Executive Director
The Cahn Fellows Program

Executive Director – The Cahn Fellows Program


With more than 400 alumni school leaders from across the country, and having expanded from operating in just one to seven Partner Cities, The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals (TCFP) is realizing its mission: improve large public school systems nationally by providing distinguished school leaders with advanced professional development and recognition designed to increase their leadership skills and retention in their schools, and as a result improve student outcomes.

Grounded in the belief that great leaders make great schools, and that the best leaders get even better and reinvest in their work in a development context that enriches their professional capacity and fosters deep personal connection, The Cahn Fellows Program has been providing a rich and rewarding leadership development cohort experience for principals since 2003.

Beyond improving education and life possibilities for 150,000 urban students, the impact of the program on Fellows is no less than transformational. Alumni report feeling deeply valued, because TCFP appreciates the weight, complexity and impact of their work, because of the care that has been invested in the program design and curricula, and because of the quality of the experiences and faculty. Cohort participants appreciate TCFP’s recognition that being a principal can be isolating, and they are grateful for the opportunity to be in community with an esteemed group of peers who understand their work and create mutually safe spaces for reflection, learning, growth and rejuvenation.

The Opportunity:

Formal testimonials, as well as pre and post program participation surveys, substantiate anecdotal evidence of the current program’s success and support plans for growth. Over the next 3-5 years, The Cahn Fellows Programs, renamed to recognize plural programs, aims to build on TCFP’s success by: (1) expanding the core program to the West Coast, (2) creating new programming for alumni, and (3) launching a new program for early-career principals. In realizing this expansion, TCFP will add 100,000 to the number of students who are impacted by the programs.

In addition to expanding the breadth and number of programs being offered, TCFP is also making program enhancements to more squarely center equity in all it does, including infusing elements of critical race theory across all subject areas and focusing explicitly on identity exploration, bias and ethics.

The work of The Cahn Fellows Program(s) is supported by its active, dedicated board of directors and Advisory Councils in the Partner Cities of New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, San Antonio, Dallas and Denver. Local foundations provide added resources, and city-based, talented and devoted alumni support selection and programming. A recently completed strategic plan will guide the ED in tripling the size of the organization, while leaving considerable space to shape and lead the work. The plan also marks the establishment of TCFP as a 501(c)(3). The independent non-profit, now a program at Teachers College, will continue to enjoy a productive affiliation with Teachers College at Columbia University.

The new ED will leverage all of these assets, momentum and success, while guiding strategic choices and moves that strengthen the organization overall and position it to play an increased leadership role in the field.


The new ED will assume ultimate responsibility for TCFP’s success. While overseeing the execution of the core and emerging programs will be important, the ED’s responsibility will center on strategic positioning and strengthening the organization’s capacity to deliver on plans to triple the scope and scale of the programs within 3-4 years. Specific responsibilities will include:

  • attracting, developing, and retaining highly qualified employees and developing a productive, self-motivated, and positive work environment;
  • partnering with the Board and Advisory Councils to design multi-year programmatic, strategic, and financial plans and implementing them;
  • developing new partnerships and strengthening existing relationships with influential members of the education, foundation and business communities nationally;
  • establishing and cultivating relationships with high-need districts to encourage participation in the Fellows program;
  • overseeing the development of compelling marketing and communications collateral and plans that make the case for partnership;
  • overseeing a collaborative effort to develop, implement and regularly review curriculum and content, and
  • providing competitive, strategic oversight of ongoing programmatic assessment and client satisfaction to demonstrate impact on student outcomes.

Qualifications and Attributes:

The Cahn Fellows Programs is seeking candidates who are deeply committed to the organization’s mission, recognize the vital social role of education, and who evince a deep respect for school leaders. Beyond those core values, a successful candidate will have the following attributes:  

  • an entrepreneurial and flexible approach to problems and challenges, pairing a commitment to excellence with a willingness to think creatively to advance a strategic vision
  • the ability to build structures essential to an effective learning organization, and to manage and motivate people at a high level; prior senior management experience and experience effectively scaling organizations such as nonprofits, small to mid-sized businesses, and startups, are preferred but not required
  • strong interpersonal skills, including a collaborative mindset, humility, an ability to foster a welcoming and supportive work environment
  • the ability to effectively represent TCFP externally to a wide range of constituencies
  • classroom or school leadership experience


New York City highly preferred


Salary for the Executive Director position will be commensurate with responsibility and professional experience

Non-Discrimination Statement:

TCFP is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.

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