Retained Search: Executive Director

November 7th, 2018 | Posted by strategiccc in Uncategorized

SCC is pleased to conduct a candidate search for the position of Executive Director, for our client, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children & Youth (NAEHCY). 


The National Association of State Coordinators for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NASCEHCY) was established in 1989 to ensure that children and youth residing in temporary living situations received equitable and excellent services through public schools across the country. The Association also encouraged the development and dissemination of strategies for effective instruction, pupil services, and research.

At its annual conference in Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 1998, the Association removed the words “State Coordinators” from its name and expanded its membership to include individuals who attended the annual conference. Prior to this date, membership was limited to state coordinators in homeless education. These state coordinators saw a need to bring others, who were dedicated to the assurance of an appropriate education for all homeless students, into the Association. During the 2002 annual conference in Los Angeles, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) opened membership to everyone interested in homeless education and voted to require that all members pay dues.

Today, NAEHCY ( is the largest national association dedicated to educational equity and excellence for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Our membership includes over 1,600 local homeless education liaisons, educators, school counselors, social workers, registrars, nurses, child advocates, shelter staff, state and federal policy specialists, and partners from community-based and national nonprofit organizations.


Executive Director, NAEHCY

NAEHCY is seeking an experienced Executive Director who is well respected as a community leader in the field of education for homeless children and youth and has a passion for ensuring they have access to education. The successful candidate should excel at building strong relationships, both internally and externally, and be able to provide leadership in strategic vision, servant leadership, fundraising, and general management for a dynamic, growing membership association.

The Executive Director (ED) reports to the Chair of the Board of Directors and is responsible for the Association’s consistent achievement of its mission and financial objectives. The ED provides leadership to the Board in the areas of public policy, planning, and program development. The ED is the organization’s chief fundraiser and spokesperson and is responsible for cultivating partnerships with government, corporate, and foundation leaders, individual donors, and homelessness leaders nationally. The ED leads and directs staff and contractors and provides support and assistance to volunteers, including the Board of Directors and committees. The ED will oversee the annual operating budget.

The ED must have business acumen and be able to utilize the synergies of a strong team to support growth initiatives such as regional technical assistance consultants and training hubs.

The ideal candidate will build on NAEHCY’s past successes, expand its reach and influence, and find creative ways to meet membership needs around professional development, the annual conference, and technical assistance. The position requires an entrepreneurial, business, and results-oriented approach. This person must be able to keep a big picture perspective while ensuring the attention to detail required is fully addressed. In addition, this candidate will bring energy, passion, intellectual curiosity, creativity, flexibility, and humility to their work.


The successful candidate will:

  • Embody the mission and core values of NAEHCY and will exhibit passion about the work of NAEHCY both inside and outside the Association;
  • Have the ability to build strong relationships and engage education, community, and national partners who support the mission of NAEHCY;
  • Be a proven leader in the nonprofit multi-service arena and have the ability to accurately assess the needs of membership and implement the Association’s strategic direction, policy, and programming over multiple years;
  • Be a strong strategic thinker who can enhance and refine NAEHCY’s strategic vision, priorities, goals, and measures to meet program outcomes; engage staff, contractors, volunteers, and partners; and deliver sustainable results;
  • Demonstrate leadership in, and knowledge of, the McKinney-Vento homeless education assistance act, technical assistance, and professional programming for staff who work with homeless children and youth (representing diverse cultures);
  • Work closely with and/or provide technical assistance to educational agencies (LEAs) and school districts to keep homeless students in their original school;
  • Demonstrate success in building and sustaining a comprehensive fundraising program, ideally with experience across a full range of funding sources including individuals, corporations, foundations, and government;
  • Assure a sustainable business model and develop new resources and partnerships at scale, including public and private funding, contracts for services, and program partnerships;
  • Have considerable experience creating, building, and managing partnerships with an array of groups and individuals;
  • Possess knowledge of management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, leadership techniques, and the effective use of time and resources;
  • Be experienced in fiscal planning and budget management for an organization of comparable size and scope;
  • Have the ability to work and make judgments independently and take initiative;
  • Be an innovative leader who focuses on taking risks, spurring staff ingenuity, and autonomous thought where knowledge is valued, and challenges are viewed as learning opportunities;
  • Have a high level of comfort with public relations and public speaking as well as communicating information to a wide range of audiences – from members, policy makers, donors, and volunteers to the press and the general public;
  • Possess experience with government relations processes and working with other local, state, and national groups in the field of education for homeless children and youth;
  • Have the ability to network and build collaborative relationships and partnerships with state coordinators, homeless school liaisons, community agencies, public and private sources, donors, and educational and policy leaders;
  • Have experience with reporting to, and supporting, a governing Board;
  • And, possess the ability to build a highly effective team.


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a visionary and entrepreneurial spirit to meet the needs of members and be willing to propose, strategize, and execute new ways of assuring children and youth experiencing homelessness have access to education;
  • Be comfortable and assertive in many different social and professional circles
  • including educational, youth, donors, public officials, funders, and government;
  • Possess a high degree of energy, integrity, and creativity as well as the intellectual, organizational, and personal qualities necessary to earn respect and cooperation from all stakeholders;
  • Demonstrate cultural competence with a focus on diversity and inclusion related to persons of other racial, cultural, religious, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds;
  • Possess a deep commitment and passion for NAEHCY’s mission and work;
  • Have superb communications skills, both oral and written;
  • Be creative, with the ability to think outside the box;
  • Be approachable and a good listener;
  • Be an authentic leader who serves as a role model for moral and fair behavior, with a transparent approach to earning the esteem and confidence of employees and membership;
  • And, be a leader who coaches effectively and is seen as a mentor who supports employee growth and nurtures employees toward achieving their highest levels of performance.


The successful candidate will:

  • Have a master’s degree or hold a bachelor’s degree with equivalent work experience in an appropriate discipline (e.g., education, social sciences, public administration, business administration);
  • And, have 3-5 years executive/senior management experience in social services, public education, or a related organization.


Cheryl Jensen, M.S., PCC, RLC
Strategic Consulting & Coaching, Managing Partner

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