THE OPPORTUNITY

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that clears a path for all students to own their future. Founded in 1900, it was created to expand access to higher education. From its earliest days, the College Board has devoted itself to educational opportunity and achievement. Named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative education companies, the College Board’s work falls broadly into four categories: college readiness, college connection and success, student opportunities, and advocacy.

Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools.

The Position

ROLE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC FOR THE COLLEGE BOARD

The executive director, East Asia and the Pacific reports to the vice president of International and is responsible for providing vision, direction and strategic leadership to the higher education and K-12 outreach team assigned to the region. The College Board is seeking a collaborative and enterprising leader who will work alongside other leaders in the division to strategically grow the College Board’s brand and reputation internationally. To this end, the executive director will be expected to engage and collaborate extensively with College Board colleagues in the College Readiness Assessments, AP & Instruction, Global Higher Education and Membership, Governmental Relations, Communications, and Operations areas.

The position is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of outreach, business development, and customer interaction plans in the region, with a focus on establishing new relationships and driving adoption of College Board programs. Key constituencies include, but are not limited to, institutions of higher education, secondary schools, educational agencies, and local and national ministries. Based in the College Board’s national office in New York City, the executive director currently has two direct reports: the senior director of market management and the senior director of international higher education.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

The former executive director, East Asia and the Pacific served from 2017-2019 and focused on working with stakeholders on the K-12 market.  The current position will have responsibility for all stakeholders groups including K-12, higher education, educational agencies, and local and national ministries.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

The College Board’s International division is a complex organization with wide-ranging stakeholders and responsibilities. The East Asia and the Pacific team is charged with expanding the College Board’s presence and brand through partnerships with, among others, K-12 entities, higher education institutions, and state and national ministries of education. The geographic territory encompasses an incredibly diverse group of countries, both geopolitically and culturally. It is therefore imperative that the new executive director has the business acumen, emotional intelligence, and cultural competence to lead a team that is dedicated to this region.

Within this context, there are several aspects of the role of executive director in which the successful candidate, after a period of acclimatization and relationship-building, will need to provide leadership. These include:

  1. establishing a presence on the division’s leadership team and supporting the vice president’s strategic priorities;
  2. articulating cohesive vision, direction, and data-informed priorities for the East Asia and the Pacific (EPAC) team;
  3. establishing rapport and collaborative relationships, characterized by trust and respect, within and outside of the international division;
  4. developing a thorough knowledge and message related to the College Board’s products, including, but not limited to, the AP, SAT, and Pre-SAT programs;
  5. assessing potential risks and opportunities in the EPAC region for increasing the College Board’s profile in both the K-12 and higher education markets; and
  6. organizing and presenting at College Board sponsored conferences, institutes and other professional development events.

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

The executive director, East Asia and the Pacific will work with Linda Liu, vice president for international, to determine specific measures of success and related timetables. The search committee and stakeholders offer the following general metrics for the position:

  • evidence of growing participation in College Board programs in the region;
  • evidence of growing collaboration with key partners within the division and across the College Board;
  • evidence of staff cohesion and clarity of priorities within the EPAC team;
  • development of focused goals for the EPAC team, using market data and properly vetted research;
  • active participation in leadership meetings with clear and educated views;
  • evidence of a growing network of potential strategic partners in the region;
  • identification of priority markets to elevate the College Board’s brand and diversify opportunities for College Board programs; and
  • effective representation of and advocacy for the College Board and the division’s programs with external stakeholders in the region.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A bachelor’s degree is required (master’s preferred), along with a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in higher education, secondary education, sales, and/or product management. Fluency in one of the languages spoken in the region is strongly desired. The ideal candidate will have a deep knowledge of higher and secondary education and admissions processes and policies in the various countries of the region, as well as in those countries that attract international students from the region (e.g. U.S., U.K., etc.).

The next executive director will be a results-oriented leader who thrives on new challenges and is adept at setting and being held accountable for goals. Candidates should possess excellent analytic and quantitative skills, the ability to inspire and motivate a team, and the interpersonal skills and desire to partner with varied external organization and all areas across the College Board.

Additional knowledge, capabilities and experiences needed for success in the position include:

  • professional connections to higher education institutions, secondary schools, government agencies, or other key influencers in the region;
  • ability to think creatively about fresh approaches to challenges;
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills to present to internal and external constituencies, including executives;
  • ability to identify and obtain demographic and market data to support decision-making; and
  • willingness and ability to travel extensively (up to 50 percent).

