Executive Director Search

banner image of group of people smiling, facing camera

Executive Director Search

The Board of Directors of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), an educational service agency based in Northampton, Massachusetts, seeks a dynamic and experienced Executive Director. 

The Organization

CES is a public, nonprofit Massachusetts educational collaborative (educational service agency) organized pursuant to the authority of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) under M.G.L. Ch. 40, § 4E, and consistent with regulations described in 603 CMR §50.00. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, with over 480 full and part time employees located across the Commonwealth, and an annual budget of approximately $39 million.

The Role of Executive Director 

The Executive Director of CES is the chief executive and is charged by state statutes, the Collaborative Agreement, and the Board of Directors with carrying out specific responsibilities, mainly in managing daily operations and services; recommending policies to the Board; managing internal and external relations; representing CES to other agencies, officials, and the public; and other duties. The Executive Director reports to the Board, and the Board oversees and evaluates the Executive Director. 

History of the Position

The new Executive Director (ED) will succeed William (Bill) Diehl who has successfully led CES for ten years as Deputy and then Executive Director. 

Under the leadership of Mr. Diehl, the agency has expanded programs, services, and grants. The CES community has worked with intention and commitment to develop a culture of compassion and care, establish and embrace principles of social justice and equity as foundational to our agency, and developed a set of values for both our internal and external work. Under his leadership and with the support of a dedicated staff and Board of Directors, we've added new districts to our membership, developed a formal Collaborative Agreement with members as required by new legislation, and deepened our collaborations with schools, districts, legislators, and community and state partners including DESE, DYS, DMH, EEC, and others. As a result, the agency has broadened and deepened its commitment to positive outcomes for some of the state’s most vulnerable children and youth. 

CES strives to be innovative, and we’ve made tremendous progress, guided by our Five Year Strategic Plan; the reorganization of structures and workflows, and the adoption of more efficient and effective information technologies. Through Mr. Diehl’s commitment to collaboration and servant leadership, CES has built a reputation across the state as a promoter of high quality education for all, and an advocate for social justice and equity (SJE).

The new Executive Director will provide leadership in the following ways and areas identified by key stakeholders, Board members, district members and CES staff: 

  • Taking an inclusive leadership approach
  • Cultivating collaborations and partnerships
  • Serving as a convener for area superintendents and other leaders to share best-practices and problem-solve common issues
  • Keeping abreast of key developments in education and sharing with staff and districts
  • Advocating for state and federal funding
  • Ensuring an inclusive process to address challenges and identify effective models for expanding organizational capacity and expertise
  • Prioritizing SJE work internally and externally to address educational equity and access
  • Developing strategic relationships with governmental officials, community groups
  • Leading organizational change to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness


The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications, attributes, and experiences needed for success in the position:

Required Attributes

  • Vision, mission, values driven leadership
  • Ability to effectively collaborate within an organization, with a Board of Directors consisting of over 30 members, and with multiple and diverse external partners
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive practices - personally and within an organization using an anti-racist analysis
  • Empathy and commitment to building a community of care
  • Strong communication skills, commitment to openness and transparency, and ability to adapt messages for different audiences
  • Visionary with skills in setting long-term and competitive goals that inform short-term strategies
  • Integrity, honesty, and inspires trust
  • Creative problem solver and positive mindset
  • Adaptability and ability to delegate and share leadership
  • Skilled business and strategic planner with an entrepreneurial mind-set

Required Knowledge and Experience 

  • A minimum of ten years of successful administrative experience in leadership positions in the public and/or private sector  
  • Masters Degree in Education or related field; Doctorate preferred
  • Massachusetts Administrator License required upon hire, or within one year of hiring; Superintendent license preferred
  • Demonstrated fiscal leadership and knowledge of financial sustainability including budget development, risk management, grants, contracts and audits
  • Ability to think strategically, creatively and tactically
  • Entrepreneurial vision for programs and direct services to children, youth, and families
  • Ability to build collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders with a proven success developing business and community partnerships
  • Successful experience with union relationships, including bargaining
  • Accustomed to using data-driven decision-making to ensure the success of the organization’s staff, students and member districts
  • Success in obtaining public and private funding
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse individuals and organizations
  • Proven ability to manage conflict through collaboration and compromise
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, supervision and working effectively with a Board of Directors
  • Experience in developing innovative programs, services, and funding in response to emerging needs and evaluation
  • Knowledge of Special Education and educator professional development 
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficient with a variety of technologies, Microsoft Office, Google applications, project management software
  • Highly developed personal and professional integrity 
  • Knowledge of and commitment to principles and practices of social justice, equity, and inclusion
  • Passionate commitment to the mission and vision of an organization

Application Process

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click the button below, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. 

  • Recruitment and applicant screening November - January 
  • Interviews will begin during February and March 
  • Second interviews are tentatively scheduled for March and April 
  • Final interview with Board of Directors to be scheduled in May   
  • CES would like to welcome a new Executive Director at the start of its fiscal year, July 1, 2021.  
  • Interviews will be conducted through phone conference and video technology with finalists meeting in-person and video conference with the Board of Directors in May. 

This timeline may change depending on the circumstances and needs of the interview committees and applicants. 

Click to Apply



CES is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating and maintaining an organization dedicated to education, social justice, equity, and inclusion.  We are particularly interested in candidates from a diverse range of cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds and whose backgrounds are well-suited to understanding and addressing the needs of the diverse student populations, school districts, and the state-wide programs we serve.