Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Executive Associate to the Chief External Officer, Special Projects Specialist

Employment type
7 months ago
Los Angeles


Launched in 2007, the Partnership is a nonprofit organization that serves 14,200 students across 19 campuses in Watts, Boyle Heights and South Los Angeles, California. The Partnership is one of the largest, in-district public school transformation organizations in the U.S., and is not a charter organization. Our priorities are supporting great school leadership, developing highly effective teaching, and engaging families and community partners. Over the past decade, our high schools have seen their graduation rate more than double from 36% to 80% and college acceptances have risen by 17 percentage points in the last four years from 32% in 2015 to 49% in 2019. Suspension rates across the network are at less than 1%, compared with 21% when we started our work. Learn more about us at



The Partnership is seeking a dynamic individual as the Executive Associate to the Chief External Officer (CXO), Ryan Smith. Ryan’s work focuses on the strategic and operational oversight of the Partnership’s development, communications, policy and advocacy, and family and community engagement initiatives. Recently, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond appointed Ryan as a Co-Chair of his Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. Prior to joining the Partnership, Ryan was the Executive Director of the Education Trust-West and Vice President of Strategic Advocacy for the Education Trust, an education civil rights organization dedicated to closing opportunity gaps. At the Education Trust-West, he worked on producing actionable, accessible research and advocacy tools that reached state policymakers and on-the-ground community advocates and education leaders alike. Before Ed Trust, he served as the Director of Education Programs and Policy for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, where he was responsible for education program and policy efforts for the organization. After having the honor of launching the Partnership’s Family and Community Engagement Team and founding the Parent College Program, Ryan has returned as the Partnership’s Chief External Officer.

The Executive Associate is responsible for providing the highest level of support to the CXO, ensuring that the key needs of the Partnership and its schools are fulfilled. In addition to administrative duties, this individual plays a critical role in assisting with internal and external communications, preparing for key meetings and events, and managing special projects related to policy & advocacy.


The Executive Associate to the CXO’s responsibilities include:

Administration & Scheduling (~60% of the Executive Associate’s time)

  • Manage calendar for the CXO
  • Plan and schedule meetings, phone conferences, and travel
  • Maximize the CXO’s time by updating contacts, tracking mileage, and reporting expenses
  • Plan and delegate facilitation for monthly External Relations team meetings


Special Projects Support (~40% of the Executive Associate’s time)

  • Serve as a primary point of contact for internal and external stakeholders, including school sites, LA Unified, civic and community leaders, foundations, and philanthropists
  • Draft communications on behalf of the CXO, including letters and correspondence
  • Assist the Chief External Officer in preparing for key meetings and events, including school site presentations, funder meetings/school visits, public affairs meetings, and meetings with partner organizations
  • Manage planning of Partnership external influence events, including partner meetings, convenings, webinars and forums
  • Assess and recommend partner sign-on letters
  • Research and identify opportunities for the organization to respond to developments in the broader sector
  • Identify opportunities and develop systems to better track and maintain relevant information
  • Manage our partner list on the CRM
  • Support other systems change projects as assigned



The ideal candidate will have:

Shared Beliefs & Values

  • Deep belief in the power of our communities, and respect and love for our families in Boyle Heights, South LA and Watts.
  • Belief in the Partnership’s mission, approach, and core values and a commitment to improving academic achievement for Partnership students
  • A commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment for all team members
  • Humility and respect for the hard work of school leaders, teachers, parents, and students
  • Reflective and a life-long learner
  • Unmatched work ethic
  • Highest level of integrity



  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • 1-3 years of experience in an educational or professional setting
  • Experience working in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Experience managing multiple projects and priorities
  • Experience cultivating relationships to ensure outcomes, to meet and exceed project goals, and to include the perspectives of multiple stakeholders
  • Proven ability to execute strategy and exceed goals
  • Knowledge of the educational landscape in LA Unified is preferred but not required


  • Exceptional organizational skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and perform tasks with limited direction
  • Ease with managing competing demands and determining top priorities
  • Impeccable attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate effectively and without error with varied audiences, including funders, Board of Directors, LA Unified personnel, school leaders, teachers, and parents
  • Strong computer and technology skills (proficiency in Microsoft suite required, knowledge of Adobe Suite preferred)
  • Proficient in Spanish preferred 



The Partnership has recently completed a thorough study of market-competitive salaries, and has applied the learning from that study to salary offers for all home office positions. Our goal is to ensure that pay is fair for all staff members, both considering the market and considering pay equity among staff in similar roles in the organization. The Partnership offers a robust benefits package including employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance and a 403(b) retirement program. This is a full time, year-round position.

To apply

Please prepare your resume and a cover letter tailored to this position. You will submit your documents using our online application system

For technical assistance or questions, please email [email protected]