Opportunity of the Week: Manager, Executive Director Support and Office Operations; Teach For America – Memphis

By July 11, 2017Jobs



The Role
Teach For America – Memphis is focused on celebrating and strengthening a culture among diverse leaders in the effort to end educational inequity; delivering excellence for kids; and deepening our commitment to, and impact in, our city. To do this, we must ensure our local movement is thriving, which requires grounded, deeply rooted, and empowered local leadership. The Manager of ED Support & Office Operations supports the Executive Director (ED), Athena Palmer, as she sets vision and direction for our region and the Chief of Staff, Ian Smith, to build a strong staff culture by executing seamless office operations for our staff, corps, and alumni that strengthen our collective community.

As the Manager of ED Support & Office Operations, you play a critical role in ensuring our Executive Director and our office operate at their best. You will lead the charge in driving the effectiveness and efficiency of our Executive Director, manage the collection and sharing of regional data for our Regional Advisory Board, and help drive our region’s vision for community and culture via managing our office operations, staff meeting support, and office-based events for corps members and alumni.  In the role, you’ll directly manage Athena’s priorities, manage our regional data trackers, and set vision for and execute office operations such that our regional office is a welcoming, organized, efficient space that is aligned to our culture of deeply knowing, loving, and supporting our corps members, alumni, and staff.  You will support the Chief of Staff in playing a vital role in the effectiveness of the region’s leadership team, in shaping the direction and impact of the Memphis region, ensuring the Memphis team’s cultural excellence, and helping execute all staff engagements. Your role sits at the center of our region’s ability to move forward and maximize our efforts in Memphis by adding direct capacity to the region’s most senior leaders as well as supporting our entire community to thrive in partnership with one another.

The Team
Our mission at Teach For America – Memphis is grow and strengthen a leadership force that empowers students to achieve a broad set of outcomes in the classroom so that they can lead a life of liberated choice; and dedicates their lives to leading at all altitudes of a community, including in the classroom, in pursuit of realizing educational equity for students in Memphis. To do this, we must ensure our local movement is thriving, which requires grounded, deeply rooted, and empowered local leadership.

You will report to the Managing Director, Chief of Staff (COS) and will sit on the Internal Affairs team.

Support Athena: 40%

  • Set vision and direction, in partnership with Athena and Ian, for how Athena is spending her time
  • Manage Athena’s calendar
  • Prepare Athena to send messages to various constituents (corps members, staff, donors) by managing her work blocks, drafting communications, and tracking progress
  • Set the agenda for internal meetings that support Athena’s preparedness
  • Manage Athena’s travel
  • Complete AMEX, mileage, and reimbursement reports on Athena’s behalf
  • In partnership with the Chief of Staff, plan and execute special projects that are critical to achieving the ED’s and the regional leadership team’s priorities
  • With Ian, represent Athena in internal spaces she is unable to be in

Manage office operations that support our community to thrive: 35%

  • Set vision and direction for office operations that advances our community’s culture and execute office-based events, operational procedures, practices, and policies in alignment with this vision
  • Create norms and expectations – and laterally manage others to execute them – that ensure our office is a positive, productive, welcoming, and inclusive space for everyone
  • Manage large-scale office events, like our weekly hot meals for our corps members, alumni, and staff
  • Update and manage the Memphis Office Calendar
  • Ensure the Teach For America – Memphis community has the materials, supplies, and technology that meets their needs

Manage the region’s data dashboards: 20%

  • Partner with the leadership team to collect, package, and roll out data on a monthly basis
  • Update the regional data dashboard and ensure it is published to the regional advisory board and team
  • Set the vision and direction for and manage the execution of the public display of data and progress in our office
  • Manage Title II Data reporting for the region

