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Braven, Inc

Executive Director, New York City region

– New York, New York
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Executive

Braven’s mission:

In America, we’ve promised that hard work and ambition will be met with equality of opportunity. The reality is that we have a quiet crisis on our hands. Despite 1.2 million low-income or first-generation students enrolling in college each year, only one in four will attain a strong first job or enroll in graduate school upon graduating. In partnership with universities and employers, we believe Braven is a solution and we are on a mission to scale it, equalizing access to the American Dream.

We are looking for people passionate about ensuring all young people can put their education to work at this unique moment in time for our organization:

  • In 5 short years, we have grown from 14 students in a pilot on one campus to a community of 1,200 strong across three sites.

  • To date, 69% of Braven’s Fellows have landed a strong job or quality outcome within 6 months of graduation, as compared with the average of 54% for all students nationally.  Braven Fellows outpace their peers in internship attainment, non-cognitive skill growth, and college persistence.

  • Over the next 3 years, Braven will serve a total of 6,000 new Fellows across our existing three sites, innovate on our core model, and expand to new sites across the country.

The Role

Braven seeks someone who believes strongly that every young person deserves the opportunity to put their education to work and realize a life of impact and economic mobility. Braven’s ideal founding Executive Director (ED) for NYC operates as both an entrepreneur and an executive and gets energy and fulfillment primarily from external affairs and relationship building. In the role, you will work closely with Braven’s National Team, the NYC Site Directors, External Affairs Team, University Partners, Employer Partners and a NYC Board which you will build in order to ensure success across all metrics ranging from student results to achieving fundraising goals.

If you are our ED, you are a consummate networker, get energy from launching new programs and growing them to scale, enjoy building new relationships, are mission-driven, detail-oriented, thrive on tackling new problems, are hungry to learn, can raise millions of dollars, communicate extremely well and, most of all, are motivated to jump out of bed every morning knowing that your work is having a real impact on our students’ lives.  You’ll take pride in leading a team who delivers high-quality, empathetic, and delightful experiences to the students, volunteers, and staff who use our learning platform and other systems. If you’re the type of person who is equally comfortable managing a team as you are building relationships from scratch, we’d love to hear from you.

The ED’s charge is to raise the funds, launch and build Braven in New York City (NYC) and oversee the execution and growth of Braven’s programming with our university partner(s), including the pre-course, course, and post-course experience; to ensure strong student outcomes around content mastery, college graduation, and job attainment; to build innovative partnerships with employers and to oversee all development efforts and ensure a sustainable funding pipeline for the region. We are highly optimistic about the ability to raise the requisite funds and need an Executive Director who can help us capitalize on the opportunity.
The Team
The ED will report into the Founder & CEO, working closely with her and with the Alignment Team. The ED will be part of Braven’s Alignment team, along with the other two regional Executive Directors. Over time, the ED will manage three NYC site teams and a NYC Back-Office team of three-six full time staff and, indirectly, a large cohort of over 350 volunteer Leadership Coaches to support program execution in NYC. The NYC region will launch with ~ 200 Braven Fellows in January 2020 and grow to a community of ~8,500 in subsequent years. The ED will also raise and oversee an annual regional budget starting at roughly $2 million and increasing to $7 million-$8million over initial 5-6 years. Braven is a nimble, fast-paced startup environment where the work evolves quickly and no day is the same as the day before. This should excite you!

What You’ll Do:

Oversee all Braven program operations in NYC:

  • Setting the vision and direction for our work in NYC

  • Ensuring strong program execution resulting in both positive experiences and results for Fellows

  • Managing the relationship with our university partner(s)

  • Spearheading Employer Partnerships

  • Implementing a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan to reach our regional vision

Lead fundraising efforts and engage and cultivate stakeholders by:

  • Raising and overseeing an annual regional budget starting at roughly $2 million and increasing to $7 million-$8 million over initial 5-6 years.

  • Deepening our political capital and fundraising capacity to ensure that our NYC site maintains its meaningful position in the educational fabric of the community

  • Focusing on significantly growing and diversifying a sustainable funding base that will include gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government

  • Cultivating and building a regional advisory board that will help maximize NYC sites’ impact, narrative, and sustainability in the region

Inspire and lead the NYC team to accelerate impact by:

  • Attracting, hiring, and developing a team of diverse and talented staff members

  • Coaching and developing regional staff members to exhibit strong cultural leadership skills and orientations

Experiences, Skills, and Traits: The ideal person will be extremely driven, customer-service and results oriented, and entrepreneurial and excited to dive into an early stage organization poised to change the educational landscape. At Braven we look for people who do what it takes and operate with humility and hunger.

  • Significant leadership experience (minimum of 7-10 years) either as an Executive or leading a Department with a verifiable track record of achieving excellence and successful outcomes leading a complex enterprise; setting bold vision for impact and leading others to reach ambitious goals in support of that vision; defining and leading others towards a culture of excellence; managing individuals to goals; and achieving success in change management

  • Motivation and drive to fundraise and ensure financial sustainability of the region; an ability to mobilize people and to create champions of an organizational mission

  • Experience building and working in partnership with a Board of Directors, partner organizations, funders, and other key constituents

  • Experience in an early-stage environment, building something from the ground up

  • Deep roots and networks in NYC

  • Strong alignment with, passion for, and commitment to the mission and values of Braven

  • Sense of urgency around accomplishing goals and objectives

  • Uncommon level of personal responsibility, professional maturity and humility, commitment to personal growth, and understanding of one’s own leadership style and its impact on others

  • Strong gravitas, communication skills, relationship-building skills, presence, and maturity that engender respect and facilitate a strong partnership with very senior-level staff and Faculty, high-profile community stakeholders and civic leaders, Braven staff, Fellows, and Leadership Coaches


More about Braven:

The Braven Accelerator empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation, meaningful careers, and lives of impact. Alongside educational institutions, Braven provides a scalable model to discover, develop, and connect extraordinary, diverse, and driven young people to high-quality skill building, opportunities, and networks. From the Accelerator will come a generation of leaders as diverse as our future demands.

Braven currently operates in Newark, New Jersey, Chicago, and the San Francisco Bay Area. We aim to become the nation’s leading accelerator of diverse talent, putting 100,000 emerging leaders on the pathway to college completion and economic mobility. Our work is highly data and outcomes driven: college graduation; workforce readiness skills-based proficiency; employment in a high impact role within six months of graduation.

We as an organization value the longevity of our employees and offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits plan. The salary for this position is also competitive and depends on your prior work experience. Please be advised, you will have an opportunity to discuss salary in more detail after you begin the application process.

Braven is an equal opportunity employer and considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, veteran status, or any other protected factor.  We encourage talented individuals of all backgrounds to apply.

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