Los Angeles

Executive Director, LA

Candidate Profile & Core Values

Spark seeks an Executive Director to lead our Los Angeles Region.

Successful candidates will demonstrate exceptional relationship-building, management and communication skills. Candidates will also embody Spark’s Core Values: being a student and a mentor, working with passion and compassion, committing to collaboration and diversity, aiming high and true, and trusting/respecting each relationship.

Reporting to the CEO, and with the support of local boards and a national shared services team, the Executive Director (ED) will provide strategic and operational direction for Spark in Los Angeles, one of four regions in which Spark currently operates. Spark in Los Angeles has a budget of nearly $1M and engages with over 500 students at 5 LAUSD schools annually, with aspirations to grow. As such, external engagement that increases the visibility of Spark, drives fundraising and grows corporate partnerships is a critical element of the role. Additionally, Spark seeks an innovative leader who can activate a small and nimble local team while collaborating as a member of the overall organization’s Leadership Team to advance both regional and national goals.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; relevant graduate degree preferred;
  • Demonstrated superior writing and presentation skills
  • Minimum five years of management-level experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented organization; for-profit experience is welcomed;
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising, sales or external relations;
  • Educational non-profit experience preferred but not required;
  • Knowledge of local Los Angeles issues and dynamics preferred; especially related to education and volunteerism;
  • Excellent computer and internet proficiencies, with experience in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Be an independent, results-focused, highly-organized self-starter;
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, operating with a results-orientation and exceptional attention to detail;
  • Have a proactive personality; no work is ‘beneath’ you and you are eager to serve others, rolling up your sleeves when necessary;
  • Be comfortable giving and receiving honest, constructive feedback;
  • Have a sense of humor, even under stress;
  • Legally eligible to work in the United States; no sponsorship provided.


Core Responsibilities

Lead Los Angeles Board Development, Fundraising and Financial Management

  • Enhance and lead Spark’s local fundraising strategy, in collaboration with Spark’s National Development team and the local development & corporate partnership team, ensuring that the L.A. region meets or exceeds annual fundraising goals.
  • Ensure a diverse mix of revenue, including corporate partnerships, foundation support, and individual contributions – including local board giving and special events.
  • Serve as principal relationship manager for corporations and foundations supporting the L.A. region;
  • Lead the Los Angeles Executive Board and Advisory Board, ensuring board members are engaged and effective in providing strategic guidance, introductions, and fundraising support;
  • Provide strategic oversight for regional fundraising events;
  • Effectively utilize and manage the local site budget.

Lead the Operation and Growth of Spark’s Los Angeles Program

  • Directly manage a Program Director who supervises a team of program staff members, developing an exceptional regional team to accomplish three core goals: (1) successfully manage relationships with Spark’s school partners, including training and ongoing support, to ensure high-quality in-school programming for Spark students, (2) cultivate a network of mentors through corporate/organizational partners for mentorship placements and funding, and (3) guide the growth and evolution of Spark’s work in L.A.;
  • Lead the partnership-building process with formal agreements with schools and/or school districts, and provide strategic guidance to the program team to ensure high quality partnerships with school administrators and teacher teams;
  • Oversee regional implementation of Spark’s evaluation methods by ensuring the collection and input of surveys, demographic data and school district data, and utilizing data for program assessment and team management

Lead Spark Los Angeles’ Brand Development

  • Provide overall leadership to regional team, creating a high performance and positive work environment that values staff development and retention;
  • Create and expand alliances in the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors to establish a portfolio of sustainable partnerships in diverse fields of work for mentorship placements;
  • Ensure that Spark in L.A. recruits mentorships through corporate and community partnerships as well as board networks;
  • Expand Spark in L.A.’s regional model and continue our spirit of innovation along with regional and national excellence in program operations, volunteer experience, and fundraising success.

National Leadership Team

  • Participate as an active member of the national leadership team, which includes Executive Directors from all regions and national executive team, shaping key opportunities and strategies for Spark organization-wide;
  • Contribute to and/or lead major organizational initiatives that strengthen national capacity, brand, and program model.

Compensation & Benefits

  • Salary: $110K-130K, commensurate with experience.
  • Health Benefits: Full health coverage is provided, including medical, dental and vision no more than 30 days after an employee’s first day. Spark covers up to 100 percent of monthly premiums, and a portion of the monthly premiums for dependents. Employee-funded flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care are offered. A life insurance policy providing $50,000 of coverage is also included.
  • Learning Benefits: Spark highly values staff’s personal learning pursuits. Priority is placed on opportunities to pursue your choice of professional training opportunities, including workshops, conferences, and more.
  • Retirement Benefits: For all contributions through Spark’s 401K plan, Spark will match retirement contributions dollar-for-dollar up to 4 percent of total salary in 2019.
  • Paid Time Off: Spark has a unique flexible time-off policy, which empowers staff to collaboratively determine and schedule time off as needed. Spark staff may take time off based on the status of their work-related goals and results within the organization. This policy is part of Spark’s focus on a balanced and healthy life for staff.
  • Non-Monetary Compensation: The opportunity to be an integral member of an energetic, innovative, hard-working and rapidly growing team, within an organization that has the potential to significantly change the trajectory of middle-school education nationwide.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with a targeted start date of April 15, 2019.

Spark is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from all individuals regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation, and evaluate all candidates based on merit; we strongly encourage and seek qualified applications from underrepresented groups.

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Please note that unless otherwise noted on the job description, Spark requires employees to be located in one of our operating regions and does not provide relocation assistance.

Please note if you were referred to this position by a Spark employee, board member, volunteer, or partner.