Thrival World Academies Executive Director

Thrival World Academies

At Thrival World Academies, we are leveling the playing field and creating meaningful study abroad opportunities for high school students from underserved communities, all while providing a world class education aligned to the demands of the 21st century. We are an innovative network of study abroad public high schools providing students access to education grounded in personalized and experiential learning, culminating in a three-month learning experience abroad. By building a national network of publicly-funded, credit-bearing study abroad high schools, Thrival has created a scalable solution to bring equity to study abroad. We provide this year-long educational experience completely free for students and families. We believe that international education is central to what it means to be an educated person in the 21st century and strive to make it accessible to all students in America, regardless of race or class.

Thrival World Academies launched in the 2016-2017 school year with a pilot program in Oakland, California in partnership with Oakland Unified School District. After this successful flagship year, including three months of immersive experiential learning in Thailand, we expanded in 2017-18 and now have pilot programs in both Oakland and Indianapolis poised to scale in 2018-19. Learn more about our work on our website and see here for a glimpse into our first year.

The Executive Director Role:

As the Executive Director, you will be responsible for the overall leadership and direction of Thrival World Academies. You will report to the Board of Directors, you will be charged with bringing our current pilot programs to scale and charting the course to open a third site, while maintaining high quality programming and outcomes.


  • Lead a Team of High Performing School Leaders. You will manage the team execution and strategy of Thrival Academy sites, leading a team of high performing school leaders. You will lead this team to become the instructional and cultural leaders of their schools, build and manage strong school teams and local partnerships, and above all, ensure programmatic success and provide a high quality education to all students, both during their time in the US and abroad.
  • Expand Impact. Thival World academies currently serves 36 students in pilot programs in 2 cities with plans to grow to 500 students in 5 cities over the next 5 years. This ambitious growth plan allows us to impact more students, maximize economies of scale, and reach a tipping point where Thrival is financially sustainable on public per-pupil funding. To do that, you will need to manage the strategy, execution, and governance requirements needed to scale the current programs and open future sites.
  • Cultivate Champions. As Executive director, you are the public face and key relationship builder of the organization, responsible for cultivating and maintaining philanthropic and strategic partnerships. You will develop and execute on the organizational fundraising and partnership strategy, support the recruitment of a diverse donor base of individual, foundation, corporate, and government segments, and build strong relationships with local and national members of the education and funding communities.


To excel in this role, you are:

  • A strategic thinker. Your decisions are data-driven, and you stay laser-focused on your goals even in the face of unanticipated challenges. You are able to prioritize what is most important, both short- and long- term, and manage multiple high-level projects.
  • A natural relationship-builder. You are a culturally competent people person and seek to deeply understand people’s motivations and barriers in order to maximize their potential for impact. You can effortlessly interact with people from a wide range of backgrounds, and love cultivating and managing long-term, sustained relationships.
  • Solutions-oriented and creative. You know that creating something new requires creative and flexible problem solving, and you’re motivated by the opportunity to find creative and resourceful solutions as you take Thrival into new and uncharted territory.
  • Self-reflective and dedicated to continuous improvement. You have a record of achieving ambitious goals, fueled by your self-reflection and constant learning. You don’t get overwhelmed easily, and you take personal responsibility for results. You consistently seek out feedback from diverse sources to learn and improve.

Preferred Qualifications

Professional Experience

  • Minimum 5+ years of work experience managing non-profits, social enterprises, startups, or building a division within a company, with a record of achieving ambitious results
  • Experience working in education and with underserved communities
  • Experience living abroad or extensive international travel
  • Experience with nonprofit fundraising, preferably in the education sector
  • Experience managing teams and external partnerships
  • Experience with budgeting, accounting, and finance

Critical Mindsets

  • Embodies the mission, vision, and values of Thrival World Academies
  • Committed, in belief and action, to equity and diversity, with a strong orientation towards social justice and culturally responsive youth development
  • Committed to the Thrival educational model of personalized, project-based, and experiential student learning
  • Embraces ambiguity with enthusiasm and is excited to lead the growth of an innovative school network

More Details & How to Apply


  • Flexible location <Indianapolis or Bay Area preferred>
  • Must be able to travel domestically and internationally

Start Date

  • May 1, 2018 preferred

Compensation & Benefits

  • Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience
  • Room, board, and roundtrip air travel will be provided for required international travel

Application Instructions

We are an equal opportunity employer and we strive for our team to reflect that diversity of the communities that we work with. Please apply here:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and select candidates will be contacted for interviews.

We are strongly committed to hiring a multicultural staff that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status and/or disability. In particular, we seek to employ a staff that reflects the diversity of our student body. Reasonable accommodations will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).