The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
President, Princeton, NJ
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops leaders and educational institutions to meet the nation's critical challenges.
The challenges facing our country today are staggering. The achievement gap is wider than ever. Our workforce is changing faster than predicted even a decade ago. Technological changes move with rapid-fire speed. Within this context, the Foundation's mission is to identify and develop the most talented minds for the nation's greatest challenges and find innovative, scalable, and replicable vehicles to do so.
The Foundation addresses its mission by offering a broad variety of fellowship programs to recruit, support, and prepare the next generation of leaders for impact; creating institutions and programs that test and showcase innovative options; and staying open and agile, ready to tackle emerging issues. Throughout all its work, Woodrow Wilson also emphasizes initiatives that significantly expand diversity on the nation's college and university campuses through both access and mentoring.
To date, Woodrow Wilson has supported 27,000 Fellows who have won an astounding number of awards and honors including 15 Nobel Prizes, 38 MacArthur "Genius" Awards, 19 Pulitzer Prizes, two appointments as Poets Laureate of the United States, and even one Academy Award.
Located in Princeton, New Jersey, the Foundation was created after World War II, when the United States faced a shortage of university professors to teach a tidal wave of GIs and others entering higher education. It offered the best and brightest students fellowships to attend doctoral programs, leading to professorial positions. The Foundation has also supported specific populations underrepresented in academe, including people of color and women.
As educational needs have evolved, the Foundation expanded its fellowship programs and added creative new initiatives to tackle important challenges at the secondary school teaching and administrative levels.
Under the leadership of Arthur Levine, the Foundation's annual budget grew from $16 million to $26 million since 2005. More than $100 million, including passthrough funding, has been raised to support the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, with another $22 million raised for the Woodrow Wilson Academy, more than $20 million for the WW MBA, and similar amounts for other Woodrow Wilson programs. In the last decade, the Foundation has established a coverage network of 36 universities as well as key leaders across sectors in eight states where it helped lead major transformation initiatives. The work done in this regard is known in at least a dozen more. At the same time, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation has retained strong fellowship programs well known in their fields, some of them for more than 40 years.
This year, the Foundation will offer more than 200 fellowships through programs such as these:
- The state-based Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, now in six states, designed both to recruit, prepare, and retain excellent science, technology, and mathematics (STEM) teachers for high-need schools and to transform the teacher education programs where they prepare;
- The Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership, operating in three states, which recruits and prepares principals and other educational leadership as it changes the way universities educate school leaders;
- The HistoryQuest Fellowship, now in its third year, developed to provide middle and high school social studies teachers with a professional development program focused on game-based pedagogy;
- The Mellon Foundation Fellowships, including the Career Enhancement Fellowships and the Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars Award, all of which create opportunities for junior faculty members to strengthen their tenure dossiers and connect with faculty colleagues who can mentor them through the tenure process;
- The Course Hero Woodrow Wilson Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching, which aims to shape the next generation of college professors to be innovative, effective, and inspiring educators;
- Several programs for doctoral students the Mellon Mays Dissertation and Travel/Research Awards, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships, and the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women's Studies that support emerging scholars in the arts and sciences and offer a network of peers.
In addition to these fellowships, since 2015 the Foundation has developed a model school of education the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning in collaboration with MIT. As of July 2018, the Academy has become a separate not-for-profit organization to which the Woodrow Wilson Foundation still provides support services on a contractual basis. The Academy explores new approaches and theories of education in order to prepare a generation of teachers and principals who can move the nation's schools into a future of outcomes-based, individualized education. It will also develop best practices and serves as a demonstration site for those practices.
Woodrow Wilson is developing an expanded American history initiative, building on its successful HistoryQuest program. Its goal will be to transform the way in which American history is taught in schools to convey the relevance and excitement of the subject. Aspirationally, the wish is to educate a generation of Americans who know how to ask questions about the present and future that are rooted in the past, and to marshal the data to answer those questions.
Within its mission of cultivating leadership to address the nation's greatest challenges primarily in and through education the Foundation continues to identify new challenges and propose new programs.
In keeping with economic reality, the Foundation has recently launched a Fellowships Acquisition office to broaden and diversify its revenue base as an operating foundation. This business development function encompasses both marketing the Foundation's services to organizations that might seek to outsource fellowship management and attracting interested sponsors to create their own new fellowship programs, administered by the Foundation. For any such initiatives, a fundamental fit with the Foundation's own education-oriented mission will be key.
The President, reporting to the Board, will be an energetic and entrepreneurial leader and a catalyst for the Foundation's growth and increasing impact within the educational community. The successful candidate will effectively engage Woodrow Wilson's range of resources and develop new strategies for reinforcing the Foundation's role in cultivating excellence in education and learning at all levels. The successful candidate will need to be a dynamic, strategic leader with outstanding presentation skills and marketing savvy. He/she will embrace the Foundation's mission and the scope of its vision and will fit well within a culture of high-performing and dedicated professionals.
The President will take the lead securing new and ongoing funding. The President is expected to serve as a national spokesperson for the Foundation and its areas of focus, to maintain a strong network of contacts at all levels of education, and to remain open to new opportunities as they arise. The President will work closely with members of the Board as well as with the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and senior staff leadership, to lead and manage the Foundation.
PRIORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Assuming responsibility for the key institutional priorities, which include but are not limited to the following, the new President will
- Position the Foundation to increase its voice, as the country continues to address challenges at all levels of education;
- Serve as the primary fundraiser and advocate for the Foundation;
- Work closely with the Board on fundraising relationships and strategic direction; pursue collaborative opportunities with partners working on educational reform issues corporate, government, other nonprofits, think tanks, etc.;
- Serve as the face of the Foundation, embodying its mission and brand; be an enthusiastic and highly visible ambassador; create awareness of the Foundation and its work that reflects the importance and effectiveness of its distinct fellowship programs;
- Lead and inspire staff with a consistent, empathetic manner that encourages talent development, diversity, and inclusion;
- Embrace technology and innovation; employ data to assess programs and measure effectiveness;
- Build upon the Foundation's legacy with continued focus on equity and equality in education;
- Evaluate all current fellowships and assess cost-effectiveness and impact; ensure fellowships are meeting stated objectives.
The President will have
- A clear theory of action for the Foundation and a passion for education;
- Leadership and management experience in the field of education and broad knowledge of the issues and players in the field;
- Enthusiasm and a talent for fundraising; proven success in identifying, cultivating, and securing funding resources at the level necessary for the Foundation's work to move forward;
- A record as a creative and collaborative team player; a comfort level with an academic-like culture;
- Experience working with a board and the ability to attract, recruit, and engage strong, diverse, and committed board members.
The President will be
- An experienced professional whose values align with the Foundation's values;
- A dynamic leader with an inclusive style, proven to be firm, fair, and flexible;
- A person of high intellectual rigor, with outstanding interpersonal qualities and the ability to focus and execute;
- An exceptional communicator who can tell Woodrow Wilson's story in a compelling way to potential donors, partners, and the field;
- A person who is politically savvy and diplomatic experienced in navigating complex situations and organizations;
- A person with integrity, common sense, and a sense of humor.
The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is committed to diversity and inclusion. As equal opportunity employers, the Foundation does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.
For additional information, please visit www.woodrow.org.
Please send applications or nominations to Jane Phillips Donaldson, Susan Meade, and Paul Spivey at WoodrowWilsonPresident@PhillipsOppenheim.com.