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Job Information

Pearson Director, Strategic Initiatives in United States

Organizational Information

At Pearson, our purpose is simple; to add life to a lifetime of learning. We envision a future where everyone can realize the life they imagine through learning. To achieve this, we create vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact.

For over 20 years, Pearson Virtual Schools has been reimagining K-12 education with full-time virtual schools for students who want a personalized, more flexible approach to learning. Our flagship products and services include Connections Academy, US-based online public charter schools; Pearson Online Academy, a global online private school; and Pearson Connexus, our comprehensive online school program for school districts nationwide.

The following description is intended to describe the general nature of the job that may include other duties as assumed or assigned; it is not intended to be all-inclusive or limit the duties of the position.

Purpose Summary

The Director of Strategic Initiatives will facilitate the development of PVS’s overall strategy and help drive an innovation agenda that builds on PVS’s leading position in virtual education. Reporting to the MD of Virtual Schools and operating as a member of the PVS Leadership Team, this is a highly influential and visible role accountable for driving organizational transformation initiatives, providing critical support in executing key strategic priorities and enabling them to work more effectively with internal and external stakeholders. This position is designed to maximize the efficiency of the executive office, providing strategic advice, managing special projects, and acting as a liaison between staff and the MD.

The Director of Strategic Initiatives will enable the Leadership Team to over-deliver on expected results and chart the future course of the business. Working side by side the Managing Director, this role offers broad exposure to consumer businesses and entrepreneurship.

The ideal candidate understands the importance of, and knows how to build, high-trust, authentic, enduring relationships with staff and stakeholders at all levels and from different backgrounds. Has a track record of exercising exceptional judgment, navigating ambiguity with a high level of comfort, creativity. They must have a strong background in strategy, project management, and change management, with a proven track record of leading successful transformation efforts in complex environments.

They have a high level of personal responsibility, holding themselves to a high standard, following through on the commitments they make and executing high quality work. The ideal candidate has strong problem-solving skills and a track record of making thoughtful, strategic and values-aligned decisions. They are willing to tackle any issue that comes their way– no issue is too big or too small– and are happy to serve as the organization’s “problem solver in chief”.

Core Tasks and Responsibilities

Strategic Planning and Execution:

  • Guide the Leadership Team in the formulation of PVS’s overall strategy based on long-term trends, competitive intelligence, market demand, and evaluation of current organizational capabilities.

  • Collaborate with the MD's and Leadership Team to develop and execute strategic plans and initiatives that drive organizational growth and transformation.

  • Design and lead the Leadership Team operating rhythm from defining long-term goals, annual planning, and priority-setting to overseeing accountability and progress monitoring processes to ensure PVS meets its organizational goals. Identifying risks and opportunities and recommending corrective actions as needed.

  • Lead the development and implementation of transformation roadmaps, ensuring alignment with overall business objectives and priorities.

  • Align execution to goals, remove roadblocks, perform analysis and gather research to facilitate faster decision-making, and ensure communication and reporting are happening smoothly and consistently.

  • Provide oversight and guidance to projects of high importance and lead key strategic projects and change initiatives as assigned by the Leadership Team.

Executive Support:

  • Provide advice, guidance, and general support to the MD on all organizational issues; anticipate opportunities and problems that are likely to arise; and act as a key thought partner, brainstorming and identifying solutions to challenges.

  • Match the MDs priorities and commitments to their schedule, ensuring time is well spent and aligned with organizational needs.

  • Track MD’s projects and tasks, ensuring needed decisions are made and projects completed.

  • Lead and support PVS strategic communications, including overseeing development of and directly writing leadership presentations and organization-wide messages.

  • Develop and manage Leadership Team internal communication strategies to ensure decisions and other actions are clearly communicated to staff in a timely way, and to support strong organizational culture and alignment.

  • Attend meetings on behalf of the MD as needed, representing their perspectives, and sharing their insights.

  • Act as a “bridge” between the entire Leadership Team (including MD) and staff, keeping staff informed of their priorities and plans.

  • Facilitate effective communication and coordination between leaders, both within and outside of Leadership Team meetings.

  • Drive successful Leadership Team performance and health through design and implementation of meeting, retreat, and planning structures and processes.

