Director of Community Engagement, Research for Action

Posted by Research for Action on January 26, 2021

Research for Action (RFA) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit seeks to use research as the basis for the improvement of educational opportunities and outcomes for traditionally underserved students. Our work is designed to strengthen public schools and postsecondary institutions; provide research-based recommendations to policymakers, practitioners, and the public at the local, state and national levels; and enrich the civic and community dialogue about public education. Summary RFA seeks a highly motivated and innovative professional to fill the newly created position of Director of Community Engagement. It’s an exciting time to join RFA and the Director of Community Engagement will play a crucial role in deepening RFA’s relationships with our local partners, stakeholders and community at large. This position is a leadership role within the organization and will require strong communication and collaboration skills to create and execute a vision to bridge research practice and stakeholder engagement.

Key Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership, strategic planning, and visioning for RFA to expand community engagement with education research.
  • Disseminate information about RFA’s mission, research, and impact to community members and other key stakeholders.
  • Serve as an ambassador and primary point of contact for community outreach and engagement.
  • Engage in programmatic design, facilitation, and support on key research initiatives in order to apply the findings to key challenges of policy and practice.
  • Represent RFA and its research via speaking engagements, conference attendance, media interaction, and while connecting with communities.
  • Seek out activities/opportunities to continually strengthen expertise in bridging research practice and stakeholder engagement.
  • Coordinate a community advisory panel, or other formalized approach for input, that represents diverse and important voices and perspectives in the education landscape.
  • Continually engage in strategic thinking – with colleagues, across teams, and with senior management – that helps advance the mission and work of the organization.
  • Stay abreast of RFA research projects as well as related external research and initiatives relevant to public education locally, statewide, and nationally.
  • Participate in meetings to help RFA researchers consider the implications of their work for community stakeholders and plan effective external communication strategies. 2
  • Lead/Co-lead projects with a focus on community engagement: design and implement scopes of work, oversee team activities, and manage budgets.
  • Collaborate with research and project directors to review project work plans related to community engagement.
  • Contribute to development efforts to secure funding for this position and related research projects.
  • Engage with colleagues and senior management to assess and communicate organizational strengths, opportunities, and challenges; proactively propose possible solutions or strategies that will advance the mission and work of the organization.

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