Executive Director

Location: USA
Aplication Deadline: October 29, 2023
Anticpated Start Date:

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) is hiring a new Executive Director. The Director provides strategic and organizational leadership for GCPEA. With support and guidance from the Steering Committee, the Director is responsible for overall programmatic operation, fundraising and financial sustainability of the Coalition as well as overseeing all advocacy, communication, research and partnership initiatives. The Director is responsible for recruiting and overseeing management of staff members, maintaining budget and records pertaining to all expenditures, and implementing policies and procedures. The Director works closely with the Steering Committee and Management Committee to develop and implement GCPEA’s strategy and priorities, as well as to represent GCPEA in high level meetings and events.

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) was formed in 2010 by organizations working in the fields of education in emergencies and conflict-affected contexts, higher education, protection, and international human rights and humanitarian law that were concerned about ongoing attacks on educational institutions, their students, and staff in countries affected by conflict and insecurity.

Through its research and advocacy, the Coalition has helped expose the widespread phenomena of attacks on students, teachers and academics, and schools and university as a tactic and by-product of war; and helped establish and promote the Safe Schools Declaration, a political declaration now endorsed by 118 countries who commit to protect education during war.

The Coalition is now looking for a new Executive Director to lead the Coalition’s work going forward. One of the first tasks will be to coordinate and lead the development of a new strategic plan for the Coalition to ensure that we are fit for purpose in a changing global context.

Executive Director Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Leadership and Management of the Coalition’s Work

  • Develop and implement, together with Coalition staff and the Steering Committee, strategic plans aimed at reducing attacks on education during armed conflict.
  • Prepare and manage the Coalition’s budget and expenditures, ensuring strict compliance with Tides and with individual grants.
  • Oversee the planning and implementation of the Coalition’s research, advocacy, implementation, and communications work, including the flagship Education under Attack report and support for International Conferences on the Safe Schools Declaration. Ensure quality and alignment with strategic goals in all of the Coalition’s work.
  • Oversee the organization and preparation of Steering Committee meetings, including two face to face meetings annually.
  • Represent the Coalition in various public fora related to attacks on education as well as in high-level advocacy meetings and in media interviews.

Staff Management

  • Oversee the management of the Coalition’s staff and consultants, promoting well-being, staff development, and performance review.
  • Identify human and technical resource needs and lead the recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of new staff and consultants.

Fundraising and Grant Management

  • Lead the development and implementation of a fundraising strategy to implement the Coalition’s strategic plans, in collaboration with the Steering Committee, that will further grow the Coalition’s work and impact.
  • Oversee the management of and reporting on grants and maintain close relationships with donors.


  • Build and maintain strategic partnerships, including with governments, agencies and organizations working on children and armed conflict, and current and potential donors.
  • Maintain strong relationships with Steering Committee members and their organizations and identify potential new Steering Committee members that could further strengthen the Coalition’s work.  
  • Facilitate collaborative work among Coalition members to ensure effective implementation of the Coalition’s strategic plans.
  • Together with the Steering Committee and Coalition staff, further build the Coalition’s reputation and influence, all to advance further adoption and implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines, so as to better protect education from attack worldwide.

Education and Experience Required:

  • A minimum of a relevant MA or advanced legal degree (JD or LLM), or a Bachelor’s degree with relevant experience.
  • Experience with managing a disperse technical team across time zones is preferred.
  • Substantial experience working on either children’s rights or protection of civilians in armed conflict.
  • 5+ years of relevant management experience, preferably at senior level, and broad knowledge and understanding of NGO executive management including:
    • Demonstrated leadership skills, with ability to provide leadership, strategic direction and drive for results.
    • Demonstrated management skills, with experience managing areas of operation including supervision of staff; good understanding of budget planning and oversight; demonstrated track record raising funds, building and maintaining donor relationships and donor reporting and compliance.
  • Profound knowledge and experience in advocacy and policy development around education in emergency/conflict situations, children’s rights, protection of civilians, and/or international humanitarian law and human rights law.
  • Experience working with and coordinating activities by diverse actors and organizations, and understanding of and/or experience coordination coalitions or other membership organizations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

Outstanding verbal and written skills, with demonstrated abilities in public speaking and in writing and editing reports, articles and other documents. Fluency in English is mandatory, working knowledge of Spanish, French and/or Arabic is desirable.

Ability and willingness to undertake regular business travel.

Salary and benefits

GCPEA seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits. We offer a generous benefit plan, including health, dental, vision and life insurance, along with paid vacation and sick time. A retirement plan, Employee Assistance Plan, and other benefits are included. The salary range is US$105,000-125,000. 


GCPEA will consider all US-based applicants, including current VISA holders living in the US. Candidates located in, or willing to relocate to, New York City are strongly preferred. GCPEA is willing to sponsor VISA holders who would like to continue employment in the US. 

To Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter to:  gcpea@protectingeducation.org by October 29, 2023.

Equal Employment Opportunity

GCPEA is a fiscally sponsored project of Tides Center. Tides Center is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities and welcome your application even if you do not meet every one of the above requirements. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, political affiliation, disability, or medical condition. We encourage and consider qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants with a disability may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.