., individuals, corporations, foundations, online, etc.) to the level of $20 million to $25 million annually, while also collaborating with the Chief Financial and Growth Officer and Chief Program Officer to grow earned income. The CERO oversees enterprise-wide marketing and communications to promote the New Leaders brand, awareness of its programs and impact, financial support at national and regional levels, fee-for-service sales and client satisfaction, and advocacy. The CERO develops the vision and strategy for expanding the organization’s overall profile and visibility and serves on the Executive Team, contributing to organizational strategy and operations.


The CERO oversees a team currently comprising approximately eight individuals, including the Executive Director of National Development and the Executive Director of External Relations, the latter of which manages regionally focused fundraising initiatives. The CERO is also charged with hiring an additional direct report to manage marketing and communications, expanding the External Relations Team’s functional capacity therein and complementing its existing partnership with a communications consulting firm. The CERO will be empowered to optimize the functional alignment and/or organizational structure of the External Relations Team in consultation with the CEO. External Relations Team members work remotely in locations nationwide.


Required qualifications and experience:

  • Commitment to New Leaders’ mission and vision, and a belief that every student, in every circumstance, can achieve the highest levels of academic excellence.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum of 14 years of relevant experience, with extensive experience leading a comprehensive development program including, but not limited to, major gifts philanthropy, individual giving, and corporate and foundation relations. Preference for experience working in an organization with a related mission, though other backgrounds will be considered.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide strategic and operational management, with at least seven years of senior-level management experience, including creating and managing a budget. A track record of increasing the effectiveness of an external relations or development program and staff through established objectives and performance standards. Experience managing remote staff in a virtual environment is a plus.
  • Strength in developing the case for support and strategic, complex, and innovative fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to strategically move individuals and institutions across the spectrum of prospect development. A history of securing six and seven-figure gifts or more, including cultivation through solicitation and stewardship, as well as experience working with annual giving strategies for grooming the next generation of annual leadership and major gift donors.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing strategic marketing and communications to achieve goals. A functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various marketing and communication channels and platforms to support initiatives.
  • Experience identifying, inspiring, nurturing, and motivating board members and other volunteer leaders, and a sophisticated understanding of their role in building an effective philanthropic network.
  • Skilled at contributing to enterprise-level board and management-level conversations about the direction of the organization while also able to think tactically, creating and executing systems and processes to reach results.
  • Highly developed skills in organizational efficiency and project leadership, including demonstrated accomplishments while working with cross-functional teams. Skill at goal setting and measuring success, and agility in developing alternate program directions to meet goals when necessary.
  • Ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about prospect/constituency engagement strategy and process.
  • Ability to travel at least 30 percent of working time.

How to Apply

New Leaders has retained Diversified Search to assist in this confidential search process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to:


Gerard F. Cattie, Jr.

Managing Director

Practice Leader – Development & Philanthropy

Diversified Search

The Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, 49th Floor, New York, NY 10174 | 212.542.2587

New Leaders


Organization: Nonprofit Organizations