P2PU is looking for an Executive Director

Peer 2 Peer University is looking for its next Executive Director. The successful applicant will direct the organization’s ongoing innovative activities, manage staff and define overall strategy based on new opportunities and needs. As P2PU is a small virtual organisation with 5 staffers who are located in 3 continents, this position is not tied to location.

About P2PU

  • Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) is a community of practitioners and a hub of expertise for open, peer-to-peer learning online. We give everyone the tools, know-how, and support they need to build great projects and expand the open learning movement.
  • P2PU is a thought leader in this space.  It delivers courses on open, peer-to-peer learning, collaborates with selected partners to build and deliver ‘showcases’ of open, online, peer-to-peer learning, and shares its learnings with a vibrant community of practitioners via websites, forums, and international meetings.
  • P2PU is a US not-for-profit corporation, international in scope, funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Shuttleworth Foundation, collaboration partners and other funders. Current or past collaborators include the Mozilla Foundation, Creative Commons, the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF), MIT, and NYU.
  • P2PU has an operating budget of around US$500,000 per year. P2PU has a purposefully small staff currently comprised of a learning lead, a community manager, and two technical developers whose roles are to foster and support P2PU, its collaborations, and its community of volunteers and participants

About the Role

  • The Executive Director (ED) will lead, cultivate, and facilitate the strategic direction for P2PU, providing leadership to best meet the needs of the organization and the broader open-learning community, and growing the network of participants who can enhance the effectiveness of P2PU and its mission.
  • The Executive Director will allocate the P2PU resources (budget and staff) based on goals set by the P2PU Board. He or she will represent P2PU publicly and in business negotiations.

Scope of position

The Executive Director will have purview of the following areas, leading through direct action, the actions of the P2PU staff, or through facilitation of community efforts:

  • The ED will have primary responsibility for maintaining and increasing P2PU’s revenue. This will include fundraising, as well as development of grant proposals, as well as other activities as approved by the Board.
  • The ED is responsible for the successful planning and operations of P2PU. He or she will develop priorities for the organization, create and implement plans, and coordinate programmatic initiatives, technology, and work effort across the organisation. He or she will develop and maintain effective partnerships with other organizations to foster the aims and strategic objectives of P2PU. Also, the ED will manage the fiscal and human resources of P2PU.
  • This position requires extensive experience in leading and cultivating communities and organizations, which may be gained through a combination of professional experience and education. This position requires excellent knowledge of the open education movement, use of information & communication technology in education, understanding of the collaborative nature of the P2PU community, open source software development practices, leadership and communication skills, and demonstrated effectiveness in managing staff and resources.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Leadership: With the Board of Directors, establish P2PU‘s vision, mission, and annual goals and objectives. Develop a strategic plan each year for establishing or maintaining collaborations, improving operations, fulfilling technology needs, and developing community. The ED is expected to seek community input where appropriate and engage their support, as well as identifying and responding to opportunities and challenges.
  • Fundraising: Drive the development of grant proposals and other fund-raising activities. Research funding sources, oversee the development of fund-raising plans and write funding proposals to increase the financial stability of the organization.  Identify and participate in other fundraising opportunities as appropriate.  Identify potential (international and national) new initiatives and partnerships to build the community and generate revenue in line with the organisation’s values and strategic plan.
  • Community engagement and development: Represent P2PU publicly and advocate its mission. Work constructively with the P2PU community and open education community to foster activities, encourage community/volunteer involvement, and develop best practices for the use of peer-to-peer-based technologies and processes. Develop and execute good communication practices. Develop and maintain effective partnerships with other organizations to assure cohesion and interoperability.
  • Operational management: Assure high-level coordination for a distributed development and deployment effort. Coordinate and facilitate the myriad activities related to successful P2PU collaborations, user experiences, documentation, and training. Manage the day-to-day operations, monitoring projects and budgets to ensure that mandates are executed in an effective manner consistent with P2PU values of openness, community-involvement, and peer-to-peer learning. Effectively balance resources with need.
  • Financial management:  Work with staff and the Board (Treasurer and/or Finance Committee) to prepare a comprehensive budget annually.  Approve expenditures within the authority delegated by the Board.  Ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are followed  Administer the funds of the organization according to the approved budget and monitor the monthly cash flow of the organization. Provide the Board with comprehensive, regular reports on the revenues and expenditures of the organization. Ensure that the organization complies with all legislation covering taxation and withholding payments.
  • Risk management:  Identify and evaluate the risks to the organization’s people (clients, staff, management, volunteers), property, finances, goodwill, and image, and implement measures to control risks.  Ensure that the Board of Directors and the organization carry appropriate and adequate insurance coverage.  Ensure that the Board and staff understand the terms, conditions, and limitations of the insurance coverage.
  • HR management: Manage P2PU staff and execute personnel actions. Determine staffing requirements for organizational management and program delivery. Recruit, interview, and select staff that have the right technical and personal abilities to help further the organization’s mission.  Implement a performance-management process for all staff which includes monitoring the performance of staff on an on-going basis and conducting an annual performance review. Coach and mentor staff as appropriate to improve performance.  Discipline staff when necessary using appropriate techniques; release staff when necessary using appropriate and legally defensible procedures.
  • Administration: Fulfil administrative requirements for P2PU including: assuring that the By-Laws of P2PU are adhered to; actively participating in P2PU Board meetings as a non-voting member; sign contracts and other legal documents on behalf of P2PU; establish all administrative policies and procedures.

To apply:  Please send the following to bekka [at] p2pu [dot] org by 24 March 2014. Interviews will begin starting March 10 but applications will continue to be accepted and interviews conducted until the position is filled.

  • A resume that highlights those experiences and achievements that are most relevant for this position, with specific reference to your experience of working in distributed teams, or thoughts on how this would influence your working practice
  • A short cover letter that describes more about yourself and your interest in this position, with reference to the desired qualifications and responsibilities as appropriate.
  • A short (one-page) scenario about learning in the future. This could be the fictional story of one learner, or a description of the education system you would like to create.  Please make reference in this to your vision and understanding of online communities and how community and learning go hand in hand. A key responsibility for this position will be to define P2PU’s role in the future, so this scenario should reflect the role P2PU will play in shaping this future environment.

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