Director of Strategic Partnerships (CL)

Job Overview

Character Lab is looking for a full-time Director of Strategic Partnerships to catalyze the adoption of scientific insights by educators, parents, and students.  

The Director of Strategic Partnerships will work with other research organizations, like-minded nonprofits, and educational intermediaries—both maintaining current partnerships and, crucially, cultivating new ones. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, this new position represents a pivotal strategic priority for our nonprofit organization.

This position is an excellent opportunity to liaise with a diverse group of educational organizations that create influential learning experiences and resources related to scientific insights generated on the Character Lab Research Network. The Director of Strategic Partnerships will find creative avenues to reach mutual goals as well as broker access to essential tools and resources to extend the impact of research that helps kids thrive. The ideal candidate has a strong understanding of the evidence-to-practice pipeline, constantly seeks out process improvements, and is eager to join a close-knit and dynamic team. 

About Character Lab

Founded in 2013 by two educators (Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph) and one scientist (Angela Duckworth), Character Lab is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing scientific insights that help kids thrive. By connecting researchers with educators, Character Lab seeks to create greater knowledge about the conditions that lead to social, emotional, academic, and physical well-being for young people throughout the country. To learn more, go to

Research suggests that character encompasses a multitude of strengths that can be organized into three dimensions: strengths of heart (interpersonal), like gratitude, enable harmonious relationships with other people; strengths of will (intrapersonal), like grit and self-control, enable achievement; and strengths of mind (intellectual), like curiosity, enable independent thinking.

Our culture is both challenging (we’re never done improving) and supportive (one of our core values is excessive generosity). We are a small team working under one roof. To learn more, read our Culture Book. 

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Build a pipeline of organizational partners that are strategically aligned with Character Lab’s mission: Manage all aspects of the partnerships funnel, including prospecting, cultivating, positioning, and closing new partnerships, while maintaining all relevant information in our CRM.
  • Establish mutual goals and expectations with key external partners, ensuring they have the support needed to integrate our scientific findings, and project manage all stages of partnership execution.
  • Stay current on developments in relevant academic research and K-12 practice and policy trends.
  • Build familiarity and relationships with other education sector organizations that embed scientific insights into resources, platforms, and programs.
  • Design, plan, and execute events, including our annual Educator Summit, that encourage the integration of insights and innovations into schools and the work of other education sector organizations.
  • Consult with education leaders on the potential application of scientific insights in their work.
  • Cultivate a coalition of influential organizations and individual champions for Character Lab’s work applying scientific insights in K-12 education.
  • Represent Character Lab with key stakeholders: Build the organization's profile through engagement of current and prospective partners.
  • Continuously improve systems and procedures through the application of new tools, systems, or best practices in the field.

Job Requirements

  • Graduate degree preferred. Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in the social sciences, education, or non-profit fields.
  • 5+ years’ experience working in the education sector building relationships with leaders in practice and the funder community. Experience working in a startup environment preferred but not required.
  • Demonstrable track record in business development and/or partnership management, from prospecting and cultivating interest all the way to a successfully launched partnership.
  • Experience maintaining positive long-term strategic partnerships, with the ability to build upon past work and find additional avenues for collaboration.
  • Solid understanding of the evidence-to-practice pipeline. Experience specifically with psychology research a bonus but not required.
  • Demonstrated ability to strategically spearhead projects that are deadline-driven and involve multiple internal and external stakeholders.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Culturally open-minded, flexible, and open to suggestions and opinions, with a passion for continued personal and team growth.
  • Ability to collaborate productively, while also managing a workload with minimal oversight.
  • High energy, with the proven ability to engage, inspire, and motivate others as well as to build trust and rapport quickly.
  • Ability to work full-time from our Philadelphia office.
  • Willingness to travel to partner institutions and for events and conferences as needed (estimated travel up to 20% of time).

Physical Demands/Environmental Factors

  • Prolonged and irregular hours of duty, as necessary.
  • Some light-to-medium level of manual labor (e.g., preparing mailings, moving boxes of materials).


Application Process

Character Lab is an equal opportunity employer and encourages a diverse pool of candidates to apply. We accept applications on a rolling basis. Please submit a compelling cover letter with your resume.



Compensation and Benefits

Competitive salary is commensurate with an individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.


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