  • Bring organization-wide or cross-functional challenges, questions, and issues to resolution through leadership team discussion and decision-making.

Transformation Leadership:

  • Serve as a catalyst for change and transformation within the organization, driving cultural and organizational change initiatives to foster innovation, agility, and continuous improvement.

  • Lead the development and implementation of transformation roadmaps, ensuring alignment with overall business objectives and priorities.

  • Lead cross-functional transformation teams, providing guidance, support, and resources to ensure successful project execution and delivery.

  • Champion best practices in change management, stakeholder engagement, and communication to ensure effective adoption of new processes, systems, and ways of working.

Required Skills, Experience, and Competencies

  • Experience serving on a senior leadership team

  • Experience coaching organizational leaders

  • Self-starter who is driven and has the ability to work independently

  • Experience in management consulting, business strategy, strategic finance or HR, or M&A preferred

  • Experience translating large amounts of information and differing perspectives into insights and frameworks that support strategic decision making.

  • Capable of working across teams to influence outcomes, increase collaboration, and build relationships rather than barriers.

  • Strong commercial acumen, analytical abilities, and negotiation skills.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with exceptional attention to detail.

  • Skilled at working in a fast-paced, changing environment with all levels of management.

  • Strong commitment to timelines, accuracy, and professionalism.

  • Leadership Competencies: Ability to diagnose and address opportunities to improve while effectively handling conflict.

  • Passion for driving performance against goals and accountability while creating a positive and productive environment.

  • Understands the role that culture and building strong teams plays in company success.

  • Ability to rally a large group of people towards key goals via strong verbal and written communications and a range of interpersonal approaches (e.g., partnering, collaboration, conflict management, and consulting).

  • Team leader, team player and positive attitude in a results-driven environment.

  • Demonstrated capability in cross-functional leadership and experience working in a matrix environment.

  • Creates strong morale and inclusive spirit within the team, proactively addresses team performance and communication challenges and blends new people into teams when needed. Has a track record of hiring and quickly and effectively onboarding great talent. Demonstrated success in developing and promoting talent.

  • Acts with a strong customer mindset (both internal and external) and is a visible advocate for the customer. Builds strong relationships with customers and uses those to improve their experience and outcomes.

Compensation at Pearson is influenced by a wide array of factors including but not limited to skill set, level of experience, and specific location. As required by the Colorado, California, Washington State, New York State and New York City laws, the pay range for this position is as follows:

The minimum full-time salary range is between $150,000 - $180,000.

This position is eligible to participate in an annual incentive program, and information on benefits offered is here.

What to expect from Pearson

Did you know Pearson is one of the 10 most innovative education companies of 2022?

At Pearson, we add life to a lifetime of learning so everyone can realize the life they imagine. We do this by creating vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact. We are on a journey to be 100 percent digital to meet the changing needs of the global population by developing a new strategy with ambitious targets. To deliver on our strategic vision, we have five business divisions that are the foundation for the long-term growth of the company: Assessment & Qualifications, Virtual Learning, English Language Learning, Workforce Skills and Higher Education. Alongside these, we have our corporate divisions: Digital & Technology, Finance, Global Corporate Marketing & Communications, Human Resources, Legal, Strategy and Direct to Consumer. Learn more at We are Pearson.

We value the power of an inclusive culture and also a strong sense of belonging. We promote a culture where differences are embraced, opportunities are accessible, consideration and respect are the norm and all individuals are supported in reaching their full potential. Through our talent, we believe that diversity, equity and inclusion make us a more innovative and vibrant place to work. People are at the center, and we are committed to building a workplace where talent can learn, grow and thrive.

Pearson is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer and a member of E-Verify. We want a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. All employment decisions are based on qualifications, merit and business need. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status or any other group protected by law. We strive for a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities.

To learn more about Pearson’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce, navigate to: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Pearson.

If you are an individual with a disability and are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our career site as a result of your disability, you may request reasonable accommodations by emailing TalentExperienceGlobalTeam@grp.pearson.com.

Note that the information you provide will stay confidential and will be stored securely. It will not be seen by those involved in making decisions as part of the recruitment process.

Job: GENERAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Organization: Virtual Learning

Schedule: FULL_TIME

Workplace Type:

Req ID: 16272

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