Executive Director, Education Law Center of Pennsylvania

Posted by Education Law Center of Pennsylvania on December 15, 2014

The Board of Directors of the Education Law Center-PA (ELC) seeks a new Executive Director who will be charged with promoting the mission, vision, and values of ELC and leading the organization toward fuller self-sustainability.


Established in 1975, the Education Law Center-PA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) legal advocacy organization with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. ELC’s mission is to ensure that all of Pennsylvania’s children, including poor children, children with disabilities, English language learners, children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, children experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable students have equal access to quality public schools. ELC pursues this mission through a strategic combination of legal representation, public policy advocacy, media work, community education and engagement, and working in coalitions with a wide variety of partners.

Based on a strategic plan adopted in 2013, ELC’s three priorities areas are: (1) Fighting for Fair Funding, which includes advocating for adequate and equitable state funding and defending against attacks on public education; (2) Ensuring Equal Access, which includes advocating for access to school and needed services on behalf of children with disabilities, children in the foster care system, children experiencing homelessness, children of color, and English language learners; and (3) Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline, which includes ending exclusionary discipline policies that push at-risk kids out of school and, often, into the school-to-prison pipeline. A copy of our Strategic Plan can be found at http://www.elc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ELC_StrategicPlan_2014_17.pdf.

ELC works with a network of parents, advocates, and a wide range of community and other organizations to accomplish its mission. ELC has an operating budget of approximately $1.5 million, nearly 80% of which is funded through local, state and national grants and foundations. The additional 20% of funding comes through individual gifts, program income, attorney’s fees, training honoraria, and quasi-governmental funders.


Working with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director manages a public interest law firm with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and a staff of sixteen that currently includes eight attorneys, an Associate Director, a Communication Director/Policy Analyst, development staff, a Managing Director in the Pittsburgh office, and program assistants. The Executive Director serves as the organization’s chief executive officer and public spokesperson with responsibility for program development, strategic planning and implementation, fund development, financial management, external relations, Board relations, and operational oversight of the entire organization.

In collaboration with the Board and senior management, the next Executive Director must be able to provide leadership and direction to the organization that will ensure both its ongoing commitment to the mission and its continued financial viability in the context of a changing and challenging funding environment.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Providing comprehensive leadership of a public interest legal advocacy organization, overseeing the formulation and execution of legal and other strategies, ensuring the delivery of high quality legal services, and working collaboratively with the staff. The Executive Director will have or quickly develop and maintain expertise in education law and policy and developing trends in these fields.
  • Serving as a key spokesperson for ELC to the public and its partners to promote its mission and to advocate on behalf of the organization.
  • Taking responsibility for the financial well-being of ELC, managing and building its revenue stream, and controlling expenses. The Executive Director will initiate fundraising projects and events and offer proactive and creative leadership to increase and expand the organization’s funding base. The Executive Director approves the annual budget for submission to the Board.
  • Developing strong working relationships, striving to achieve consensus among the Board and staff, and building state-wide partnerships and coalitions that foster commitment and collaboration and further ELC’s mission and policy priorities.
  • Executing policy directives and commitments while maintaining open communications with the Board and ensuring Board members remain abreast of pertinent activities. S/he will keep the Board fully informed of the conditions and operations of ELC, as well as assist in the review and development of organizational policies, programs, procedures, and plans for future development.
  • Rendering day-to-day management of the organization in a collaborative manner with ELC’s highly qualified staff to ensure achievement of ELC’s mission and priorities. The Executive Director will be responsible for retaining, recruiting, and maintaining a highly qualified staff, with the authority to hire, promote, and terminate. S/he will set the pace and tone for the organization, inspiring superior performance by employees through personal leadership.
  • Demonstrating leadership, values, and integrity by exemplifying and fostering a culture that promotes ethical practices and demands individual integrity.


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