Other duties: 5%

  • Selection commitments 3 – 10 days per year

Specifically, to be successful, you must be

  • A conscious leader.  In this role, on this team, and in the movement for educational equity, it’s vital you model a set of values for others through self-reflection, curiosity and exploration, and for you to connect and empathize with people.  You must operate in the spirit of our commitment to diversity and with a strong understanding of the dynamics of race and class in America, which requires constant learning and reflection to master.  To be successful in this role, it’s of paramount importance you aspire to lead through a culturally responsive lens and in a way that empowers staff, corps members, alumni, students, and communities. You’ll constantly reflect on what it means and what it takes to be your best self and show others grace and love in their journey to be their best selves.
  • People-focused at all times: Unequivocally, this work is about people.  Ours is a leadership development organization – we work to develop the leadership of our kids, our corps members, alumni, partners and selves.  To do this requires us to make decisions that are rooted in people; to invest those around us in all that we do; to believe deeply in the potential of everyone with whom we work and live that belief in our actions; to love deeply and lead vulnerably.  Therefore, you are naturally empathetic and can quickly understand people’s needs and aspirations and how information can help them achieve their goals.  It is our expectation that everyone on our team do these things exceptionally well.
  • Able to clearly see the big picture but obsessive about the details: You approach each project you lead and task you take on with an eagle eye towards details and anticipate every step and possible misstep that is needed. You are skilled at managing complex projects and adjust course easily and quickly when things fall off track. You prepare for the worst-case scenario but anticipate the best possible outcome.  You can proactively anticipate Athena’s needs and take action accordingly. When you face a large problem, your first instinct is to break it down into smaller, manageable pieces. You can ruthlessly prioritize on what is most important and avoid distractions, which will be critical as you work with Athena and the leadership team in multiple capacities from direct support of Athena to managing strategic projects to communicating decisions to multiple constituents.
  • Data and results oriented.  To be people-focused, we also have to be outcomes focused; they must be synergistic and neither can outweigh the other in your work.  In this role, you’ll need to interpret and synthesize data and information from multiple sources to develop insights and recommendations. You will need to stay laser focused on truly audacious goals and work to achieve them, despite obstacles.  You will need to be fueled by the potential of tracking and reporting out on the region’s progress to goal in pursuit of something bigger as you work to keep Athena, Ian, and the region informed on the weekly progress of the region and make recommendations as to how Athena should spend her time in the coming weeks as a result. You will need to track growth and pull out celebratory moments so we can share them out to our constituents and weave them into our region’s narrative.
  • Dedicated to maximizing the impact of our region.  Our impact in Memphis is vitally important to our ability to reach One Day for kids.  Your role has such an awesome focus in holding up a large and rigorous mirror to our decisions and actions and in supporting Athena and Ian to the best leaders they can be for our region.  There are lots of ways this expectation will cut across your work, and some examples include that Athena’s priorities are aggressively managed by you to come to fruition through her actions and meetings; that you are actively looking for ways to improve our region and proactively proposing those ideas; that you are proposing alternative ideas to well-codified strategies; and that you are managing our team to effectively use our other data management systems such that we can always know how we’re doing and use that information to make even better decisions and celebrate what’s working.  There are probably hundreds more examples and these are just the surface.  This role is all about impact, and we expect you to identify all sorts of ways we can deepen ours in Memphis.
  • Operating with discretion and maintain the confidentiality of the information you are privy to as a direct result of your role.  In this role, you’ll have full access to, and be actively managing, Athena’s calendar and inbox.  As such, you’ll see and have access to information that relates to organizational updates and decisions before they are widely known, see confidential information as it is shared with me directly by internal and external parties, and more.  You’ll attend board meetings where we’ll discuss a range of issues our region and people are facing; where we have incomplete ideas to work through before making decisions; where we discuss how to best move forward through challenging situations, and more. In all areas of your work, we expect that you treat confidential information as such and do not share aspects of information given to me via e-mail or v-mail, decisions made or challenges surfaced in board meetings, or strategic planning discussions, unless Athena or Ian share explicitly otherwise.
  • A steward of our core values and cultural expectations. In your role, you’ll serve as a representative of our region and organization externally, and you’ll communicate on Athena and Ian’s behalf (and, occasionally, directly as Athena).  Our values represent what it will take from each of us individually and collectively to have the best shot at realizing our vision and mission, and your role is no exception.  They are rigorous and demand constant reflection, humility and improvement to live them in our daily work.  It is the expectation that you are constantly reflecting and improving upon the extent to which you are contributing to the whole in alignment with these values

Prior Experience

  • Have two to four years of work experience
  • Have previous experience with Teach For America (preferred, but not required)
  • Have prior administrative and/or operations work experience (preferred, but not required)


  • Hold, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree

Work Demands

  • Be able to work occasional evenings and weekends
  • Be able to travel 1-3 times per year for professional development related conferences

Apply Now
To be considered for this role, you must submit an online application.

Benefits and Salary
Salary for this position is competitive and depends on prior experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package is included. Learn more at

Commitment to Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Teach For America encourages individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort. Learn more about our diversity on staff:

Teach For America is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, marital status, veteran status, pregnancy, parental status, genetic information or characteristics (or those of a family member) or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

This job description reflects Teach For America’s assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing in this herein restricts management’s right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time.