In order to succeed in this critical position, College Board stakeholders have indicated that the new executive director should be someone who:

  • has a strong understanding of the K-12 and higher-education systems in the U.S. and abroad;
  • is adept at managing and prioritizing a wide range of activities and duties;
  • is simultaneously diplomatic and confident;
  • has excellent organizational and time-management skills;
  • has strong supervision and coaching skills, tailored to team members who have been in their roles for varying lengths of time;
  • has an ability to develop and support high-functioning teams;
  • is an instinctive collaborator who can build on key relationships across departments and external colleagues;
  • will be a champion for the EPAC team;
  • is charismatic and has a professional presence;
  • has a professional network and connections in the EPAC region;
  • has business and political acumen;
  • is an excellent communicator with the ability to reach individuals and audiences at all levels;
  • is comfortable with public speaking and high-level meetings;
  • is culturally competent and intelligent;
  • is a relationship builder;
  • is comfortable with quantitative goals;
  • has a sense of humor and can build an enjoyable working environment;
  • is fair and open-minded;
  • has the ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the work of the division and its intricacies, and then make well-informed decisions; and
  • is authentic and can embrace the College Board’s mission.

OVERVIEW OF THE COLLEGE BOARD INTERNATIONAL DIVISION

The College Board’s International division manages and oversees the organization’s English-based programs and services internationally to expand opportunities for students all over the world to connect with higher education opportunities. Each year, it reaches students in more than 180 different countries, including U.S. territories and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools.  The division engages with a wide variety of stakeholders that include K-12 schools, higher education institutions both in the US and outside the US, governments at the national and local levels, NGOs, and professional organizations focused on international education, among others.  The strategic priorities of the division are to:

  • connect international students with higher education opportunities in the US and around the world through its programs, including SAT and AP;
  • provide access to its programs for US citizens living abroad;
  • promote the College Board’s programs as global credentials which advance the College Board’s mission to expand access and equity in higher education globally and reinforce the value of American-style higher education;
  • collaborate with global NGOs and governments to support access and equity initiatives for low-income international students; and
  • bring resources to enhance the teaching and learning of Chinese language in U.S. schools through the Chinese Language and Culture Initiatives Program.

Leadership of the division

Linda Liu, vice president of International

Linda Liu is vice president of International for The College Board in New York City. She leads the College Board’s effort to provide opportunities for students outside the United States to connect with higher education in the U.S. and globally, through programs such as the SAT and Advanced Placement. Since joining the College Board in 2007, Linda has played a key role in a variety of areas across the SAT program, as well as with organization-wide strategy and partnerships. Under Linda’s leadership, the College Board has launched such key initiatives as the India Global Higher Education Alliance, access and equity efforts to support refugee learners and international students from low income backgrounds, and partnerships with Khan Academy, Code.org and Project Lead the Way. Prior to joining the College Board, Linda was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting, advising some of the world’s largest companies in the pharmaceutical, financial services, and professional-services sectors. Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in both economics and East Asian languages and civilization from the University of Chicago, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Institution & Location

THE COLLEGE BOARD: AN OVERVIEW

Background and History

The College Board was founded in 1900 at Columbia University by 12 universities and three private preparatory schools, and was originally called the College Entrance Examination Board. Its intent was to establish standard curriculum expectations and educational goals for secondary schools. Today its membership includes over 6,000 educational institutions around the world. Each year it administers tests such as the SAT and Advanced Placement to over seven million students.

The College Board has main offices in New York, NY, and Reston, VA, and six regional offices. It also has two international offices/affiliates: Oficina de Puerto Rico y América Latina, and College Board India.

College Board programs are among the most highly recognized credentials in the college-admissions process, used by first-rate universities around the globe. More than 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. and 85 other countries report that they accept the SAT, SAT Subjects Tests™, or AP for admissions, credit, or placement.

Mission

“To connect students to college success and opportunity.”

Nature and Purpose

  • “The College Board is a not-for-profit membership corporation operating for educational purposes under a Charter granted by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and on behalf of the New York State Education Department.”
  • “Members of the College Board include secondary and postsecondary institutions, districts and systems, nonprofit educational associations, organizations, and agencies serving secondary and/or postsecondary education.”
  • “The purpose of the College Board is to serve educational organizations in connection with the transition of students from secondary schools to colleges and other institutions of higher learning and in the coordination of secondary school and higher education activities relating to the identification and evaluation of student performance and capabilities, the admission and educational guidance of students, and the development and coordination of related research, programs, and services. In carrying out these activities, the College Board demonstrates its commitment to access and equity for all students.”

Culture

The College Board stands on a foundation of respect, diversity and inclusion, innovation, collaboration, and balance.

  • Respect: “Everyone has a seat at the table. We value different points of view, and we encourage our employees to share their ideas, offer constructive criticism, and ask questions. That’s how we learn.”
  • Diversity and Inclusion: “We want our staff to reflect the diversity of the students and communities we serve and be their unique, authentic selves. If we were the same, we’d be boring. And we’re not boring.”
  • Innovation: “We’re innovating the way we work by embracing the agile philosophy of customer-driven priorities, teamwork, and flexibility. We want our employees to be fearless in trying new things and challenging old ways of thinking. We value imagination, agility, and the willingness to learn from mistakes as well as successes.”
  • Collaboration: “Our offices are modern, airy, and open, with plenty of space for impromptu work sessions or team lunches. We encourage team-building and walk-and-talk meetings, because getting out of the office and moving around can jump-start new ideas.”
  • Balance: “We understand you have a life outside the office, and we don’t want you to burn out. We ask you to perform at your best while at work, but we also offer 14 holidays, up to 20 PTO days, and up to 10 sick days.”

