Posted: Sep 22, 2022

Executive Director, Education Lab

Application Deadline: N/A

Who We Are  

The University of Chicago Education Lab is an independent research organization that designs, tests, and scales programs and practices that advance student learning and opportunity. By generating cutting-edge evidence in a real-world setting, we create insights that can be applied both in the classroom and in the community.

Our team works in close partnership with school districts, using data to identify interventions that can have transformative impact in practice, not just in theory. We collaborate with schools beyond pilot projects by applying rigorous research methods to determine whether promising programs can work at large scale – district-, city-, or state-wide: a critical component to having a lasting impact on education outcomes.

Our work is increasingly urgent: Despite the progress we have made in public education, schools still fail to address the unique barriers many students face to learning and opportunity. As a result, one-fifth of America’s high school students do not graduate, affecting their future health, earnings, and safety. In cities across the country, the barriers preventing students from learning and opportunity have a disproportionate impact on Black and low-income students.

School systems must rethink their approach. The Education Lab helps them do exactly that. We advance learning through new approaches that personalize student instruction, which is increasingly important in settings serving diverse student populations. We also work on addressing out-of-school barriers that impact student success, including the harms of trauma exposure, homelessness, and gun violence.

To learn more about the Education Lab, visit


The Role

The Education Lab is seeking an Executive Director to help drive our next stage of growth. This will include expanding large-scale social policy experiments in partnership with large school districts around the country; overseeing cutting-edge research on student barriers to learning; and educating policymakers and school administrations on how they can better support struggling students. The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and other top-tier universities and to interface regularly with policymakers, community partners, non-profits, media, and funders.

The Executive Director reports to the Faculty Director and Founding Executive Director and is a member of the Leadership Team of the Crime Lab and Education Lab organizations. The ideal candidate will be innovative and intellectually curious and a collaborative leader with experience in the education sector. The candidate will also ideally possess a familiarity with research and evaluation, especially with respect to large-scale policy interventions. Specific job responsibilities are outlined below.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director will:

  • Collaborate with Faculty Directors and Research Directors to set research priorities for the Education Lab.
  • Cultivate relationships with key education stakeholders around the United States so that Education Lab can serve as a strategic thought partner to school districts on high-stakes decisions.
  • Represent the Education Lab with policymakers and with non-profit partners.
  • Support development and execution of a fundraising strategy for the Education Lab, including the cultivation of individual donors, institutional philanthropy, foundations, and corporate philanthropy.
  • Collaborate with the Labs’ Public Affairs team to ensure the Education Lab is effectively and proactively represented to external stakeholders. Provide guidance on specific communication needs, including press releases, website content, and newsletters.
  • Supervise the Associate Director and Portfolio Directors of the Education Lab, who are responsible for direct project implementation.
  • Build out the Education Lab’s research and project implementation teams.



Master’s degree in economics, public policy, sociology, or a closely related field required; advanced degree preferred.



  • A minimum of ten years related work experience required
  • Previous experience in education required
  • Previous experience working in a research organization or managing research projects preferred



  • Strong project management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to maintain positive relationships with various stakeholders
  • Strong time management skills with a proven ability to multitask and triage work to successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present data in a simple and straightforward way for non-technical audiences
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise sound judgment


To Apply


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or status as an individual with disability.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and reference contact information to UChicago’s Workday system. Within the Workday system, this listing can be found by the position title or by the requisition number, JR17832.

If you have an active UChicago Workday account, you will need to complete the Internal Candidate application process. Simply log in to Workday and select the career worklet to begin.

External candidates should apply at


If you have questions about the Workday system, please contact our Shared Services department at

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact the Shared Services Office by calling 773-702-5800 or by emailing [email protected] with their request.