Education Pioneers is uniquely positioned to find and support the talent needed to respond to this crisis and create a better future for students and communities.

Navigating Challenging Times

School systems are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The work to re-open schools safely, recover learning, and reimagine a more equitable future for education is complex, capacity-intensive, and budget-constrained. The average student may lose more than 7 months of learning due to COVID-19, with students of color and low-income students losing up to a year—widening existing achievement gaps by 15-20%.

We must seize this opportunity to grapple with the long-standing inequities within education and build a better future. School systems need adaptive, inclusive leaders to disrupt the status quo. They need Pioneers.

The EP COVID Response Fellowship

As a trusted talent pipeline for more than 15 years, Education Pioneers will help the sector meet this moment with what we’re uniquely positioned to offer: adaptive, inclusive, talented leaders equipped to transform the sector. 

For this 12-month, paid Fellowship opportunity, we’ll connect senior talent from our own Alumni network and beyond with a district, charter school network, or state education agency where they’ll provide Chief of Staff-level support to senior leaders as they plan and implement adaptive approaches to evolving public health policies, operational processes, and academic practices while ensuring that schools are providing equitable student learning experiences.

What will EP COVID Response Fellows do? 

Advance essential work over the course of 12 months coinciding with the school year. They’ll work directly with senior-level staff to tackle COVID-specific responsibilities; coordinating communications; liaising with public health and education agencies; and more. 

Benefit from collective solutions. Fellows will have access to a cohort of peers executing similar work across the country for structured programming, thought-partnership, problem-solving, and best practice sharing—accelerating progress for schools nationwide.

Leverage network support. Fellows will have an advisor to help them navigate their experience and an EP Alum will provide mentorship to groups of Fellows.

Who are COVID Response Fellows?

Mid-senior Level Education Leaders

Proven Collaborators & Problem-solvers

Adaptive, Inclusive, Equity-oriented People

  • 10-15 years of overall work experience 
  • 3-7 years of relevant chief of staff, project management, and/or strategy experience
  • Comfortable working directly with senior and executive leaders at an education organization or school
  • They can navigate diverse groups of stakeholders. 
  • They can diagnose problems and find creative solutions. 
  • They have experience leading through organizational and operational change. 
  • They persevere and persist through challenging and high-stakes work.
  • They grasp the nuances and complexities facing the education sector right now. 
  • They’re conversant in DEI issues, including how race, identity, power and oppression influence the system. 
  • They’ve practiced adaptive leadership and are committed to equity & inclusion.

Learn More

To learn more about how you or your organization can help the education sector respond to COVID-19 via our COVID Response Fellowship, select your role below. 


Position Overview
As an integral part of the organization's COVID-19 response, you will add vital capacity to senior leaders as they plan, implement, and iterate on new public health, operational, and academic practices. Since much of the work related to the new and evolving regulations sits outside existing structures and job responsibilities, you will lead coordination, data and information gathering, task management, delegation, and follow-through – often with cross-functional teams not accustomed to working together and without established roadmaps. You will enable the full-time staff and subject matter experts to spend their energy in their areas of expertise while you organize, communicate, and mobilize staff towards a collective goal.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 10-15 years of work experience with 3-7 years of specific chief of staff or related strategic project management experience at an education-focused organization or school 
  • Commitment to Education Pioneers’ mission and core values, and a passion for social impact
  • Commitment to the full program term including the ability to complete 12 consecutive months of employment, attend workshops, and other mandatory aspects of the Fellowship
  • Authorization to work in the United States on a full-time basis for the entire program 


  • Master’s degree
  • Ability to diagnose problems and then move strategically to find creative solutions
  • Previously led through organizational and operational change management
  • Intermediate to advanced skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint and/or Google Docs, Sheets, Slides
  • Intermediate skills and knowledge of Salesforce or other CRM
  • Familiarity with project management and internal collaboration  platforms such as Slack, Asana, Trello, and others

Timeline and Process

  • The application is now closed. 
  • Fellows will complete a three-step selection process, including interviews with prospective partners in mid- to late-September. 
  • Fellows will start their placement in October 2020.  

Learn More

  • Download this job description and Fellowship overview. 
  • If you have additional questions, email our recruiting team.


EP aims to utilize our unique network and platform to bring necessary and flexible capacity to meet your needs so you can quickly integrate the essential and additional capacity. 

This is more than a person for a project, this is talent to transform.
We recognize that schools and districts will be facing immense financial challenges as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. We are raising funds to provide Fellows at no cost to Partners who have a clear need for their support. In partnership, we can move forward with engaging funders and finding top talent. 

Timeline and Process

  • Define position scope and complete scoping protocol
  • Sign and send a letter of support
  • Connect us to local funders
  • Receive profiles and engage in selection process 
  • Welcome your Fellow in October 2020

Learn More & Partner

  • Download this program guide. 
  • To start the process of hosting a COVID Response Fellow, please email our Local Impact team. 


Schools and districts are facing immense financial challenges as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19. We are seeking investors who can help us provide Fellows at no cost to Partners who have a clear need for their support. EP will cover all stipends, benefits, and costs for Fellows. 

Learn More & Invest

Planning for reopening will not be easy; and is not nearly as important – nor as difficult – as execution. We'll have to be problem-solvers, flexible and responsive to data, and willing to course-correct.

Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance

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