Executive Director of DelawareCAN

DelawareCAN · Wilmington, Delaware
Department DelawareCAN
Employment Type Full-Time

Executive Director, DelawareCAN

About the DelawareCAN

DelawareCAN’s mission is to advance policies and programs that ensure every student in Delaware receives a high-quality education. To that end, the organization will focus on three key areas to effect lasting change for Delaware students: (1) policy development, (2) direct advocacy at the State Legislature, Board of Education and local school boards and (3) grassroots advocacy to support these efforts and ensure alignment with the best interests of the community. DelawareCAN is part of the 50CAN network. 

About 50CAN

50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, is a nonprofit organization that works at the local level to advocate for a high-quality education for all kids. We develop local education leaders by providing them with the research, tools and ideas needed to create learning environments that best meet every child’s needs. 50CAN operates campaigns in Connecticut, Delaware, Denver, Georgia, Hawaii, Miami, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Tennessee and is led by CEO & Founder Marc Porter Magee.


The Executive Director of DelawareCAN is responsible for all aspects of the organization, including governance, operations, communications, policy, strategy, and development. The Executive Director’s role includes casting vision for the future of education in the State of Delaware, as well as for the growth, health, and impact of the organization. The primary day-to-day focus of the Executive Director is on the external and administrative aspects of the work, including development and communications, current advocacy based on focused annual and multi-year goals and metrics, and ensuring compliance with administrative responsibilities. This position will report to the Senior Vice President. The Executive Director has responsibilities both to DelawareCAN, a 501(c)(3) organization, and its related 501(c)(4) organization, the DelawareCAN Action Fund.

Key Responsibilities

Advocate-in-Chief: The executive director will closely collaborate and align with state and ecosystem partners to change state and school district level policy through legislative and administrative action by crafting and executing the organization’s strategy & policy plans. 

Local fundraising: The executive director will be the primary driver to secure funding for the long-term sustainability of the campaign and build upon existing funding.  

Chief spokesperson: The executive director will be the voice of the campaign in speeches, meetings, media outreach, and written communication across the state, effectively communicating complex policy and research arguments to a broad range of individuals and groups. The executive director will also represent the campaign in coalitions, and be capable of building consensus, working well with others and coordinating activities.

Manager and mentor: The executive director will be the leader of all staff and contractors.  They will set and commit to the budget and the annual policy and team goals.

Political strategist and relationship builder (501(c)(4) responsibilities): The executive director will foster bipartisan political relationships, drive the organization’s political and legislative goals and strategies, and manage related grassroots advocacy operations.

Key skills, abilities and experience 

The ideal candidate has strong local ties, legislative relationships, specific electoral experience, and a commitment to ensure every child receives a high-quality education. The candidate must have a successful track record running issue advocacy or political campaigns, an understanding of education policy, and the ability to forge strong relationships with funders, policy makers, educators and families. They must be a team player. Additionally, they will demonstrate: 

Extensive management experience 

  • At least 5-10 years in a middle or senior management role, preferably in an education non-profit or political context.
  • Excellent people skills; past success convening different groups or individuals, cultivating buy-in and developing a consensus.  
  • Past success designing and leading a long-term, multi-faceted project, campaign or initiative—an ability to implement vision, think strategically, take initiative creatively problem solve, exercise good judgment, lead change and exceed established goals. 
  • Demonstrated track record with taking initiative and making tough decisions. 

Communication skills 

  • Ability to effectively tailor messages and communications that engage community leaders, teachers and other stakeholders. 
  • An aptitude for building relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds.  

Track record as a team player 

  • Sense of humor, passion, strong work ethic, creativity and willingness to do “whatever it takes” in a fast-paced work environment. 
  • Record of perseverance in the face of challenges, delivering against timelines and not being intimidated by tasks or time limitations. 
  • Integrity (doing what’s right, even when it is uncomfortable), candor and directness. 
  • Ability to quickly adapt plans and goals to changing circumstances.

Local political and/or campaign experience (for 501(c)(4) responsibilities) (preferred)

  • Knowledge of Delaware’s political landscape and legislative process.
  • Experience working on political campaigns at various levels.

How to apply 

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. DelawareCAN, through its affiliation with 50CAN, offers a comprehensive and robust benefits package. Interested candidates should submit an application with resume and cover letter at the 50CAN Careers page

50CAN is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people from diverse backgrounds to apply.

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  • Location
    Wilmington, Delaware
  • Department
  • Employment Type