Download the full job pack


United World Schools (UWS) is a rapidly growing, mission-driven, charitable organization that builds and operates schools in remote regions that deliver free education to children in impoverished world regions.  We partner with local communities and the global philanthropic community to teach the unreached. Since 2009 we have established over 200 schools and educated more than 30,000 elementary school-aged children.  

By providing children with access to free education, UWS addresses a primary cause of long-term poverty and deprivation. Our simple-but-flexible model follows the national curriculum in each country we operate, and supports teachers’ efforts to deliver context-appropriate curricula. 

UWS maintains a 16-member staff in London and regionally aligned teams in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal.  Our passionate faculty, staff, administrators and Trustees are committed to extending UWS’s reach to educate an additional 30,000 children over the next three years. 

With the support of the Board of Trustees, UWS is establishing a new entity to extend our philanthropic efforts in the United States. UWS is seeking an outstanding, passionate and entrepreneurial individual to serve as Executive Director to drive the growth of United World Schools in the United States (UWS USA).  UWS USA will be an independent entity, while working very closely with UWS’ international operations under a global group structure.

Role Summary 

As a member of UWS’s Senior Leadership Team, the Executive Director will collaborate with UWS’ UK-based Chief Executive Officer, Directors, Trustees and Board Chair to establish strategic partnerships, cultivate a sustainable donor network, and secure charitable donations used to build schools and deliver free education to children in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal (and new regions in due course).

While embracing UWS’s well-established values and culture, the Executive Director will have the autonomy and discretion to devise and implement effective fundraising programs that establish relationships with individuals, institutions, corporations, and secondary/post-secondary schools in the United States.   

The Executive Director will shape, coordinate and raise UWS’ profile in the United States to achieve UWS’s ambitious fundraising goals and develop our engagement with a small but growing US donor base. We believe this is a role that an ambitious ‘self-starter’ will embrace, enjoy and grow with on a rapid professional development journey – supported by the UWS USA Board and UWS Senior Leadership Team on every step of the organisation’s journey.

Reporting to:  Chair of the Board*, UWS USA 

Terms:  Full time (flexible working arrangements considered)

Salary:  USD $100k-115k pa plus competitive benefits package including healthcare and 5% pension contribution

Location:  Flexible with access to New York City | Greater New York region, USA, with domestic and international travel as required**

Start date:  March 2020 or soon thereafter

* role to be held by the Chief Executive Officer, United World Schools, or their delegate

** As a start-up, in order to recruit the best possible candidate, we are taking a flexible approach to the initial location of the Executive Director. This may be New York City itself, or within a reasonable distance of New York that allows for regular, cost-effective visits to NYC to meet with potential partners and supporters. 

Person specification

Responsibilities (include, but are not limited to, the following):

Leadership and Management

  • Define, build and advance the overall organizational growth strategy for UWS USA in close collaboration with UWS’s CEO, Directors and Trustees
  • Develop a team that is responsible for fundraising and external communications in USA and ensure alignment of day-to-day execution with overall strategy
  • Infuse incremental and long-term strategies with philanthropic best practices to achieve robust giving levels in full compliance with federal, state and municipal/local rules and regulations

Fundraising and Resource Development

  • Agree on an annual Program/Budget and specific targets with the UWS USA Board, signed off by the UWS USA Chair
  • Strengthen UWS’ fundraising programs in the USA, deepen and expand relationships with current donors, and broaden donor base including prospective Partner Schools
  • Develop strategic partnerships and alliances with donors, peer organizations, educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders and constituencies
  • Identify opportunities to build earned revenue streams in alignment with overall strategic goals
  • Implement a communications strategy that resonates with the philanthropic community 

Experience and Qualifications (include but are not limited to the following):

  • 5+ years of relevant non-profit management/leadership experience.  Start-up experience preferred; an appetite for a start-up environment is essential
  • Bachelor’s Degree required; advanced degree in Education, Business Administration or Public Administration preferred
  • Passionate and effective leader with demonstrated ability to articulate an organizational vision, mobilize stakeholders and achieve specific goals  
  • Proven track record of successfully managing non-profit organizations and fundraising; documented ability to secure $1 million in donations from philanthropic foundations, corporations and individuals
  • Experience managing human and financial capital; strong organizational skills, budget building experience and ability to multitask to accommodate competing priorities
  • Ability to establish and manage a “can do” organizational culture, workplace accountability and high-achieving teams
  • Demonstrated success in the NGO sector, preferably with a previous record of having worked outside the US or at least having had a close working relationship with non-US organisations
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills 
  • Strong desire to fulfil UWS’s mission in alignment with UWS’s values and principles 
  • Willing to (occasionally) travel to Cambodia, Myanmar or Nepal to visit our projects. 

Note: The role will require regular travel both within the US (for example, to Boston or similar cities once every couple of weeks) and internationally (for example, to London once every 3 months and to Cambodia/Myanmar/Nepal every 6-12 months). 

United World Schools is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are only able to accept applications from candidates that have the permanent right to work in the USA.

United World Schools is committed to the safeguarding of children and ensuring we recruit safely is central to this commitment. All applicants will be required to undertake a background check and full references as a condition of employment.

How to apply

Education, Skills & Qualifications 

To apply for this position, please send a comprehensive resume (maximum 2 pages) and a cover letter (also no more than 2 pages). The deadline for applications is 9am (GMT) on February 17th 2020. Early applications are warmly encouraged. We may bring this deadline forward dependent on applications received. 

Please ensure that your application fully addresses the appointment criteria. You should give the names, positions, organisations and contact numbers of two referees, one of whom should be your current/most recent employer. 

References will only be taken with your permission. Applications should be made via email to [email protected] quoting job reference UWSUSA/ED2020 as the subject line.


Please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in the role. Telephone/Skype interviews will be held throughout the process, with a final interview week commencing 2nd March (or as soon as practical after this date). Start date is March 30th 2020, or as soon as practical after this. Please let us know what your notice period is in your cover letter. 


If you have any questions on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or wish to have an informal discussion, please contact [email protected]

Download the full job pack