Executive Director

  • Location

    Philadelphia, PA

  • Category


The Philadelphia Robotics Coalition seeks to hire our first full-time Executive Director to lead an exciting growth stage for our young organization.

A major priority that emerged from the Coalition’s recent strategic and development planning processes is the need to hire a full-time Executive Director, to increase capacity beyond the current quarter-time role (held by a board member). The new Executive Director will provide a next level of leadership, by integrating strategy, fundraising, programming, and administrative duties. The Coalition also has a part-time Program Director. By hiring a full-time Executive Director, we aim to create stability and continuity for the Coalition, and launch a new stage of programmatic and organizational growth.

The Executive Director will provide leadership and oversight for the full spectrum of organizational life, including:

  • Working with the Founder and board of directors to set strategy and implement it, in support of the organization’s mission and vision;
  • Building a robust fundraising platform across multiple sectors, including foundations, corporations, and individuals;
  • Sustaining and growing programming with the highest possible standards, including recruiting new teams and expanding our mentorship network;
  • Nurturing partnerships with schools, partners, peer organizations, and others who participate in our programming;
  • Communicating internally and externally to share the impact of our programs and build a solid base of supporters;
  • Representing the organization publicly and remaining well-informed about education, technology, and engineering sectors.
  • Administering the budget, bookkeeping, and 990/audit processes to ensure fiscal health and remain compliant with IRS nonprofit requirements;
  • Hiring additional staff as needed and developing equity-focused HR policies and practices;
  • Managing “up” and “down” to ensure a well-functioning team of board and staff;
  • Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion across people, programs, and policies.

The position requires a commitment to community-building and a passion for bringing ideas to life. The ideal candidate will be an entrepreneurial self-starter able to provide leadership, while also facilitating effective teamwork and collaborating with the range of stakeholders in our ecosystem. They should be the kind of person who likes to do a “little bit of everything.”

The candidate must have experience building new programs and processes from scratch, and be able to coordinate multiple tasks while also meeting deadlines and maintaining accuracy. They should enjoy thinking strategically and creatively. They must have prior fundraising experience, excellent oral and written communication skills, excellent computer skills, and comfort with budgeting and bookkeeping.

Familiarity with youth-based programs, STEM education, and/or Philadelphia public schools is a plus, as is Spanish language proficiency. Post-secondary educational experience (degree/s, coursework, certificate program, etc.) and at least 7 years work experience in the nonprofit sector preferred. 

This is an excellent opportunity for an early career professional ready to assume leadership. Salary range is $60,000-$70,000, based on experience, for a full-time position with PTO, flexible hours, and work-from-home opportunities. An additional 20% of salary will be allocated for health insurance, disability insurance, retirement contribution, and/or family leave benefits, to be instituted in good faith by the Executive Director and board during the first year of employment.

Position requires being present in Philadelphia and able to travel around the city to visit schools. Clearances/background checks mandatory, per Pennsylvania school laws.

About Us

The Philadelphia Robotics Coalition has a vision that every Philadelphia public school student will have access to a high-quality robotics program in their school or community. Our mission is to build an ecosystem that supports the next generation of STEM and community leaders through skills development, collaboration, and mentorship. We seek to drive equity and diversity within STEM education. 

Coalition robotics teams participate in the FIRST program (“For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”), which is a global network with a progression of team-based robotics challenges. Robotics’ interdisciplinary model combines computer programming, mechanical and electrical engineering, and applied mathematics, as well as design and manufacturing. The competitive, team-based approach develops students’ ability to collaboratively problem-solve, communicate effectively, and develop leadership capacity. The combination of technical and life skills creates a learning environment that leads to success in college, career, and life.

The Coalition partners with under-resourced Philadelphia public schools that would otherwise be unable to afford robotics programs. Our core program helps schools launch and sustain their own FIRST teams through administrative support, team funding, tools and supplies, coach training, and mentorship. The Coalition also hosts FIRST competitions and events for the entire region. Coalition programs increase access for those historically left out of the STEM pipeline, including low-income youth, BIPOC youth (Black, indigenous, and/or people of color), and women/girls. 

In 2019-2020, Coalition events served 73 teams (800 students) spanning the progression of FIRST programs for grades 2-12. Of those, 23 FIRST Tech Challenge teams (362 high school students) participated in the Coalition’s core program. In 2021, we are growing our core program from 23 to 50 teams by adding 22 existing FIRST LEGO League Challenge and Explore teams and starting 5 new teams. Over the next three years, our goal is to support 75 core program teams. We are prioritizing recruiting new teams at Philadelphia neighborhood schools, working closely with each school to remove barriers and ensure youth are able to fully participate. We are also launching several Community Hubs around the city, which will provide shared practice fields so teams from under-resourced schools can prepare for FIRST competitions. We have preliminary plans for a centralized Robotics Center that would provide access to advanced tools and technology (e.g. power tools, CNC router, 3D printers, CAD software).

The Coalition was founded by high school students in 2016, and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2018. We have robust partnerships with the School District of Philadelphia, Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division, Pennsylvania FIRST Robotics, FIRST Mid-Atlantic, and numerous schools and organizations that make our programs possible. Learn more at roboticscoalition.org.


Vision for the Future

Over the past year, Coalition board and staff have engaged in planning processes to support ongoing growth, including a Strategic Plan and Development Plan. The Strategic Plan revolves around a central question: “How can the Coalition use robotics programs to drive equitable STEM education for Philadelphia students?” It comprises 5 core strategies: 1) Empower student leadership, 2) Strengthen the Coalition’s mentorship ecosystem to support students’ career readiness, 3) Support schools in sustaining and growing their robotics teams, 4) Elevate the Coalition’s profile as a STEM education advocate, and 5) Expand operational capacity. 

The Coalition’s Development Plan establishes a broad base of support, outlining a portfolio of 35 grant opportunities from regional and national foundations and more than a dozen key prospects for corporate sponsorship. 

Apply for this job

To apply, please email a cover letter describing your qualifications and what you would bring to this position, as well as a resume and 3 references to jobs@roboticscoalition.org by March 19, 2021. No phone calls, please. The Philadelphia Robotics Coalition is committed to building a diverse team that represents our student participants. We strongly encourage applications from BIPOC, women, LGTBQ individuals, people with disabilities, and other under-represented communities. The Philadelphia Robotics Coalition does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, disability, or gender identity.

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