Executive Director, Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust

  • Full Time
  • New York
  • Applications have closed

Website Schmidt Futures

Rise, an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, will build a lifelong community of students, teachers, and institutions across sectors who aim to serve others. The program, which will seek young people between the ages of 15 and 17 from around the world, will be designed to encourage a lifetime of service and learning by providing support that could include scholarships, career services, and funding opportunities to help these leaders serve others for decades to come.

Crossposted from Schmidt Futures

The first annual competition for Rise in 2020 will begin to build a global community of students, teachers, and others—including a larger group of finalists worldwide and ultimately at least 100 extraordinary young people each year who show the potential to have a unique impact on their communities with more connection and support. Those young people who advance through the final stages of the competition will be invited to attend a residential fellowship before their final year of high school that will support them as they consider how to serve others, how to become leaders, and how to transition to higher education and careers. Other opportunities will include the potential to apply for scholarship funding for education, mentorship and other assistance tailored to their specific needs and interests, and a variety of career services as part of the Rise network.

To encourage service, Rise will invite its community members to make service commitments together and develop a platform to match network members with common interests. In addition, Rise plans to support non-profits or other social enterprises that Rise network members drive together to serve others.  Finalists and others in the Rise network will have the opportunity to compete for as-needed funding to launch or scale their ventures; funds are intended to be designated for these purposes in a total pooled amount of at least $5 million per year of the program.

The Role

The Executive Director (ED) will be the senior executive responsible for delivering the Rise program and will be accountable to the program’s governing board. The ED will lead the Rise team and manage a wide array of partners and stakeholders in bringing the program from concept to reality. As such, the ED will be expected to meet the demands of the role as specified below.

1. Strategic Organizational Leadership

  • Shape and develop organizational policies, structures, systems and practices that underpin the Rise Program.
  • Oversee and manage the following functions: Operations, Selection, Program and Curriculum Design, and Outreach.
  • Direct Rise’s internal and external activities, including the activities of its scholars and alumni, to achieve the initiative’s strategic goals.
  • Set the overarching public communications objectives for the program, working in partnership with Schmidt Futures and The Rhodes Trust.
  • Oversee and drive the expansion of Rise in its nascent years.
  • Ensure the Rise program is evolving and improving over time through research and evaluation partnerships.
  • Administer the Rise program, including accountability for all financial and legal aspects of its operation and administration.
  • Build the Rise team, including recruiting key organizational roles and contractor support.

2. Global Partnership Development

  • Collaborate with the senior leadership of the Rhodes Trust and Schmidt Futures, as well as the Warden of Rhodes House and the CEO of Schmidt Futures.
  • Collaborate with regional partners, building strong relationships across the globe with NGOs, schools, governments, and the private sector.
  • Explore and develop new partnerships with key constituencies and groups in high priority geographic areas.
  • Institute systems to surface, test, and implement new partnerships on behalf of the Rise program.
  • Create internal and external processes and competitions to test partner relationships and to provide development tracks for graduated partnerships

3. Global Public Leadership

  • Represent Rise with key constituencies including strategic partners, Rise alumni, potential funders and other interested or related parties.
  • Build the global brand and reputation of the Rise program.
  • Provide thought leadership on elevating and supporting young talent.
  • Identify opportunities to extend Rise’s outreach to global communities through partners, marketing channels, and other distribution methods.
  • Collaborate with the Schmidt Futures and Rhodes Trust teams to leverage personnel to advance the Rise mission and profile.

Essential & Desired Skills

The ED will be an individual who has experience with organizational leadership and youth talent development.

Knowledge, Experience and Skills

  • Demonstrated commitment to working with young people, ideally with holistic student development experience;
  • Experience designing, planning, delivering, monitoring and evaluating programs;
  • Experience in educational or executive development programs;
  • High-level organizational leadership and strategy capabilities;
  • Excellent communication ability, including public speaking, presenting and moderating;
  • Values-based, collaborative working style with a demonstrated commitment to the highest standards of ethics and confidentiality;
  • Teamwork and team-building skills, including both full-time staff and volunteers;
  • Experience building relationships with senior leaders, funding partners, external organizations, advocacy groups, and public officials;
  • Global experience, and a track record of working on an international scale with international stakeholders; and
  • A proven commitment to lifelong learning.


  • Have 15+ years of work experience in education, government, business, philanthropy, and/or talent development;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion and confidence and comfort working with diverse populations and with young people from underrepresented backgrounds, including but not limited to the Global South;
  • Exemplary character and commitment to ethical leadership;
  • Be based in New York and be able to travel within the U.S. and internationally on a regular basis as needed
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on telegram


40,000 subscribers already enjoy our premium stuff.