Leadership

David Coleman, Chief Executive Officer

David Coleman guides the overall direction and strategic priorities of the organization, “with the goal of ensuring all students in our care are prepared to successfully complete college and career training.”

David grew up in a family of educators and followed them into the field. He went to public school in New York City before enrolling at Yale University. At Yale, he taught reading to high school students from low-income families and started Branch, an innovative community service program for inner-city students in New Haven, CT. Based on the success of Branch, David received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at the University of Oxford and classical educational philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the U.K.

With a team of educators, David founded the Grow Network, an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for teachers, parents and students. The Grow Network delivered breakthrough-quality reports for parents and teachers as well as individualized learning guides for students. McGraw-Hill acquired the Grow Network in 2005.

In 2007, David left McGraw-Hill and cofounded Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that designs actions based on evidence to improve student outcomes. Student Achievement Partners played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. David left Student Achievement Partners in the fall of 2012 to become president of the College Board.

David was named to the 2013 Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s “11 Education Activists for 2011” and was one of the New School’s Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012. He is the proud father of two.

Jeremy Singer, President

Jeremy Singer helps set the strategic direction of the College Board and leads the efforts that drive successful outcomes for students. As president, Jeremy directly oversees AP, SAT, and all related instructional and assessment programs, financial management and strategy, IT, operations, human resources, and other core services.

Jeremy has extensive leadership experience in both not-for-profit and for-profit education organizations, having served as president of Kaplan Test Prep’s Graduate, Pre-College and K–12 divisions; CFO and COO of the Grow Network; president of Digital Products for McGraw-Hill Higher Education; and executive director of Partners in School Innovation.

Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Governance

The business and affairs of the College Board are governed by the Board of Trustees and managed by the chief executive officer. The Board of Trustees is elected by College Board member delegates. The chair and vice-chair serve two-year terms; other Trustees generally serve four-year terms.

About New York, New York

New York City (NYC) has a population of over eight million that is contained within about 302 square miles, making it the most populous, and most densely populated major city in the United States.

Composed of five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island), it contains one of the world’s largest natural harbors, which accounted for much of its early growth as a center of shipping and commerce. Manhattan (allegedly derived from the Native name ‘Mannahatta,’ meaning ‘land of many hills’), was originally settled as a trading post by Dutch colonists in 1624, and called New Amsterdam. When the English took control in 1664, they renamed it after the Duke of York, brother of English king Charles II.

Manhattan remains the city’s center and home to its most iconic attractions, including the Empire State Building, Wall Street, Broadway, and Times Square. It has long been a major arts, cultural, and media capital of the U.S. and the world. Because it hosts the United Nations, it serves as an important center for international diplomacy. Wall Street, the financial hub of both the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, has made New York a financial powerhouse. In 2019 metropolitan New York City produced a gross product of $1.9 trillion, meaning that if it were its own country, it would have the 12th highest GDP in the world.

As the Statue of Liberty in its harbor illustrates, New York City has a long history of welcoming immigrants, and is one of the most diverse cities on earth. About three million of its current eight million residents were born outside the United States, and they speak over 800 languages. It has the largest ethnic-Chinese population outside of Asia.

Also described as “the city that never sleeps,” New York City boasts round-the-clock entertainment and public transportation, including the largest rapid-transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. It is a leader in art, architecture, museums, medicine, and education, with over 120 colleges and universities, including New York University, Rockefeller University, and Columbia University.

In this century, New York City has positioned itself as a global leader in creativity, entrepreneurship, social tolerance, freedom, diversity, and the arts, and it attracts over sixty million tourists each year. In 2013, it boasted three of the world’s top ten most-visited tourist attractions. In 2019, a survey of over 30,000 people from 48 cities around the globe voted it the “greatest city in the world.”

Benefits Overview

  • 2:1 matching of 403(b) retirement-account contribution up to 10 percent of salary
  • PPO or high-deductible medical plans, as well as dental and vision insurance
  • Up to $1,000 charitable matching when an employee makes a contribution to a partner charity
  • Up to 20 PTO days and up to ten paid sick days each year
  • Up to eight weeks of paid leave for new parents
  • Tuition reimbursement program
  • Pet Insurance

Application & Nomination

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Michel Frendian, Search Consultant, at mrf@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the College Board International website at https://international.collegeboard.org/.

The College Board is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In all its dealings, neither the College Board nor its duly authorized agents shall discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, sex, age, ethnicity, national origin, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental or physical disability, or any category protected by state and federal law.