Chief People Officer

Ascend Public Charter Schools

Posted: 7/28/2020

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: CEO/ED/President

Primary domain: Education

City: Brooklyn

Postal code: 11212

State: New York

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

Ascends mission is to develop a scalable solution to the underachievement of economically disadvantaged childrena network of urban, college-preparatory, K-12 charter schools, operating with widely available financial resources, and posting achievement levels equal or superior to schools educating students from middle-class families. 

Position Details:

Job Description:


Ascend Public Charter Schools is a network of K-12 public charter schools serving 5,500 students in 15 schools across Brooklyn—New York's most populous borough. Our undertaking is to provide students with an exceptional college preparatory education and place them firmly on the path to success in college and beyond.

Ascend seeks a strategic leader to serve as its first chief people officer (CPO) to develop and oversee the end-to-end talent strategy for our growing team of nearly 900 staff. Reporting to the chief executive officer (CEO), and working closely with the boards, executive team, and school leadership, the chief people officer will set the vision and direction for attracting, engaging, developing, and retaining Ascend staff, and embedding a talent-focused culture within the entire organization. This will include the important work of building and implementing the foundational processes and policies to support a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist (DEIA) workforce. The chief people officer will play a key role in making decisions about the strategic direction of the organization, and in bringing to life our commitment to equitable practices that empower our staff to meet their fullest potential.

This position represents an extraordinary opportunity to impact every aspect of Ascend's approach to talent, and therefore positively impact all Ascend staff, students and families. This is an ideal opportunity for a strategic talent professional who revels in developing and implementing sophisticated talent strategies and systems. Ascend's chief people officer will have a knack for masterfully influencing and managing all matters related to people.


The chief people officer oversees the end-to-end talent strategy for Ascend staff. Responsibilities include:
  • create and implement a phased, multi-year talent vision, strategy, and plan that supports a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist work environment;
  • work integrally with the board, CEO, and leaders of the organization to support Ascend's commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism through our policies, practices, and systems;
  • design and build cohesive human capital structures and systems, including unifying bifurcated talent recruitment and human resources functions, to create a best-in-class people talent department;
  • lead the processes to develop, manage and retain employees, including performance management, talent development, talent assessment and succession planning, total rewards, and workforce policies that support employee flexibility with accountability;
  • work closely with the CEO, legal counsel, and human resources staff to ensure strong human resource policies, compliance, and other systems that promote a diverse and equitable workplace that is compliant with regulations and best-in-class research in talent management practices;
  • define and analyze the data needed to drive and refine talent strategy;
  • refine and manage the processes to source, attract and select top talent, including teachers, school staff and leadership, and network staff;
  • improve systems that support and inform a strong talent program, including aligning applicant tracking and human resources information systems;
  • work with the Ascend Learning Board of Directors to develop a performance management and compensation approach for the CEO and executive teams;
  • oversee the talent development of the network team, and have a matrixed management role with the school (teacher and leader) professional development team;
  • supervise and develop Ascend's network human resources and talent recruitment teams; provide dotted line management of the school professional development team; and
  • support the CEO in shaping and reinforcing a culture that reinforces our commitment to DEIA and celebrates that which is unique and special about Ascend.

Reporting relationships and teams

The chief people officer will report to the CEO, and have an independent relationship with the board to support their oversight of the CEO. The chief people officer will have a role in establishing the appropriate structure of the talent and human resource team. Initially, the CPO's reports will include the directors and their teams within Ascend's network teams of human resources and talent recruitment. There will be a dotted-line reporting relationship to the schools professional development team.



  • Master's degree in related field is required
  • Minimum of ten years experience in talent strategy development and deep expertise in recruitment, learning and development, and/or human resources
  • Experience in the education sector is strongly preferred
  • Exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills; ability to set detailed vision and direction across large, complex sets of work
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with a proven ability to meet and exceed ambitious goals
  • Exceptional relationship management and influence skills; a proven servant leader
  • Effective and winning written and verbal communication, with strong active listening skills
  • Capacity to develop strong relationships with all staff, based on trust, respect, effective communication, and common goals
  • Entrepreneurial mindset with a commitment to preserving a bold, can-do culture that sustains the organization's values of integrity, curiosity, community, empowerment, growth, daring, and excellence
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize data insights to drive high-impact action
  • Track record of creating and improving systems and experience leveraging technology to gain insight and increase efficiency
  • Demonstrated success managing people and teams

Diversity at Ascend

Ascend is committed to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist community, both through our hiring practices and our focus on creating a culture and environment where diverse perspectives, ideas, and identities are valued and integrated into our way of working and educating students. Ascend staff represent a wide diversity of racial, socio-economic, gender, religious, and national identities—opening a window to the entire Ascend community on the richness of humanity. We welcome all applicants who share our mission and vision to join us in our deeply consequential work.


Ascend offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. Please visit to learn more about the benefits of working at Ascend.

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