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Executive Director

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The Buck Institute for Education was founded in 1987 as a beneficiary of the Leonard and Beryl Buck Trust. It was given the charge to “benefit all humankind” through research and service, but allowed to determine its own path toward accomplishing that goal. After providing various forms of support in its first ten years to teachers, schools and districts—mainly in its home county of Marin, California—BIE focused on the teaching method of Project Based Learning, or PBL. It was a pedagogy BIE believed in and found support for among a then-small number of teachers and schools.

From 1998-2008, BIE promoted PBL across the United States and around the world via its research, publications, and professional development for teachers. By 2009, demand for PBL was growing fast; the world had caught up to BIE, and requested help in preparing teachers to use high-quality Project Based Learning with their students. Yearly revenue for BIE products and professional development services increased dramatically from $1,500,000 in 2009 to $5,700,000 in 2014. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, BIE is projecting total revenue of at least $7,500,000.

Today, BIE is a vibrant organization, poised for increased impact and further growth. Its reputation in the field is outstanding; teachers love BIE’s high-quality books and workshops, and school leaders appreciate its customized and effective support for system-wide PBL implementation. Requests from international clients continue to grow with substantial professional development work being conducted in Singapore, Canada, Mexico, and China. The BIE staff, and its cohort of trained consultants (known as National Faculty), is highly skilled, dedicated to their mission, smart and professional, with a high level of camaraderie and mutual respect.

The organization stands firmly behind a bold strategic plan that calls on BIE to define and advance the gold standard for PBL and become the worldwide leader in promoting high quality PBL. With a successful past and a strong commitment driving them forward, the future looks bright for BIE as the organization continues to lead the charge to help teachers around the globe prepare students for successful lives. For more information about BIE, please visit

The Opportunity

In response to the pending retirement of its long-time, highly regarded Executive Director, BIE is seeking an experienced, entrepreneurial leader to help propel BIE to its next level of impact. Working closely with the Board of Directors and the organization’s staff, the new Executive Director (ED) will oversee the successful implementation of BIE’s forward-thinking strategic plan and lead the organization’s efforts in:

  • Strategic growth/planning
  • Thought leadership in the education space
  • Excelling as a professional learning organization

The BIE Executive Director will leverage his/her leadership experience to help shape the future vision, direction and increased impact of the organization. With demonstrated expertise in and passion for the education sector, the ED will be viewed as a respected thought leader and inspiring voice for the PBL movement. The ED will be a highly skilled manager—of people, projects and systems—with proven ability to execute key components of a strategic plan and also ensure the efficient and effective operation of the organization through adaptive and collaborative leadership. This is an exciting opportunity for an innovative, proven professional to lead and manage a highly successful, fast-growing not-for-profit enterprise having a tremendous impact on students around the globe.

Candidate Profile

The next Executive Director of BIE will be a dynamic, strategic and visionary leader with a proven track record of achieving results and will possess a deep commitment to education and the mission of the organization. With experience managing growth and executing strategically, the ED will build on the organization’s impressive success in the future. The Executive Director will have a Master’s degree and superior writing and oral communication skills coupled with applicable management-level experience.

Specifically, the new Executive Director of BIE will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Strategic Leadership and Growth Management: The Executive Director will be a strong leader who, with the Board, will work to execute on the organization’s strategic plan and articulate a vision for the organization’s next chapter. S/he will work with stakeholders to put together a detailed plan for future growth and increased impact. S/he will attract, motivate and lead a productive, collaborative team to work with him/her to implement the course of action for achieving the vision. S/he will have a demonstrated understanding of how to run a financially sound organization and will bring an eye towards the future in identifying the systems and resources necessary to accommodate growth.

Passion for Mission/Thought Leadership: The Executive Director will have a demonstrated commitment to the field of education and be viewed as a thought leader. With an unwavering commitment to delivering the best outcomes for students, the ED will focus intently on best practices (Gold Standard), the highest quality approach and positioning BIE as a leader in the field. S/he will have experience in K-12 education and will ideally bring knowledge of PBL to the role.

Commitment to Learning Organizations: The Executive Director will be committed to an open, transparent and collaborative organizational culture characterized by constant learning and experimentation. Interested in continuous improvement, s/he will encourage a feedback culture and openness to examining failures as well as successes. The Executive Director will lead through influence and earn respect by demonstrating a deep belief in the mission and an inclusive nature.

