The Ounce is an energized, future-focused organization devoted to early childhood development. Our mission is to improve the life chances for low-income children through programs, training, research and advocacy. We are recruiting individuals who want to join us in this mission and share a commitment to our core values of appreciation & respect, empowerment, diversity, excellence, learning and communication.

The Partnership for Pre-K Improvement (PPI) is a multi-year, multi-state initiative focused on learning together with states about how to implement and improve high-quality, equitable pre-k systems for young children and families. PPI aims to develop strong government, advocacy and research partnerships at the state and national levels and to create tools to increase the field’s understanding of what drives improvement. To achieve this, state partners are supported by three national organizations working collaboratively to strengthen and sustain pre-K quality in concert with state leaders, researchers and advocates.

This is an outstanding opportunity to play a critical role in building high-quality and equitable pre-k systems. To lead this important work, the PPI team is seeking a passionate and entrepreneurial Director. The Director will be a strategic, dynamic leader to lead the backbone organization, facilitate the collective success of this effort across national and state partners, and serve as a public ambassador for the initiative. More specifically, the Director will also drive PPI’s internal and external functions, including strategy, communications, state and partner engagement, and continuous quality improvement and shared progress tracking.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Provide strategic and inclusive leadership to fulfill the backbone’s vision for supporting states and partners to improve their pre-k systems, and foster a culture that reflects it
  • Lead a strategy and partner collaboration to produce and disseminate a set of useful tools for the field that will support pre-k systems improvement and impact beyond the life of PPI
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with backbone partners; state government, research and advocate leaders; key funders; and other partners to inspire and ensure a common vision and aligned implementation for PPI across multiple stakeholder groups
  • Lead PPI collaboration to define and implement internal and external commitments to embed equity as a core principle into PPI
  • Lead PPI ongoing strategy implementation, quarterly priority setting, and facilitation of course corrections based on data, successes, challenges, and opportunities
  • Lead the engagement of state partners to ensure that stakeholder voices, expertise and experience guide the PPI strategy
  • Partner closely with project manager and internal project team to ensure the backbone infrastructure supports the PPI backbone team internally and partners and states externally
  • Guide communications strategy to share learning with the field; present on PPI initiative with key audiences; and work with Marketing staff to develop materials, including summary documents, presentations, brochures, and web content
  • Maintain a strategic vision for what PPI will learn across multiple entities, how that data will be used and reported, and the progress monitoring and continuous quality improvement processes that will result in learning across partners and drive meaningful change


  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 10 years of experience in education, policy or related field OR Advanced degree with 5-7 years of experience in education, policy ore related field degree in education, policy, or related field
  • Track record of leading and inspiring teams in a fast-paced and/or results-driven environment
  • Expertise in and deep commitment to advancing diversity, racial equity, and inclusion;
  • Advanced knowledge of partnership development and demonstrated success in building productive working relationships with a diverse set of leaders and organizations; experience developing partnerships across sectors a plus.
  • Advanced strategy and planning skills, including an ability to think strategically on both organizational and systemic levels over multi-year horizons
  • Ability to define and oversee shared tracking of progress, data systems, and/or reporting processes
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; strong facilitation and presentation skills
  • Experience with project management and stakeholder management
  • Comfort with ambiguity and ability to thrive in a fluid environment; willingness to “roll up one’s sleeves” and extend beyond formal responsibilities based on the needs of the work
  • Familiarity with education systems or community work in TN, OR and WA a plus

Reach out to Ann Hanson, with questions.