Global Literacy Director

Room to Read
San Francisco, CA
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Organization Profile:

Room to Read is a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded in 2000 on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children®, our innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low-income countries during two time periods which are most critical in a child\’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls\’ education. We work in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. Room to Read has benefited 10 million children across 17,500 communities in Asia and Africa, and aims to reach 15 million children by 2020. Learn more

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Chief Program Officer, the Director participates in strategic discussions about organizational development and plays a leading role in the development of our comprehensive, integrated Literacy Program. The Director is accountable for student performance across all countries, as measured by Early Grade Reading Assessments and habit of reading surveys.
The Literacy Director provides thought leadership and overall program management to the Global Literacy team, which in turn offers guidance, direction, and technical assistance to Room to Read’s Country Offices as the organization evolves its current programming to maximize its impact for children. This person is responsible for working with Room to Read staff as well as local and external consultants on developing and implementing literacy programs that are in line with Room to Read’s evolving effort to deliver reading skills for children in primary school and ensure they develop the habit of reading. The Director is also responsible for sharing information about Room to Read’s Literacy work with internal and external audiences as well as participating in strategic efforts to include Room to Read programming in the larger international education agenda. S/he directly manages and leads the design and program improvement efforts of the Global Literacy team.

This position is based in the San Francisco or another Room to Read country office and requires significant international travel.

Duties & Responsibilities:
Program Design
– In collaboration with the Chief Program Officer, set the overall vision, direction and execution of the design and development of the Room to Read Literacy program
– Oversee the refinement of the literacy design and delivery strategy, including setting and meeting budget and programmatic goals annually
– Manage Global Office Literacy staff to ensure quality technical assistance is provided to countries in an efficient and timely way.  This could look like:
– Design and launch of instructional design and teacher support in new Room to Read countries and support for implementation in existing countries
– Creation, implementation, and analysis of annual program goals and budgets to ensure alignment with organizational strategies and priorities
– High quality, effective and efficient management of the program and successful achievement of annual goals
– In collaboration with Room to Read’s Global Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team, design, implementation, and refinement of research, monitoring, and evaluation systems and procedures to track progress and achievements against planned program outcomes
– Lead efforts to write and refine worldwide modules and implementation packages
– Travel as needed to Room to Read countries to review and monitor implementation of programs and work with country-based Global Office staff to train in-country personnel and provide hands on support for capacity building
Knowledge Resource
– Research educational issues, especially as they relate to literacy programs, and stay abreast of global trends and challenges in the field of developing reading skills among children
– Research and recommend improvements to our program(s) to more efficiently and effectively manage the program(s) in each country where we operate
– Share internal and external research findings throughout the organization to support program improvement
Capacity Building
– Work with Global Office staff to support in-country teams to increase their skills in understanding both the habit of reading and reading instruction from both theoretical and practical perspectives
– Support and mentor Global team members and country Program Managers, ensuring that program activities are carried out in a timely manner and with attention to quality
– Plan and coordinate internal conferences and meetings for staff
– Bring knowledge and lessons about literacy programming from our Country offices to the Global Office as well as to other colleagues around the world
– Increase the capacity of the Global Office literacy team to effectively collaborate with Ministries, multi-lateral organizations, partner NGOs and universities to continually scale the Room to Read literacy service delivery and innovate programming within the sector
Management and Operations
– Recruit, hire, train, and manage Global Office Literacy team members
– Lead the Global team in the overall design and quality improvement efforts of the program
– Provide periodic support to the International Operations team regarding program operations globally, including annual planning, quarterly reporting, and overall tracking of program implementation and spending
– Contribute as an active thought leader in the evolution of Room to Read’s integrated Literacy program, and serve as a change-management leader over the course of the transitional process
– Write and review program reports
– Track, edit, and provide information to the Global Business Development team regarding foundation, corporate, and individual donor reporting
– Collaborate with the Global Business Development team and Accelerator technical assistance business unit to write program-specific portions of funding proposals
– Represent Room to Read internally and externally to message our work and advocate for our programs
– Liaise with other Room to Read Offices to coordinate workflows and share program information
– Network with other organizations running similar programs to find areas of collaboration and knowledge sharing
– Assist the Marketing and Communications team in developing program-specific marketing materials

– Master’s degree in education required, doctorate preferred, with an emphasis on reading, literacy, or educational assessment, or a related field of study
– Prior experience living and/or working in low income countries, preferably with work in Africa or Asia
– A minimum of 10 years of professional experience, with a minimum of 5+ years in a senior management capacity in implementing large-scale educational programs
– Prior experience working on reading/literacy programs in primary education
– Previous primary classroom teacher experience preferred
– Willingness and ability to travel internationally approximately 40 percent time
– Prior success working closely and building relationships with diverse groups of people
– Effectiveness in working or volunteering in a non-profit organization that is focused on maintaining high quality work and low overhead
– Prior experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented global or regional organization
– Proven track record of achieving results
– Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
– Ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously and take initiative
To be successful at Room to Read, you will also:
– Have passion for our mission and a strong desire to impact a dynamic nonprofit organization
– Be a proactive and innovative thinker who achieves results and creates positive change
– Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
– Embrace diversity and a commitment to collaboration
– Thrive in a fast-paced and fun environment


Room to Read offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits. Benefits include health, dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, and a retirement savings match. The non-monetary compensation includes a unique opportunity to be part of an innovative, meaningful, fun, and rapidly growing organization that is changing the world through the lifelong gift of education.

Room to Read is proud to be an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds.

Additional Information

To apply for this position please visit our job board. Select the Global Literacy Director position, click apply and complete the online application which will ask you to provide your resume, cover letter and some personal information. You will receive an email confirmation when your application has been received. Due to high applicant volume, we regret that we are not able to send personalized responses to all applicants. However, if you need technical assistance, please email Applications are accepted until the position is filled.