Innovation/Entrepreneurial Approach: The Executive Director will have a willingness to think creatively about how to achieve goals and an excitement for innovative approaches. S/he will be a thoughtful risk-taker who looks for opportunities to approach things from a different direction. With a strong understanding of the growth experience, s/he will be able to provide support and encouragement to others on that path.

Communication/Partnership Building: An exceptional communicator, the Executive Director will have the ability to serve as a compelling spokesperson for the organization and be able to inspire funders, staff and partners alike. S/he will actively and strategically seek partnerships and build coalitions with other partners and leaders in order to further the strategic goals of the organization.


Koya Leadership Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. Erin Reedy is leading this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your resume using Koya's online link: or email Erin directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

Apply Now for Executive Director!

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Systemic Partnership Coach

Apply Now for Systemic Partnership Coach!

At the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), our highest priority is to help teachers prepare students for successful lives. We do this by:

  • Showing teachers how to use Project Based Learning (PBL) in all grade levels and subject areas
  • Consulting with educational organizations to create environments where Project Based Learning can best serve the students

We are a mission-driven, nonprofit organization and have been experiencing tremendous growth over the last few years. To accommodate that growth, we are seeking a field-based Systemic Partnership Coach to work directly with school districts in support of BIE’s programming. Reporting to the BIE Director of Implementation, the Systemic Partnership Coach will provide onsite and virtual support to site leadership, schedule BIE staff and National Faculty for services, arrange logistics of BIE’s professional development events, review/create budgets, generate reports, meet weekly (by videoconference) with the district PBL Leadership Team, customize service components, and more. This is an exciting opportunity for a mission-driven professional who believes strongly in the power of Project Based Learning to positively impact students across the country.


The Systemic Partnership Coach will be responsible for the following:

Systemic Coaching tasks

  • Coach district and school leaders to ensure the sustainable implementation of Project Based Learning.
  • Use BIE’s materials to support systemic implementation of Project Based Learning.
  • Facilitate onsite meetings and workshops required for the successful implementation of PBL in partner systems.
  • Engage in weekly, reflective dialogue with systemic partners to support PBL implementation.
  • Collect, review, and provide timely feedback to Capacity Building Program participants.
  • Message to systemic partners and the public what PBL is, and what products, online resources, and professional development are available in BIE’s suite of services.
  • Prepare documents and supporting materials for BIE-provided professional development and support services.
  • Remain in close contact with the Director of Implementation and other BIE staff, and keep BIE fully informed of district activities and progress with regards to systemic PBL implementation.

Administrative tasks

  • Coordinate with district staff and BIE to schedule and deliver PBL teacher and leader development workshops as well as sustained support programs.
  • Schedule district Capacity Building Program candidate participation in professional development workshops and events.
  • Input and monitor data related to district programs in Salesforce.
  • Generate reports for BIE staff and National Faculty.
  • Prepare quarterly work projections for review by BIE staff.
  • Participate in annual budget preparation.
  • Attend all BIE National Faculty summits and conferences.
  • Attend quarterly (and potentially, more frequent) BIE staff and other meetings each year at BIE’s offices in Novato, CA.

Contributing to BIE’s mission

  • Work with other BIE team members to further BIE’s mission and vision.
  • Support other BIE staff as needed.
  • Participate as a team member in BIE meetings and ongoing projects.
  • Facilitate workshops, meetings, and protocols as assigned.
  • Complete other tasks, as assigned.


  • Five or more years of K-12 classroom teaching experience.
  • Site leadership experience preferred.
  • Organized, detail oriented, careful, cool under pressure and deadlines.
  • Strong facilitation skills.
  • Strong collaboration skills.
  • Growth-oriented and reflective.
  • Self-starter, able to work without close supervision.
  • Knowledge of Project Based Learning, preferably gained though first-hand experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to empathize and see others’ points of view.
  • Competent with Word, Excel, Google Apps, and willing to learn Salesforce if not already competent.
  • Ability to travel up to 40%

Compensation & Benefits

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

To Apply

Buck Institute for Education has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Erin Reedy at

About Buck Institute for Education

Buck Institute for Education is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants. They are a certified Marin County Green Business and a dog-friendly working environment. Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE) mission is to help teachers prepare students for successful lives using Project Based Learning (PBL) approaches. They achieve that by creating, gathering and sharing high-quality PBL instructional practices and products and by providing highly effective services to teachers, schools and districts. For more information, please visit

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained search and consulting firm that works exclusively with non-profits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit

Apply Now for Systemic Partnership Coach!


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