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Executive Director

Chicago, IL
Job Type


The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) was born from an audacious request of a group of idealistic young people who demanded that the city of Chicago join them in reimagining what is possible in public education. Ten years later, the school has become internationally recognized as a model for the thoughtful integration of environmental stewardship, global citizenship and whole student wellness into the daily curriculum and culture of a public school. Although AGC is a small (currently 468 students), single site Charter school serving a majority low income and minority population on the city’s southwest side, it has received the highest honors spanning from the White House to the Department of Education and has been praised in international press including the New York Times, Good Morning America, NPR, the Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes.

AGC’s innovation is rooted in a bold vision to shift global systems of education to meet the needs of the 21st century student. Dually focused on barriers to low income student achievement outside the classroom and on preparing a generation of leaders to tackle today’s environmental challenges, globalization and rapid technological innovation, AGC is championing a new educational framework for an ever changing world. AGC’s mission is to develop mindful leaders who take action now and in the future to positively impact their local and global communities. The daily work of students, staff and families is built on the pillars of: modeling academic excellence, developing inquirers, serving the whole child, cultivating international awareness, fostering environmental stewardship, and facilitating collaboration within the community.

AGC is committed to pushing innovation far beyond the walls of their classrooms. Since opening its doors in 2008, AGC has reached nearly 1M students around the world by sharing their work openly, presenting at international conferences and welcoming nearly 1,000 educators each year from across the globe to experience their model in action and to support widespread adoption.

Fundamental to AGC’s commitment to reimagine public education is a determination to reimagine the public school building. AGC is working to design a new campus which will be a physical manifestation of its mission and a replicable model that will profoundly shift how school design connects with pedagogical implementation across the globe. In collaboration with acclaimed Studio Gang Architects, led by Macarthur Genius grant winner Jeanne Gang, AGC is currently designing the Midwest’s first energy net positive school to serve as a replicable prototype and national hub for sustainability. Collaborators include Copenhagen based Rosan Bosch Studios, who are shaping the design with Scandinavian-inspired principles of student centered learning spaces and integration with the outdoors, and creating an experiential pedagogical approach that moves away from the traditional school layout and towards maker spaces, tinkering studios, teaching kitchens, science zones, theatre nooks, art labs and a learning barn. This campus will house not only AGC’s K-8 school, but also an early childhood center, a teacher training institute, an urban farm, reimagined learning spaces, and additional sustainability and wellness resources for the community. To learn more, visit www.agcchicago.org


The Executive Director leads the organization and drives its vision, building on its groundbreaking success and inspiring change at both the local and systems level. The Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the entire operation of the school and serves as one of the key external representatives for AGC’s work. In addition, the Executive Director will play a key role in creating cohesion between the two current buildings and the ongoing development of AGC’s new campus and learning laboratory, in collaboration with the founder, Board and staff. The Executive Director will directly manage a leadership team comprised of academic, operations, programs, and fundraising professionals and is ultimately responsible for the 50 person staff.

The successful candidate will be a proven leader with a commitment to AGC’s mission and to advancing environmentalism and sustainability through innovative education opportunities. This individual will be an exceptional manager, motivating leader, and a strong relationship builder, who has demonstrated breakthrough outcomes in a similarly mission aligned organization, non profit, or school setting.

The Executive Director will work with the Board Chair, Board of Directors, Lower School and Upper School Principals, and broader AGC community in the following areas:

Executive Leadership

  • Uphold and support the school’s commitment to environmental sustainability, whole child wellness, global citizenship, and educational innovation through strategic planning, goal setting and measurement of our mission and vision.
  • Serve as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors.
  • Evaluate and support the Lower School and Upper School Principals, Director of Operations and External Initiatives Manager.
  • In close partnership with the Lower School and Upper School Principals, provide oversight and support of the continuous development and effective implementation of the school’s instructional program and services leading to academic success of all of AGC’ students though the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.
  • Foster and facilitate AGC’s democratic school model by working with the Lower and Upper School Principal to determine procedures for input and decision making.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of a new Early Childhood program to commence in conjunction with the campus opening.

Management and Operations

  • Serve as point person to the school’s senior leadership team to provide support as they develop and coach the AGC staff. Collaborate with Lower School and Upper School Principals who will implement successful staff performance measures to ensure all academic, compliance, and operational requirements are met. Ensure professional and programmatic alignment is maintained with the school’s overall mission and vision.
  • Review the Lower and Upper School Principals’ recommended assessment framework and provide feedback on the measurement of both our academic outcomes and mission. Meets with the Principals to review their data analysis and collaborates to report data to the Board on a quarterly basis.
  • Oversee future facility planning, including the development of the new campus, with an unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability. Manage related meetings and contracts with the City of Chicago, political and community partners, legal and architecture teams, and associated personnel.
  • Manage an operational budget of $5.6M dollars and capital budget of $35M, ensuring fiscal stewardship and sustainability for the organization.
  • Collaborate with the Lower and Upper School Principals and provide final approval on policy, handbook, calendar and budget recommendations.
  • Ensure overall financial, legal, and academic accountability and compliance. Oversee AGC’s charter agreement and renewal processes with the Chicago Board of Education.

External Relations and Fundraising

  • In collaboration with the founder, Board and Development Director, participate in the $35M capital campaign and operational fundraising, utilizing the board, external funders, and other key funding opportunities to meet yearly goals.
  • Advance AGC’s public image and model by serving as an active and magnetic ambassador for AGC’s mission and vision with key stakeholders, including representing AGC at local, national and global education conferences and events.
  • Working with the External Initiatives manager to refine and execute AGC’s strategy for serving as a learning laboratory by scaling proven innovative practices with the world.
  • With the support of AGC’s senior leadership, play a central role in fostering significant donor relationships, cultivating corporate support and strategic partnerships.
  • Form relationships throughout the Chicago region and around the world that contribute to enriching and collaborative experiences for AGC’s students, teachers and families.


The ideal candidate will possess the following minimum qualifications:

  • Leadership experience with a record of success in leading and growing a reputable environmental education organization, environmental non profit, or similarly focused school
  • Strong track record of managing a cross functional team to achieve ambitious results through periods of major organizational growth or transition
  • Exceptional verbal, written, listening, and interpersonal skills, with an ability to motivate and persuade people
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with an ability to manage concurrent projects and priorities effectively
  • Experience forming, cultivating, and expanding partnerships with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors, such as foundations, individuals, and government agencies
  • A passion for advancing educational achievement in low income communities as well as a commitment to the mission/vision of Academy for Global Citizenship
  • Perseverance and an entrepreneurial spirit
  • A team building, facilitative rapport with peers and staff and a problem solving approach to obstacles
  • A Bachelor’s degree required, a Master’s degree preferred and at least 10 years of professional experience
  • Expertise in at least one of the following: environmentalism/sustainability, elementary school education, International Baccalaureate programming, dual language, or health and wellness education
  • Strong preference for fluency in Spanish.



  • A formal résumé
  • A one-page cover letter addressing why you are a good fit to lead the unique mission, vision and values of the Academy for Global Citizenship

Current openings

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